Importance of a Lazio victory against Juventus
Lazio has had a terrific start to the 2019/20 Serie A season. As the end of the first half of the season approaches, the Biancocelesti sit in third place in the standings, just seven points behind Inter and six points behind Juventus for first and second place, respectively. Furthermore, they are unbeaten in their last nine matches and on a six-match winning streak; players such as Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa are confidently leading the lines this season, and Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have regained the same sort of form that they experienced with the club back in the 2017/18 season. This has resulted in Lazio finding themselves in a good position to reach UEFA Champions League football for next season. However, their next match is against Juventus; one of the most important matches the club will be playing this season. Although the Bianconeri have failed to reach their true potential this season, they still remain unbeaten, and this should not be overlooked by Lazio.
Lazio have been their own enemy in recent seasons for failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. In 2017/18, their fate was not decided until the final game of the season; the Biancocelesti played the Nerazzurri at the Stadio Olimpico and while Inter absolutely needed a win, Lazio solely needed a point to clinch the fourth spot in the standings. However, they came up short losing 2-1, finding themselves once again waiting another season to try to return to the European competition. In 2018/19, Lazio yet again was in a good position at the winter break in December. The Biancocelesti were in fourth place and were playing good football up until that point. Yet when the season resumed in January, it did not go in the direction which Simone Inzaghi had hoped. Due to playing in various competitions (UEFA Europa League, Coppa Italia, and Serie A) at the same time, the lack of depth in the squad and injuries were two issues that the manager and club failed to overcome. Ultimately, the team finished in eighth place, salvaging their season with a Coppa Italia victory which qualified the club for the UEFA Europa League once again.
The Biancocelesti must take full advantage of their match against Juventus. Entering the match, they find themselves in the best possible form and full of confidence. Immobile leads the league in the goal category with 17 and Luis Alberto leads the league in the assist category with nine. The two have shown to play very well together and have been a major factor in Lazio’s success. Correa has also been strong upfront with six goals; it is encouraging to see that the club has found scoring aside from Immobile. Additionally, Francesco Acerbi has done a great job in the backfield, continuing to be a leader in defense. Furthermore, Lazio’s players have supported each other and are finding ways to win this season. Their victories have come in the form of late winners – such as Felipe Caicedo’s goal versus Sassuolo – or multiple goals from a player such as Ciro Immobile. This team overall has shown consistency and determination in the Serie A.
Some may be quick to judge that Lazio has won against weaker opponents during their winning streak. However, they have won against Milan – a club they struggled to defeat for 30 years at the San Siro – in addition to a very good young Fiorentina squad. Most importantly, they are winning the matches that they must win to find themselves in a top-four spot and be considered contenders for the UEFA Champions League. For this reason, their upcoming match against Juventus is even more important as they must start defeating the higher-ranked teams. A victory not only will bring them three points back of Juventus but it will keep them in a spot for the Scudetto which was unexpected for this team. Although it is early in the season, it is still possible to achieve. Expect Inzaghi to have his men fully prepared as the coach seems to have learned a lot.