Serie A Preview: Juventus - Lazio
Antonio Conte's side is at the summit of Serie A with a four-point cushion but knows it will be in for a tough game when the Biancocelesti travel to Turin.
By Craig Turnbull
Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
Isla, Vidal, Pogba, Marchisio, Asamoah
Konko, Dias, Biava, Radu
Gonzalez, Hernanes, Candreva
Juventus will be missing its creative spark from the midfield for the visit of Lazio as Andrea Pirlo is suspended.
Likely to deputize is Paul Pogba, who might feel slightly aggrieved he has not featured more regularly for the Turin outfit as he has been reliable when called upon, though did not help himself by missing training twice in the week leading up to last weekend's clash.
Having endured a 3-1 defeat at the hands of fierce rivals Inter, the Bianconeri responded with an emphatic 6-1 win over Pescara to once again restore their four-point lead at the top of Serie A.
Striker Fabio Quagliarella netted a hat trick while Sebastian Giovinco scored two and therefore it would be most surprising if they were to rotate forwards after the dazzling display by both attackers against the Delfini.
Another positive for the Juve boss is the return of Simone Pepe, who has yet to play for the hosts since suffering an injury before the start of the season, so expect him to feature at some point in this match. Paolo De Ceglie will not however, as he is still recovering from a thigh strain.
Meanwhile, Lazio will be buoyed by their thrilling 3-2 victory over Roma in the Rome derby last week. The Biancocelesti trail the league leaders by nine points and currently lie in fifth position.
Although they are strong at home having only been defeated once in six attempts, their away form has been more turbulent as they have lost half their games on their travels - to Napoli (3-0), Fiorentina (2-0) and Catania (4-0) respectively.
They will have to see if they can achieve something from the Juventus Stadium without the services of winger Senad Lulic and midfielder Stefano Mauri who are both suspended while Brazilian midfielder Ederson is injured.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus won the last encounter between the two sides on its way to the Scudetto with a narrow 2-1 victory. Stefano Mauri grabbed an equalizer after Simone Pepe had put the hosts in front, but Alessandro Del Piero scored the winner eight minutes from time.
- The Bianconeri have scored 10 goals in its previous two outings in all competitions. Antonio Conte's men followed up their 4-0 Champions League win over Nordsjaelland with a thumping 6-1 win over Pescara. They even had a friendly midweek against Valle d'Aosta, putting nine past the Pro Lega side.
- The hosts' only defeat this season was a surprise 3-1 defeat to Andrea Stamaccioni's Inter side which prevented them from going 50 games unbeaten in Serie A.
- Lazio has not won in its last 15 attempts against Juventus in the league and have lost their last four Serie A matches against the Bianconeri.
- Antonio Candreva will line up for the Biancocelesti against his old side having played every game in Serie A for the visitors this season.
- Striker Miroslav Klose (pictured, right) is Vladimir Petkovic's men's top goalscorer with seven goals. He trails Edinson Cavani (Napoli), Stephan El Shaarawy (AC Milan) and Erik Lamela (Roma) in the scoring charts who all have eight. Juventus' Quagliarella has six.
Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-0 Lazio
- 23.62 %
Juventus 3-0 Lazio
- 12.93 %
Juventus 3-1 Lazio
- 11.17 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||Aug 31, 2013||Juventus 4 - Lazio 1|
|Italy Super Cup (ITSC)||Aug 18, 2013||Juventus 4 - Lazio 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Apr 15, 2013||Lazio 0 - Juventus 2|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||Jan 29, 2013||Lazio 2 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||Jan 22, 2013||Juventus 1 - Lazio 1|
|Dec 11, 2013||Galatasaray 1 - Juventus 0||UCL|
|Dec 6, 2013||Bologna 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|Dec 1, 2013||Juventus 1 - Udinese 0||SR-A|
|Nov 27, 2013||Juventus 3 - Copenhagen 1||UCL|
|Nov 24, 2013||Livorno 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed