Can misfiring Ronaldo open his account against Sassuolo?
The story so far...
After leaving Real Madrid teammates, fans and supporters shell-shocked, when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus, he was pitted as the next top scorer in the Italian League. However, the plan has not worked out perfectly for Ronaldo so far.
In his first three appearances for the Bianconeri, Ronaldo is still in search of his goalscoring boots. It is quite unusual for the Portuguese talisman to be in such a situation, given his goal-scoring standards.
Adapting Ronaldo and the Capocannoniere...
But since he has turned 30, this early season goal drought has become a norm for him. He has had overcome these little jitters in the past with Los Blancos. In the current campaign, he is with a new team, a new set of supporters and altogether a different footballing atmosphere.
It has never been easy to score in the Italian League. This could be concluded from the fact that no footballer has crossed the 40 goal mark ever in the league.
The highest number of goals scored to win the Capocannoniere is 36, by both Gino Rossetti for Torino in 1928–29 and Gonzalo Higuaínfor Napoli in 2015–16. (Source: Wikipedia)
After observing Cristiano for the last three seasons, it would be a high-risk gamble to bet on him to overcome the aforesaid record. But in football, champions are decided by these statistics. And we know that when going gets tough, the tough get going.
The fixture ahead...
After Lazio, Cristiano will confront his next opponent Sassuolo this weekend. They are visiting Allianz Stadium for the second home game of Juventus. The visitors have always found life difficult at the stadium and were utterly dominated by the hosts in their recent fixtures. In their last visit to the venue, they shipped in seven goals, the favourite number of Cristiano.
Given the record of Juventus against Sassuolo, one can safely bet on Cristiano to open his goalscoring account. However, in the current campaign, Sassuolo is sitting second in the table. Therefore, the forecast is a tough match ahead on Sunday evening.
Cristiano should be benefited by the international break during which he was relieved from Portugal duties. This would help him go to the match afresh, and it is a known fact what transpires whenever the champion goal-scorer is handed some rest.
Cristiano will be determined to find the back of the net, knowing that he is lagging behind amongst the top scorers in Europe. In Europe's top five leagues, the leading goalscorers are the usual suspects.
They have already bagged in 4 goals apiece: Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema in LaLiga, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in Ligue 1, while Sadio Mane and Aleksandar Mitrovic are leading the charts in the Premier League.
Last but not the least, the fact that should keep Cristiano motivated is the dancing and waving tongues of his critics. Whenever he has been criticised, he has come out with his fierce goalscoring boots in the past.
The greatest of all time has always come up with a solution to silence his critics. We will have to wait till Sunday evening to find an answer to whether or not the Sassuolo defence can keep the superstar at bay.