Juventus-Lazio Preview: Buoyant Bianconeri chase Coppa Italia glory
Just five points separate the two sides in Serie A, but that will count for nothing on Tuesday night as the high-flying pair do battle at Juventus Stadium
By Alec Fenn
Barzagli, Marrone, Peluso
Isla, Pogba, Pirlo, G'ini, De Ceglie
Konko, Biava, Dias, Lulic
Candreva, G'lez, Ledesma, Hernanes, Mauri
Silverware is in sight for both Juventus and Lazio as they clash in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final on Tuesday night.
The Bianconeri go into the game on the back of a resounding 4-0 win over Udinese on Saturday, while the Biancocelesti played out a battling 2-2 draw with Palermo in their last encounter.
With just five points separating the two sides in Serie A, the winner of this cup contest could also strike a telling mental blow in the title race and that fact will not be lost on either Antonio Conte or Vladimir Petkovic.
Juve will be without several key men, with Giorgio Chiellini (calf), Simone Pepe (hamstring), Nicklas Bendtner (abductor tear) and Marchisio all missing, while Miroslav Klose, Ederson and Abdoulay Konko are absent for Lazio.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus may be without Claudio Marchisio, but Paul Pogba (pictured, right) put forward a compelling case for a regular starting birth with two goals in the 4-0 win over Udinese on Saturday.
- The Bianconeri have lifted the Coppa Italia nine times.
- Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella are the club's joint-top scorers this season, with six goals each.
- The absence of Miroslav Klose could hit Lazio hard, as he has struck 10 times already this term.
- Vladimir Petkovic's side saw off Catania 3-0 in the quarter-finals to seal their semi-final date with Juventus.
- The two teams played out a 0-0 draw in their last meeting back in November.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-0 Lazio
- 26.7 %
Juventus 2-1 Lazio
- 13.02 %
Juventus 3-1 Lazio
- 10.33 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||31 Aug 2013||Juventus 4 - Lazio 1|
|Italy Super Cup (ITSC)||18 Aug 2013||Juventus 4 - Lazio 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||15 Apr 2013||Lazio 0 - Juventus 2|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||29 Jan 2013||Lazio 2 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||22 Jan 2013||Juventus 1 - Lazio 1|
|6 Dec 2013||Bologna 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|1 Dec 2013||Juventus 1 - Udinese 0||SR-A|
|27 Nov 2013||Juventus 3 - Copenhagen 1||UCL|
|24 Nov 2013||Livorno 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|10 Nov 2013||Juventus 3 - Napoli 0||SR-A|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
The midfielder has played most of his football coming off the substitutes' bench so far this season, but he shone in the absence of Andrea Pirlo on Saturday, scoring twice and ensuring he heads into this encounter full of confidence.
With top scorer Miroslav Klose absent through injury, the goalscoring burden will rest on the shoulders of the 31-year-old striker. He will be desperate to make an impression and hope to open his account for the season in the process.
After playing out a cagey 0-0 draw earlier this season, another tight affair is to be expected and though the home side will be desperate to strike a first-leg blow, Lazio will have enough to take a draw back to Stadio Olimpico.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed