Bologna forward Nicola Sansone has gone public to issue a top-four warning to Juventus ahead of the season finale on Sunday. The Italian insists mid-table Rossoblu will fight tooth and nail to derail the Turin side’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
“When I became a professional, I stopped cheering, but as a child, I was rooting for the Milanese, never Turin,” Sansone told Corriere Dello Sport as relayed by MilanNews.
“We will give it our all. I don’t want Juventus in the Champions League, hoping that the others will win as well.“
Juventus are embroiled in a keenly-contested top-four race with AC Milan and Napoli as the three heavyweights battle it out for the remaining two Champions League slots. With just a single point separating the sides ahead of the final kick-off, no contender can afford a slip-up on Sunday evening.
Despite trailing Milan and Napoli by a point, the Bianconeri have a legitimate chance of securing a top-four finish as the Rossoneri take on high-flying Atalanta in Bergamo. Indeed, it’s less reasonable to expect the Partenopei to fail to beat out-of-form Hellas Verona at home.
Maths aside, the record-time Serie A champions first and foremost need to beat Bologna at Renato Dall’Ara to at least hope they can upset the other rivals. Given Juventus’ imperious run against the Emilia-Romagna outfit in the 21st century, it seems to be a matter of how many goals they will put past Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side.
However, football often doesn’t follow the script, which gives the Rossoblu a glimmer of hope that they can claim their first top-flight win against Juve in the new millennium.
Stakes are high for the visitors. Not only their Champions League hopes are on the line. The futures of head coach Andrea Pirlo and headline performer Cristiano Ronaldo are also hanging in the balance.
The inexperienced Italian tactician could be axed if his side fail to reach the Champions League finish. Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s football legacy rests on his astonishing accomplishments in Europe’s elite club competition. So it’s hard to see the 36-year-old remain in Turin without the Champions League lustre.
Based on that, it’s easy to assume Juventus will be under extreme pressure to capture all three points tonight.
Therefore, Bologna can try to exploit the tensions and some tired legs within Pirlo’s team to stage a miracle and do a massive favor to Milan and Napoli in the process.