Lazio vs Juventus is set to take place at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening, with the two sides meeting in a vital fixture. Lazio are still without a win against any of Serie A’s big-six clubs this season and Juventus are the only team left in the league who are unbeaten. On paper, this looks to be a tough clash for the Biancocelesti, and one of nearly impossible difficulty. However, with a little bit of luck and spirit on the pitch, Inzaghi’s side could prove to be more of a test for Juventus than initially expected.
Lazio vs Juventus – Opposition Preview
Juventus are the best team in Italy; by some considerable distance. Juventus’ continued spell of dominance in the league has left all other teams merely scrambling in the dust kicked up by their multi-million-euro heels. The €110m signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer all-but confirmed that Juventus would win the league, yet again, and so far nobody has come along to stop them.
In their last ten games, Juventus have failed to win just twice – in a 2-2 away draw with Atalanta in Serie A and a 2-1 away loss to Swiss side Young Boys in the final match of the Champions League group stage. Away from home, Juventus have won all but these two games in all competitions, a statistic that does not bode well for Simone Inzaghi’s side ahead of Lazio vs Juventus.
The last time Lazio won at home to Juventus came in 2013, where goals from Gonzalez and Floccari gave the team a 2-1 win in the semi-final of the Coppa Italia to send them through to that final against Roma. However, Lazio defeated Juventus twice last season – once in the Supercoppa Italiana and once in Serie A, 3-2 and 2-1 respectively. This will give the side some cause for optimism as they take on this difficult Sunday night challenge.
Juventus will be without Andrea Barzagli and Mario Mandzukic, still, with questions raised over the availability of Joao Cancelo, Juan Cuadrado, Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic; who could all be set to miss the tie through injury. With this in mind, Lazio could have an advantage given the key players missing for the Bianconeri; yet the Champions still have more than enough quality to compensate for their injuries.
Lazio vs Juventus – Biancocelesti View
Lazio come into the game with Juventus with three wins, one draw and one defeat in their last five games; the loss coming last weekend against Napoli – in a match marred by the unfair dismissal of Francesco Acerbi, after Jose Callejon was seen to have dived. The red card came just five minutes after Lazio pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 and took all of the momentum out of what could have been a dramatic draw, or even late victory, for Inzaghi’s side.
Lazio will, therefore, be without Francesco Acerbi – who has been, by far and away, the side’s best central defender so far this season. Adam Marusic will also miss the game and likely so will Luiz Felipe, who has suffered a muscle injury. Therefore, Lazio will likely have to put together a make-shift defence featuring Wallace, Radu and Bastos; with either Patric on the right flank or Lulic moved over to the right and Durmisi given a chance to play down the left flank.
Lazio, to come away with anything against Juventus, need to escape the blackout they have fallen into time and time again over the past two seasons. Momentary lapses in Lazio concentration costs them big games more than anything else and the team can give their all but often it won’t be enough to make up for these mistakes, especially not against teams of Juventus’ quality.
Lazio vs Juventus – Predicted Formations
Lazio: Strakosha; Bastos, Radu, Wallace; Durmisi, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Parolo, Lulic; Luis Alberto, Immobile
Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Emre Can, Bentancur, Matuidi; Dybala, Ronaldo, Douglas Costa
Lazio vs Juventus Prediction
It promises to be a great game and, if Lazio weren’t to have fallen to defeat against a rotated Napoli last weekend, I would almost say that the Biancocelesti could edge this and bring to an end the Bianconeri’s unbeaten run. So if I was going with my heart I would say a 2-1 Lazio victory but, realistically, Juventus still hold so much more quality than Lazio that it will be difficult for the Biancocelesti to do anything but fall to a defeat on Sunday.
Lazio 1-2 Juventus
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