Del Neri: Winners can fight for Scudetto

Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri believes whoever wins Saturday's clash between his team and Claudio Ranieri's Roma, will be able to fight for the Serie A title this season. The two sides are separated by just one point in fifth and sixth, with Juve's nose marginally in front.

It is one of three matches pairing two teams in the top six this weekend and Del Neri believes victory will prove that that team has what it takes to go all the way. But for his side to come out on top, he says they need to do better at converting their chances than they managed in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Brescia.

"I wouldn't say the draw at Brescia was a missed opportunity, the point was a fair result," he said. "We never expect to have an easy life when we take to the pitch, we know that to win you have to fight. But against Roma we'll need to be more clinical, to show the character we showed at the San Siro against AC Milan (a 2-1 victory).

"The group is important, we have the right attitude to produce results. Here, we have the right mentality, when we score a goal the whole bench jumps up to celebrate with the goalscorer. To win you need a compact group and whoever wins (on Saturday) can continue to travel at speed and continue to think big."

While Juve added ten players to their squad in the off season, and are very much a work in progress, the majority of Roma's side have been together for years. But one player who Juve missed out, after choosing Rome over Turin, was forward Marco Borriello, and Del Neri says his team must be wary of the former Milan and Genoa frontman.

Against Roma we'll need to be more clinical (than against Brescia), to show the character we showed at the San Siro against AC Milan.
Luigi Del Neri, Juventus coach

"Roma's players know each other better than ours because they've been playing together for years and know each other by heart," added Del Neri. "We'll have to be careful of (Leandro) Greco, he's an interesting youngster. But also (Jeremy) Menez is in great form and then there are experienced players like (Francesco) Totti and (Mirko) Vucinic.

"At the end of the summer Borriello chose Roma, he didn't want to join us, it's a choice we respect. Roma have found a goal-scorer, a great player but last year they had another one, (Luca) Toni. Ranieri has done very well these last few years, he has the experience and quality to fight to the end to win something important."

After a disastrous start to the season, Roma have rebounded impressively and come into this game on the back of three straight wins. But Ranieri denied they were the more in form of the two sides.

"I wouldn't say that, we're still behind them in the league and we have to win," he said. "We're talking about a great team (Juve) that's fighting for the title and is committed to the last and has players who can settle a match in any moment, I know them well. We'll have to be very careful and not make any mistakes."

However, unlike Del Neri, Ranieri doesn't believe this match will be decisive for either team's title chances.

"It won't be these 90 minutes that determine whether or not we're capable of fighting for the title. Our group have twice come within one step of the Scudetto, we've got fight and quality, but we have to take one game at a time."