Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo must get back on track in the weekend’s Turin derby

It was an occasion that epitomised the term ‘bittersweet’, as Cristiano Ronaldo was presented with a commemorative shirt upon scoring 770 career goals, yet the main headlines laid elsewhere.

A shock 1-0 defeat against relegation-threatened Benevento prior to the international break has left Juve's title hopes hanging by a thread this season, so Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to inspire a win for the Old Lady in the Turin derby on Saturday afternoon.

A crucial victory for Benevento saw them euphorically end an 11-game winless run as more dropped points for Juve has all but ended their dreams of winning a 10th consecutive Serie A title, as pressure continues to mount on both the players and coaching staff.

Despite already having won the Supercoppa Italiana with a convincing 2-0 victory over Napoli and reaching yet another Coppa Italia final to seal a clash with Atalanta, I Bianconeri's erratic league form and European shortcomings mean the possibilities of two trophies may not even save Pirlo from losing his job this summer.

With the rumour mill fastly spinning about a remarkable return to Real Madrid for Ronaldo, he remains a Juventus player - for at least a few more months at least - and the prospect of a potential failure of a final season in Italy will be unfathomable to the Portuguese talisman.

The Old Lady's next Serie A fixture sees them travel across their city of origin for an away fixture with fellow Turinese outfit and derby rivals, 17th-placed Torino - who in the wake of Benveneto's victory over Juventus have emerged as the greater contenders for relegation to the Serie B.

Having lost 1-0 to Sampdoria with Antonio Candreva's goal proving to be the difference-maker, Il Toro have won just two of their last 13 games in all competitions and sit just one point clear of 18th-placed Cagliari, as they desperately fight for survival.

In a must-win game for both teams, Ronaldo could well be the difference-maker on the pitch as the whispers continue about his future off it.

Tip of the Fixture

Although Juventus should have enough firepower to win this one, Il Toro are clinging on to their place as a top-flight and could pose a bigger threat to Juventus than many will expect.

Paddy Power are offering odds of 3/1 for the two teams to be drawing at half-time and I Bianconeri to prevail in the second half.

(Prices correct at time of writing, subject to change).

Stat attack

CR7 has never lost against Torino, having won four games and drawing once in five Serie A games since the 2018/19 season, leaving him with an impressive win percentage of 80%.

Additionally, all of Ronaldo's goal contributions against Il Toro have come in just three of the five games, producing three goals and one assist, averaging out as a goal contribution every 1.25 games.

Juventus have scored nine goals in matches that Ronaldo has played, keeping two clean sheets as opposed to Torino who have scored just three and kept zero clean sheets.

The Stade Olimpico Grande Torino will play host to this weekend's fixture and it is a place in which the Portugal international has endured great success, with a 100% win record and notably scoring the winner there in the 2018/19 season.

Ronaldo has 30 goals and four assists to his name so far in all competitions, and after failing to record a goal contribution in his last game, we can only expect this tally to increase at the weekend.

Memorable matches

Juventus 4-1 Torino

Serie A

July 4, 2020

A first club free-kick goal for Ronaldo contributed to a 4-1 win for Juventus who were hardly troubled by Torino for all 90 minutes.

Paulo Dybala gave the hosts an early lead, after wriggling through a sea of Torino shirts, the Argentine was able to execute a pinpoint curling finish in the bottom-left corner after just three minutes.

Just over 20 minutes later and I Bianconeri were at it again, a skilful Ronaldo run teased the opposition defence and allowed Juan Cuadrado to make a darting run forward who latched on to the Portuguese winger's pass to double the lead.

Despite Belotti halving the deficit for Torino on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot, CR7 put the game beyond doubt with a superb free-kick, effortlessly swerving the ball into the top left corner from 30-yards to make it 3-1.

A late Torino own-goal all but confirmed what was already known as Ronaldo superbly won his side the game in Turin.

Torino 0-1 Juventus

Serie A

December 15, 2018

A second-half Ronaldo penalty secured another win for Juventus as the reigning champions continued their charge for another title, extending their league unbeaten run to 16 games.

Both sides had chances to win the game prior to the spotkick, Belotti and Izzo came close for the hosts and Bianconeri had a flurry of first-half chances, but the tie remained goalless for all of 70 minutes.

With Torino holding their breath at the thought of a goalless draw with the reigning champions, a thought was all it ever really was as Mario Mandzukic was brought down in the Torino box and Juventus were awarded a penalty.

As reliable as ever, Ronaldo converted in style to seal another away win for Juventus.

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