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Ronaldo's Juve ready to seal Serie A before Ajax decider

AFP  |  Milan 

Cristiano Ronaldo's to SPAL on Saturday needing just a point to wrap up an eighth consecutive title in record time before their crucial decider against in next week.

returned from to score a precious away goal for Juventus in their 1-1 quarter-final, first leg draw in on Wednesday, and the 34-year-old can claim his first title to add to his two in with Real Madrid and three with Manchester United.

It would be a 28th trophy in four countries for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, a haul which includes five Champions League, and the Euro 2016 title with

Juventus have a 20-point advantage on second-placed Napoli and a draw would seal their 35th 'Scudetto' with six games to spare -- the earliest any team has ever sealed -- thanks to their superior head-to-head record over Carlo Ancelotti's side.

SPAL, 16th and just four points above the drop zone, had eased their relegation fears with three consecutive wins that included victories over Champions League-chasing and Roma, but lost last weekend at Cagliari.

dogged side also have history against them, as they have beaten Juventus just once in their history, way back in 1957.

Given the relative weakness of the weekend's opposition, may not want to risk ahead of Tuesday's decider and could rotate his side.

and came off the bench at ahead of highly-rated teenager Moise Kean, who had scored five goals in as many games for Juventus.

All three could start against SPAL.

looks set to work overtime with defenders Giorgio Chiellini, and all out injured.

"Let's close down the championship on Saturday," urged Bonucci.

Second-placed Napoli travel to bottom looking for a boost after their demoralising 2-0 quarter-final, first leg defeat at Arsenal.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are without a win in three games and next week host Arsenal in their Stadio San Paulo hoping for a miracle.

- Champions League hunt heats up -

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Inter Milan, seven points behind Napoli, can consolidate third place at second-from-bottom Frosinone after last weekend's draw against fellow Europe-chasers Atalanta.

Inter are five points ahead of both Atalanta and fourth-placed city rivals AC who occupy the final Champions League berth but have taken just one point from their last four games.

Gennaro Gattuso's also have Roma, Torino and within three points of them as they host Simone Inzaghi's capital club at the San Siro days after ordered another probe into the club for Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.

Claudio Ranieri's Roma play Udinese looking to build on last weekend's gutsy win at Sampdoria.

"Obviously the Sampdoria game was a confidence boost for us all, but for now we need to keep doing what we're doing," said Ranieri.

"We need the fans to get behind us and realise that this is a key game for us.

"We're in the hunt for places -- that's where we want to finish and the fans share that." will begin his second stint as of mid-table Fiorentina at home against Bologna on Sunday.

His team's hopes of qualifying for next season's have plummeted after a terrible run of form that has left them 12 points off the second-tier European competition.

The Tuscan side have just one win from their last 10 games.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 09:35 IST
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