Juventus and Roma could deliver an early indication as to which way the Serie A pendulum will swing this season when the pair face of on Saturday evening in Turin.
Both sides boast a flawless start to the season having won their opening five fixtures, but something will give when they clash in one of the most exciting showdowns in recent years.
Roma have been boosted from Tuesday evening’s 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the Champions League, whilst Juventus will be looking to bounce back after being downed 1-0 by La Liga champions Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
Despite losing Antonio Conte in the summer, new manager Massimiliano Allegri has ensured continuity by guiding Juventus to five consecutive victories.
They have become the first side in Serie A history to win their opening games without conceding a single goal, and lead Roma on goal difference having scored 10 goals in the league so far.
Carlos Tevez continues to deliver as talisman of the side, and scored the winner as the Old Lady travelled to Allegri’s former club AC Milan nearly two weeks ago.
Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba were linked with moves to the Premier League with both Manchester United and Chelsea over the summer, but have played an integral part in Juventus’ stunning start.
The Chilean found the net twice against lowly Cesena last week, executing a penalty before adding a second late on, whereas his French team-mate has entered the season with his reputation enhanced following his impressive performances at the World Cup in Brazil.
And despite a setback on the European scene, Juventus will enter the titanic tussle as strong favourites having beaten Rudi Garcia’s side on both occasions last term.
But Garcia’s side already look a stronger outfit than the squad which posted a club-record 85 points last season, and could boost their hopes of a shock Scudetto with victory over the champions.
Like Juventus their record reads five wins from five, but unlike the Old Lady have no European hangover having been good value for their draw at the Etihad stadium.
Former Arsenal winger Gervinho looks a far cry from the player that struggled on English soil, with Mattia Destro, Juan Iturbe and Francesco Totti also equally influential.
Garcia’s managerial style have made him hot property, with the Frenchman recently being linked with the Arsenal job come the day Arsene Wenger leaves the hotseat at the Emirates.
Kevin Strootman is still yet to return from injury and, by the time the Dutchman comes back, his side could be well on their way to Serie A glory.
They must overcome past results to escape Turin with all of the points, whilst defeat could leave them trailing for the rest of the season.
Saturday evening’s clash promises to be a classic to advertise all aspects of Italian football.
The country’s top two prepare to do battle on centre stage for all of the world to see.
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