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Juventus need point aganist Samp to seal title

01 May 2015, 10:02

Milan - Juventus need just a single point at Sampdoria to clinch their fourth successive Serie A title on Saturday (1600 GMT) and their out-of-sorts opponents seem unlikely to deny them.

Samp have had a better-than-expected season but faltered badly in recent weeks, failing to win any of their last five games and seeing their chances of qualifying for the Champions League vanish.

The run, which has left them fifth with 51 points, has come amid uncertainty over the future of coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who has transformed the side since taking over 18 months ago but has not committed himself to the club beyond the end of the season.

They were dealt a further blow this week when forward Eder suffered a knee injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Mihajlovic, typically, has not minced his words about the poor run.

Players such as forward Luis Muriel, who has scored four goals since his move from Udinese in January, should make more of their talent and potential, he said.

"Luis Muriel needs to take responsibility for himself. He has to improve in the way he interprets the game and be ever-present, not take so many breaks," said Mihajlovic.

Also Read: Juve needs a point at Sampdoria to start title party

"He has enormous potential and could score a goal every time he steps on to the pitch. We have absolute faith in Muriel and are working to help him improve."

Forward Stefano Okaka was another who needed to do more, Mihajlovic said.

"He works very hard but also needs to do better."

Juventus (76 points) beat Fiorentina 3-2 on Wednesday but second-placed Lazio's 4-0 win over Parma put their title celebrations on hold.

Juve have lost only three league matches all season but two of those came in their last two away games as they try to juggle Serie A with their Champions League campaign.

A crop of injuries has added to their problems.

"When you are 14 points in front, it is natural to have some losses in concentration," said coach Massimiliano Allegri.

"There are also many players who haven't been available this season for long periods, so the others had to carry on throughout and not rest as much as I'd have liked."

Lazio (62 points) charged up the table with a run of eight successive wins, which ended with a recent defeat to Juventus, and their main focus will be to hold onto second and claim the Champions League group stage place that goes with it.

The visit Atalanta on Sunday (1400 GMT) while AS Roma, one point behind in third (which brings a Champions League playoff spot) host sixth-placed Genoa (1030 GMT).

Roma, who were neck-and-neck with Juventus for the first half of the season, now have a five-point cushion over Napoli after Rafael Benitez's side crashed 4-2 at Empoli on Thursday.

However, Napoli should get three points on Sunday (1845 GMT)against an AC Milan side in disarray after going four matches without a win and sitting in 10th place.

- Reuters


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