Foot Predictions shows the Serie A clash on Saturday between Juventus and Lazio, including hunches, preview and possible lineups.
Juventus seek to keep the Scudetto defense alive on Saturday night, as they receive a Lazio side that could draw three points from the hosts with the victory in Turin.
After an inconsistent period, the champions risk losing contact with Inter’s leadership, while Aquile is desperate to remain in contention for a European spot at the end of the season.
Before the difficult midweek victory over Serie A rookie Spezia, Juventus have won just one of their last five games in all competitions – having won each of the previous six. A first hour that could have run anyway was followed by a strain of three goals in the last 30 minutes at the Allianz Stadium, with Juve finally coming out victorious in the Bianconeri battle.
With potentially definitive clashes – first against Lazio and then against Porto (as Juventus tries to overcome a 2-1 disadvantage in the Champions League) that will come in the next few days, coach under pressure Andrea Pirlo he was well aware that there could be no excuse for failing to dispel more modest opposition midweek.
With the confirmation of a new date for the controversial game postponed with Napoli – which will be played in fifteen days – the champions must return to their unforgiving best of previous years, although they have only done so intermittently this season.
Despite recent difficulties, Juventus have won their last six home games in Serie A, scoring at least twice on each occasion (17 in total) and keeping a clean score in the last four. In fact, throughout the season, Pirlo’s men used to be a tough proposition at home, with nine wins and two draws in 12 league games at their state-of-the-art home.
Perhaps not surprising, given the resources with which Pirlo had to work – even in the midst of a crisis of defensive injuries – Juventus also have the best defense in the league, with just two goals conceded in the last seven matches. Once again, at home, their statistics are even more pleasing to the eye, with a record of just eight goals scored throughout the season.
On the other side of the field, a man continues to lead the way for the Bianconeri and remains totally irreplaceable. With his late goal on Tuesday, the top scorer and candidate for Capocannoniere Cristiano Ronaldo – now with 20 Serie A goals in the 2020/21 campaign so far – he became the first player in the top five European leagues to register at least 20 goals in each of the last 12 seasons; proof of its unchanging consistency over the years.
After going through a saga very similar to that of Juventus last fall, when they faced Napoli, who did not show up, Lazio had extra time on the training ground to prepare for the trip to Turin.
Prepared to face the city’s second team on Friday night, the game was postponed just before the start of the game, as the virus-infected Torino was banned from traveling to Rome by local public health officials. Although Lazio and the referee team duly arrived at the Stadio Olimpico for the ‘ghost game’, the hoax was quickly brought to an end shortly thereafter.
Interestingly, although Simone InzaghiMen are likely to have an automatic 3-0 victory – naturally, Torino will have the right to appeal – one of the games being investigated for irregularities in its own COVID-19 test program was the reverse earlier this season, which could eventually see Lazio lose three points – which would then be handed over to Granata.
Leaving the controversy off the field, Lazio’s last appearance in the first division saw the team defeated 2-0 by Bologna in Dall’Ara last weekend, leaving the team in seventh place and with work to do to keep pace with other competitors for European football next season.
Perhaps still feeling the effects of the collapse of the Champions League at home against Bayern Munich, top scorer Ciro ImmobileThe unusually weak penalty from the first half was saved by the Bologna goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski and a few minutes later, Bologna assumed an unexpected leadership, which they would never give up.
After the disappointing defeat in Emilia, Aquile lost two of the last three league games – as many as in the previous 12 – and suffered that drop in morale at Bayern.
They will, however, have fond memories of the exciting conclusion of their last game against Juventus in November, which ended with a 1-1 draw in the supersub. Felipe Caicedo scored the equalizer for Biancocelesti in extra time.
Juventus Serie A form: WWLWDW
Juventus form (all competitions): DLLWDW
Lazio Serie A Form: WWWLWL
Lazio form (all competitions): WWLWLL
All news from the teams
The rear of Juventus, injured by injury, will remain insufficient on Saturday night, with Andrea Pirlo, again, without the injured Giorgio Chiellini, while both Leonardo Bonucci and Juan Cuadrado are doubtful and defenders Gianluca Frabotta is suspended after receiving another yellow card against Spezia. Yet, Ligt’s Matthijs supposedly recovered from the crash that made him miss Tuesday’s game, so the partner must Merih Demiral in central defense, allowing Alex Sandro to return to the left flank.
Injury-tormented forward Paulo Dybala and midfielder Arthur should also remain clear due to injuries, while Weston McKennie will seek to conclude the signing of a permanent contract after a successful loan period, maintaining its place in the XI, at the expense of the right and lost midfield option Aaron Ramsey.
Lazio full-back Manuel Lazzari will miss out on Saturday night’s events with a calf injury he sustained in his defeat in Bologna last weekend, while the defenders were injured Luiz Felipe and Stefan Radu they are long-term absences.
Most commonly, a midfielder, Marco Parolo must compete with error prone Wesley Hoedt and January signature Mateo Musacchio for a place on Simone Inzaghi’s three patched rears, next to Patric and Francesco Acerbi. Gonzalo Escalante returns from a ban, but will likely play the second violin for Lucas leiva in the central midfield.
After his lack of penalty at Dall’Ara, last year’s Capocannoniere Ciro Immobile scored only once in his last five matches, but will start alongside the favorite team Joaquin Correa in attack.
Possible starting line-up for Juventus:
Szczesny; Danilo, Demiral, de Ligt, Sandro; Chiesa, Bentancur, Rabiot, McKennie; Kulusexi, Ronaldo
Possible initial lineup for Lazio:
It reigns; Patric, Parolo, Acerbi; Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Lulic; Correa, Immobile
Probability: Juventus 2-1 Lazio
Juventus are particularly impenetrable on the Turin pitch and a seventh consecutive home win in the league is certainly at stake against a faltering Lazio team – although perhaps half an eye can deviate to the fight for survival in the Champions League next week.
The visitors, for their part, are eager to clean up the problems of the past fortnight and remain in the fight for the return to European competitions next season. If they can contain a recent flood of self-inflicted defensive errors, then the Biancocelesti may even have a chance to reap a point from one of the most difficult games in the diary.
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