Serie A Preview: Juventus v Bologna
By Football News
Bologna will have to overcome a poor away record in order to dent Juventus' Serie A title bid and simultaneously boost their survival hopes.
Bologna - who are 17th with 28 points, just three above the relegation zone - have only won twice away from the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara this season.
Those away-day woes look unlikely to change at the Juventus Stadium on Saturday, with Antonio Conte's side having won all 16 of their league fixtures on home turf this term.
Indeed, Juve have lost just twice in Serie A all campaign and - after passing a potentially tricky encounter 2-0 at Udinese on Monday - they could move to within two victories of collecting a third consecutive league title.
Juve are eight points clear at the top with five games remaining, and Conte will be keen for his charges to wrap up the title before visiting second-placed Roma on May 9.
One potential distraction could be Thursday's UEFA Europa League semi-final first-leg tie at Benfica, with the final set to be held at the Juventus Stadium.
However, goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon is confident of challenging on both fronts.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, he said: "Our objectives? We want the Scudetto and the Europa League, to return to being among the best in Europe.
"The Europa League is not a requirement but it is definitely a goal that could be within our reach, or is within our reach."
Centre-back Leonardo Bonucci and versatile right-sided player Stephan Lichtsteiner are both suspended for Juve, while Conte must decide whether to return top scorer Carlos Tevez (thigh) and midfielder Arturo Vidal (knee) to the starting line-up after the duo were only deemed fit enough for the bench at Udinese.
In contrast to Juve's title ambitions, Bologna have hit a lean patch at the wrong time and will be desperate to complete one of the biggest upsets of the season.
Davide Ballardini's side have picked up just seven points from the last 30 available to them, dragging them into the dogfight at the bottom.
The visitors' problems have largely been in attack this season, only bottom side Catania have registered fewer than Bologna's paltry league return of 27 goals this term.