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Juventus look to wrap up Champions League spot amid dismal run

Juventus look to wrap up Champions League spot amid dismal run


They also face Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final on May 15

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(Reuters) - Juventus have endured a terrible run, winning one of their last eight Serie A games, but victory at AS Roma on Sunday will be enough to book their spot in next season's Champions League with three matches left to play.

Massimiliano Allegri's side, who missed out on European competition this season after they were docked 10 points last May in a case centred on the club's transfer dealings, saw their title challenge disintegrate due to a dismal drop in form.

Yet Allegri's goal of returning them to Europe's elite club competition is now within touching distance. They sit third on 65 points from 34 games, behind champions Inter Milan and second-placed AC Milan.

With Serie A having earned a fifth Champions League spot due to Italian teams' overall success in Europe, three points at the Stadio Olimpico this weekend would mean Juve could not drop out of the qualification places.

They also face Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final on May 15, meaning they could yet end the campaign with a trophy, their first since they lifted the Italian Cup in 2020-21.

"I was always told nothing is certain in life," Allegri said after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Milan on Saturday, having celebrated his 300th Serie A match on the Juventus bench.

"I am very pleased with the work the lads have done. We were given two objectives this season, and we are very close to achieving both of them."

Milan sealed their Champions League berth after Napoli drew 2-2 at home to Roma last weekend and they will hope to enjoy a less testing weekend when they host 12th-placed Genoa on Sunday, after facing Juventus and Inter in their previous two games.

It is looking less and less likely that coach Stefano Pioli will still be in the job next season, with Julen Lopetegui a likely successor.

Yet keeping hold of second spot in the table will allow Pioli, who led Milan to the title in 2022, to depart on a positive note.

Bologna, on 63 points, secured their return to Europe after 22 years last weekend but Thiago Motta's side will hope to edge another step closer to their ultimate goal -- qualifying for the Champions League for the first time -- when they travel to 10th-placed Torino on Friday.

Sixth-placed Atalanta visit already-relegated Salernitana on Monday before Napoli, in ninth, will look to maintain their slim hopes of reaching the European spots at relegation-threatened Udinese later that day.

Champions Inter travel to relegation battlers Sassuolo on Saturday.