Bonucci not expecting home comforts against Roma

4 October 2014 11:15

Leonardo Bonucci believes Roma will provide Juventus with a sterner test than in previous years when they meet in Turin on Sunday.

Juve host Roma in a mouth-watering Serie A clash between the two title favourites, both of whom have claimed maximum points from their first five league games.

Roma were Juve’s closest challengers for the Serie A crown last season, going 17 league matches unbeaten before they suffered a 3-0 loss to Bonucci and his team-mates at the turn of the year, a game in which the Italy centre-back found the net for the hosts and Rudi Garcia’s side were reduced to nine men.

The capital club will be out to avenge that setback this time around, although recent history is against them, with Juve having won their last four home games with Roma by three goals or more.

Bonucci is not expecting the same scenario to play out this time around.

“We are stronger, we’ve demonstrated that on the pitch over the past three years,” Bonucci told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“But Roma have grown, both technically and in terms of self-esteem. I expect a much different challenge to the strolls we have had at home in recent years.”

The 27-year-old insists it is too early to suggest that the contest will have a pivotal impact on the title race.

“It is too early to arrive at particular conclusions,” he added. “For sure the Scudetto is still between us and Roma. The rest of the group seems pretty far away.”

While Juve may be excelling domestically again as they bid to secure a fourth straight Scudetto, they were handed a first defeat of the campaign in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, losing 1-0 to Atletico Madrid.

Bonucci indicated that a lack of bravery going forward may have been to blame for that reverse at Vicente Calderon.

“Maybe in Europe we lack a bit of personality,” he said. “In Madrid we limited ourselves to our task diligently, while at one point it was necessary to be more daring.”