Former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has backed Juventus to win the Serie A title once again this season. The Bianconeri have endured a tough start to the season, as they come to terms with life under new manager Andrea Pirlo at Turin.
Juventus parted ways with Maurizio Sarri in August this year, even though they won the league last season and installed Pirlo at the helm of the club. A lot is expected from the former Italian midfielder because he has one of the best squads in the country under his watch.
However, his team has been plagued by inconsistency, which has seen them draw six of their first 12 games in the league. Despite their bad start to the season, Juventus are third in the table, four points behind leaders AC Milan.
Benitez believes that the Bianconeri could very well lift another league title at the end of the season.
Juventus will be involved in a three-way battle for the Serie A, says Benitez
When Juventus won back-to-back games against Torino and Genoa at the start of the month, it was the first time that Pirlo’s wards had managed to win two consecutive games in the league this season.
However, the team's winning run was halted in the 1-1 draw against Atalanta on Wednesday. That game summed up the Bianconeri’s 2020/21 season in a nutshell.
Rafa Benitez, who won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, believes that the Old Lady are still the favorites to win the Serie A title.
The Spaniard acknowledged AC Milan, AS Roma, and Sassuolo’s recent form, but believes that, in the end, it will be a three-way title race between Inter Milan, Juventus, and his former side Napoli.
"Milan have many merits, they are doing well and Sassuolo and Roma are doing well too. I don’t know the truth, but I imagine that, in the end, it becomes a challenge between Inter, Juve and Napoli," Benitez told Corriere dello Sport.
AC Milan have been riding high so far this season, inspired by age-defying performances from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Benitez expects Juventus to overtake them eventually. However, the Spaniard seemed to be skeptical about Pirlo’s relative inexperience at Turin.
"COVID-19 has changed habits, reduced and almost canceled the pre-season retreat. The values will emerge at a distance and the fact that Juve opted for a rookie coach will come out," noted Benitez.
Juventus visit Parma next on Saturday in the Serie A, while Milan face a tricky fixture against Sassuolo on Sunday.Published 17 Dec 2020, 22:41 IST