Serie A: Juventus goalkeeper Buffon eyes record in clash against Torino
Buffon was last beaten by Antonio Cassano in the 64th minute of the 2-1 win over Sampdoria on January 10. He has since kept 10 successive clean sheets, a total of 936 minutes, and needs to save a goal for just four minutes on Saturday to break the record.
Buffon was last beaten by Antonio Cassano in the 64th minute of the 2-1 win over Sampdoria on January 10. He has since kept 10 successive clean sheets, a total of 936 minutes, and needs to save a goal for just four minutes on Saturday to break the record. (Getty Images)
Milan: Veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon will set a Serie A record for the longest spell without conceding a goal if he is not beaten inside four minutes when leaders Juventus face local rivals Torino on Sunday.
Second-placed Napoli will be hoping Juve, possibly rattled by a traumatic Champions League elimination by Bayern Munich on Wednesday, finally slip up after a run of 18 wins and a draw in their last 19 Serie A games.
Buffon, who has won six domestic titles, was last beaten by Antonio Cassano in the 64th minute of the 2-1 win over Sampdoria on January 10. He has since kept 10 successive clean sheets, a total of 936 minutes.
He reached Dino Zoff's second-best time of 903 minutes in the 1-0 victory over Sassuolo and is poised to overtake Sebastiano Rossi's aggregate of 939 minutes, for AC Milan in the 1993-94 season.
It would be another achievement for the 38-year-old, who is in his 15th season at Juve, is Italy's most capped player, has played at four World Cups and was an unused reserve at the 1998 tournament.
Buffon, however, was beaten four times in 28 minutes as Juve lost 4-2 to Bayern on Wednesday.
Torino, who are 13th in the table, are looking to avoid what happened in last year's 3-2 defeat at Genoa where they threw away a two-goal lead.
"If we play the derby like we did for the first half hour against Genoa we can play against any of the big teams," said coach Giampiero Venturi.
"If we play like we did for the remaining 60 minutes we will be in difficulties against any team, not just Juve."
Napoli, who are three points off the pace and chasing their first title since 1990, are desperate for a favour from Torino who beat Juve 2-1 in the corresponding fixture last season.
Despite their own impressive form and an outstanding season from striker Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli have been unable to keep pace with Juve who are seeking a fifth successive title.
Napoli host Genoa on Sunday and captain Marek Hamsik said he was still confident.
"We're hoping for a slip-up from Juventus ... we are ready to take advantage," the Slovakian said in a radio interview.
"The dream is possible. It will be a great finale and the remaining games will be nine finals."
Saturday features a key match in the battle for third place, which earns a place in next season's Champions League playoff round, as AS Roma host Inter Milan.
A run of eight successive league wins has catapulted Roma into third spot with 59 points while Inter, who led the way early in the season, are fifth with 54.
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