Serie A Preview: Lazio v Juventus
Antonio Conte's table-toppers aim to make it 11 games unbeaten in the league this season, but face a similarly in-form Lazio side, who have not been defeated in their last nine
By Livio Caferoglu
Konko, Stankevicius, Diakite, Radu
Brocchi, Ledesma, Lulic
Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini
Pepe, Vidal, Vucinic
Lazio coach Edy Reja has a mounting injury list to contend with, as Simone Del Nero, Stefano Mauri, Javier Garrido, Albano Bizzarri, Andre Dias, Libor Kozak, Stephen Makinwa and Matuzalem have all been ruled out of this encounter.
It is possible that the former Napoli trainer will name an unchanged XI from last week's goalless draw with Napoli, despite Djibril Cisse's return to the fold. However, the Frenchman has endured a difficult start to his career in Italy, with just one goal since his arrival from Panathinaikos during the summer, and is expected to start on the bench.
Meanwhile for Juventus, Andrea Pirlo's muscular setback means that fellow summer recruit Michele Pazienza should get the nod to replace him in central midfield and feature alongside Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal. However, the Italy playmaker will undergo a late fitness test prior to the match on Saturday.
||DID YOU KNOW|
- Lazio have lost 68 games against Juventus, more than against any other Serie A side.
- Edy Reja's men have not scored more than two goals in their last 18 league meetings with the Bianconeri.
- However, Lazio are unbeaten in their last nine league matches, winning six of them, and have kept clean sheets in the last three.
- Juventus are the only Serie A side still unbeaten this season, after recording six wins and four draws.
- The Old Lady have conceded just three times in their last eight league games away from home.
- Midfielder Claudio Marchisio has already scored five goals in 10 games, his highest-ever tally in a Serie A campaign.
- Juventus are unbeaten in their last 13 matches against Lazio, with nine wins and four draws.
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Top 3 Predictions
Lazio 1-2 Juventus
- 24.69 %
Lazio 0-2 Juventus
- 23.11 %
Lazio 1-3 Juventus
- 11.87 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 25, 2014||Lazio 1 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Aug 31, 2013||Juventus 4 - Lazio 1|
|Italy Super Cup (ITSC)||Aug 18, 2013||Juventus 4 - Lazio 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 15, 2013||Lazio 0 - Juventus 2|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||Jan 29, 2013||Lazio 2 - Juventus 1|
|Mar 2, 2014||Fiorentina 0 - Lazio 1||ITA1|
|Feb 27, 2014||PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 3 - Lazio 3||EL|
|Feb 23, 2014||Lazio 3 - Sassuolo 2||ITA1|
|Feb 20, 2014||Lazio 0 - PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 1||EL|
|Feb 16, 2014||Catania 3 - Lazio 1||ITA1|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|-||Alessandro Del Piero||Striker|
Currently Serie A's top headed goalscorer, the German hitman will look to add to his tally of six league strikes this weekend. Despite the solidity of the Bonucci-Barzagli partnership at the back for the visitors, they have not faced a calibre of striker in Klose thus far, and as shown against the likes of AC Milan, his clinical finishing ability coupled with his knack of scoring headers and intuitive hold-up play could prove too much of a handful.
Another prolific performer, while being a player of similar characteristics to his German counterpart, Matri will be licking his lips when he faces a makeshift back four at the Olimpico on Saturday. He has arguably been Juventus' most important player in their surge to the summit, with plenty goals and assists to his game. Although not the quickest of attackers, his ability to lead the line efficiently, while using his instinct to bury chances will make for fascinating viewing.
Both teams have built their successes on watertight defences and profiency in front of goal this season, and it will be no surprise if this one ends a point a piece. While Lazio may lack the likes of Andre Dias to marshall their defence, Andrea Pirlo's absence may heavily impact on Juventus' possession play and functionality.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed