Serie A: Juventus's goalie Buffon seeks personal record in tie against Inter Milan
Juventus goalkeeper Buffon hasn't t conceded a goal in the league in 745 minutes. The record is held by Sebastiano Rossi, who kept a clean sheet for 929 consecutive minutes for AC Milan from December 12 1993 to February 27 1994.
Juventus goalkeeper Buffon hasn't t conceded a goal in the league in 745 minutes. The record is held by Sebastiano Rossi, who kept a clean sheet for 929 consecutive minutes for AC Milan from December 12 1993 to February 27 1994. (Getty Images)
Milan: Juventus might have been halted in their tracks in search of another record, but goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is within touching distance of one — or 184 minutes to be precise.
Juve's run of consecutive league victories was ended at 15 — two short of Inter Milan's Serie A record — by last Friday's goalless draw at Bologna.
But it was a seventh clean sheet in a row for Buffon, who haven't conceded a goal in the league in 745 minutes.
Another shutout, against fierce rivals Inter on Sunday, would move Buffon up to third on the list of goalkeepers who have gone unbeaten the longest in Serie A.
The record is held by Sebastiano Rossi, who kept a clean sheet for 929 consecutive minutes for AC Milan from December 12. 1993 to February 27. 1994, beating the previous mark set by former Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff in 1972-73 by 26 minutes.
Mario Da Pozzo (791 minutes), Ivan Pelizzoli (774) and Davide Pinato (758) — who are all retired — are the only other ones above Buffon.
The Italy goalkeeper has conceded just one league goal in 2016, Antonio Cassano's strike for Sampdoria.
Buffon will be helped by the fact that defensive kingpin Giorgio Chiellini is back in training after injury and should return against Inter.
Juventus will move four points clear with a win, with second-place Napoli not playing until the following day, against Fiorentina. Also Monday, Lazio hosts Sassuolo.
On Sunday, it's: Palermo versus Bologna; Carpi versus Atalanta; Chievo Verona versus Genoa; Sampdoria versus Frosinone; and Udinese versus Hellas Verona.
Roma visit Empoli on Saturday ahead of Milan's match against Torino.
Here are some things to know about Serie A entering this weekend's matches:
DYBALA LINES UP AGAINST FORMER SUITORS
Matches between Juventus and Inter are always fiercely-contested.
There is no love lost between the two clubs and the so-called Derby d'Italia is an intense affair.
There will be two in the space of a week.
Title-chasing Juventus welcome their bitter rivals Inter, who are fighting for third, on Sunday, three days before Massimiliano Allegri's men travel in the opposite direction for the second leg of their Italian Cup semifinal — which Juventus lead 3-0.
Paulo Dybala scored the third goal in that match. However, he could have found himself on the other side.
"Before coming to Juve I spoke with (Inter coach Roberto) Mancini," Dybala said. "I of course thanked him for having called me, but I always wanted to play with Juve. From the first day I found out Juve was interested in me I never thought about any other team."
The Argentine is in fine form with 13 league goals. He scored his first in the Champions League on Tuesday, to get his side back in the game as Juventus fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Bayern Munich.
IT'S ALL TO PLAY FOR
It's judgment weekend in Serie A.
Two teams bidding for the final Champions League spot take on teams battling for the title in mouthwatering matches in Italy.
Inter have slipped to fifth, four points below Fiorentina and two behind Roma in an intriguing fight for third place.
However, third spot might not be the only thing up for grabs as defeat for the top two would blow the title race wide open again. Fiorentina could close the gap to the summit to just three points.
MENEZ CONTINUES HIS COMEBACK
Jeremy Menez is returning to action at the perfect time for AC Milan.
Menez, who was the club's top scorer last season with 16 goals, came off the bench against Napoli and Genoa as he makes his comeback from 10 months out injured.
While unlikely to dispose of the first-choice attacking pair of Carlos Bacca and M'Baye Niang, Menez offers an alternative and could even sit behind the two strikers.
He will also offer fierce competition to Mario Balotelli — who is also getting back to full fitness — in the attacking substitutes pecking order.
Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has said that if Balotelli "wises up" and proves his worth the club "would be happy even to make an economic sacrifice to keep" the Italy forward, who is on loan from Liverpool.
This healthy competition up front could be the push Milan need to get back into the Champions League. It is currently sixth, eight points behind Fiorentina.
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