Serie A Preview: Juventus v Roma
By Football News
Juventus have the chance to equal Roma's 10-match Serie A winning record when they host the men from the capital on Sunday.
Rudi Garcia's charges opened the season with 10 successive victories to set a new Italian top-flight record, but their opponents this weekend are threatening to surpass that achievement.
Since a 4-2 defeat at Fiorentina in October, Juventus have been unstoppable in the league, winning nine consecutive games and keeping clean sheets in all bar one - a 4-1 triumph at Atalanta last time out.
Their form has also seen them surge to the top of the table as they chase a third consecutive Serie A crown, five points clear of Roma in second.
Juve have already toppled third-placed Napoli on their run and, with the Turin outfit and Roma occupying the top two spots in the division, Francesco Totti is predicting a derby-style atmosphere to the match.
"The Rome derby is a unique encounter, but games against Juventus are like a second derby for me," he told Il Messaggero. "It was like that when I was a fan, seeing as there has always been a footballing hatred between the two.
"We have beaten the best this season, we are just missing Juventus.
"We are not interested in the draw, we want to win."
The men from the Italian capital do not have recent history on their side, having won just two of the last 16 fixtures between the sides.
Despite history favouring the hosts at the Juventus Stadium, Totti feels Roma have better individual players than their opponents.
"On an individual basis - one against one - we are better than Juve, but they are better as a team," he added. "The difference is that they have known each other for a while, and they’ve won which helps you to win (more)."
Andrea Pirlo could be in line for a place in the matchday squad for Juve after recovering from a knee injury, though the fixture may come too soon for him, while Marco Borriello remains a doubt for Roma.
Juve will be relieved to have Carlos Tevez in contention after the Argentinian was late coming back from his homeland over the new year, with reports suggesting he was caring for his pregnant wife.