Giorgio Chiellini believes Juventus can end Napoli's title challenge

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Giorgio Chiellini

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini believes that a win over Napoli on Sunday would be the final blow on I Partenopei’s league title ambitions.

The Turin side head to Stadio San Paolo with a 13-point lead after taking 22 wins and three draws from 25 matches this campaign.

Napoli though have only lost once in the league since a 3-1 defeat to Juventus in September, but three draws in their last five games have seen Carlo Ancelotti’s side fall further behind the Old Lady in the title race.

“On Sunday we have another big game against a team who, in recent years, have made us sweat and then we’ll have plenty of time to prepare for the second leg against Atletico,” Chiellini told Sky Italia.

“Napoli deserve to be in the position they’re in. We’re doing something extraordinary, but we mustn’t think it’s over.

“Clearly a victory at the San Paolo would be the final knockout.”

The Italian also reflected on his team’s poor performance at the Wanda Metropolitano against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last-16 first leg, where the hosts won 2-0, hence taking a significant advantage to the return leg.

“We still had some waste from Madrid in our heads and legs against Bologna,” the 34-year-old said.

“You always pay the price for Champions League matches and we have another important one coming up, but we had to give an impression of solidity and we did that.

“Obviously we weren’t fluid, but it was difficult. We picked three important points and got over a heavy defeat.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo is a 'machine' as Leonardo Bonucci reveals Real Madrid offer

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Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo

Leonardo Bonucci has described Cristiano Ronaldo as a “machine” and is adamant Juventus can improve to win the Champions League with him in the side.

Ronaldo is Serie A’s top goalscorer this season having plundered 19 times in 24 outings. The Portuguese icon was brought in over the summer to help guide the Bianconeri to the coveted title, but that form hasn’t quite translated into Europe this season.

The 34-year-old has scored only once in his five group stage fixtures but will hope to make an impact during the two-legged last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid. And speaking to AS.com, Bonucci was full of praise for the forward.

“If someone like Cristiano arrives at the club, then inevitably you will improve,” he said of Ronaldo’s move from Real Madrid.

“Our clear ambition is to win the Champions League this season and that’s something we don’t hide from.

“His intensity and his straightforward manner of playing. He’s the first one to support the rest of the team with positive words.

“His manner of training is incredible, every day after training you’ll find him doing extra session in the club gymnasium.

“There are times when his levels of stamina are simply staggering. He’s a machine and I have great admiration for him.”

Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala

Bonucci revealed he actually had the opportunity to join Los Blancos last year before re-signing with Juve from AC Milan.

“I was expecting that question… Yes, it’s true, Madrid were after me and to be honest it’s an honour to have been linked with them,” he said.

“However, the call from Juventus and the desire to return home with my heart being black and white was too strong.”

Paulo Dybala ended a run of 10 games in all competitions without after scoring a sensational goal in the 3-0 win over Frosinone on Friday.

The Argentine forward has been linked with a move away from the Juventus Stadium, but Bonucci insists the 25-year-old is only getting better.

“I genuinely see Paulo doing well and maturing all the time,” the defender added.

“He’s not overly troubled about not scoring so many goals and is working hard for the team. He’s growing and we need to remember that he is still young. “

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Paulo Dybala praises Massimiliano Allegri for giving him freedom at Juventus

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Paulo Dybala has described Cristiano Ronaldo as a "normal guy".

Paulo Dybala believes he has been given freedom to play where he wants by Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri.

The Serie A leaders travel to play Atletico Madrid in the last-16 of the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

Juventus have lifted the European Cup twice, although not since 1996 and have lost two finals since, in 2015 and 2017.

Speaking to UEFA.com, Dybala was full of praise for coach Allegri despite a reported disagreement between the pair following an incident after a 3-3 draw against Parma in Serie A on February 2.

The Argentinian forward said: “I have learnt a great deal form him, particularly in terms of the way we work, how to be a model professional and being fully focused during training so that you know what to expect during games.

Dybala

“Right from the first day that I arrived here, he’s always given be the freedom to go out, perform and play where I wanted to.

“I think that trust is very important and it’s a really good feeling when a player feels they’re part of what such a big club is trying to achieve.”

Dybala admitted he compares current team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, having played with both.

He said: “I compare him (Ronaldo) to Leo Messi, because everyone else does, and I think that they’re two exceptional players.

“You learn a great deal from players and people like them, both on and off the field.”

On Ronaldo, he added: “(He) is a laid-back and normal guy, like the rest of us. That helps make you feel comfortable when you’re in the presence of such a player.”

Juve have finished as runners-up in the Champions League a record seven times, and Dybala wants to see his team change that record.

The 25-year-old believes the Bianconeri have shown their potential in the competition and their ability to challenge for the title.

“We’ve got a great squad with some top professionals, who have gained a lot of experience over the course of these years,” he added.

“We’re clearly contenders, but we have to go out there and prove it.”

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