After getting into the top four courtesy of last week’s 4-1 win over Spezia, Juventus will be travelling to the Stadio Olympico with the hope of beating Lazio this time around in an Italian Serie A clash.
The last time they met here, it was Lazio that had the last laugh, coming from a goal down to win the tie 2-1.
Apart from being an eagerly awaited tie, both are only separated by two points in the Serie A table, with Juve two points better in 3rd place while Lazio is currently 9th.
The Serie A champions are going into this blockbuster clash on the back of consecutive 4-1 victories, while Lazio has been resurgent in the league of late despite back-to-back Champions League draws.
The last time this fixture recorded a draw was in January 2014. After then, the Old Lady has recorded 10 wins while the Biancocelesti has two. Lazio won in the most recent 12 fixtures. Since both sides are scoring sides, it suggests that a winner is assured.
Lazio now has the opportunity to make it a double victory over Juve today for the first time since 2001.
Going forward both sides have been scoring. Juventus’ 14 betters Lazio’s ten while the Biancolesti has been conceding a lot with a -2 goals difference on then log presently.
This could give Juve the confidence that a Lazio side hammered 4-1 on this pitch by Atalanta is beatable. This is the first time Lazio leaked 12 goals in their first six games since 1992-93.
Who are the gladiators in this clash?
For Lazio to get a result here, they will need to close shop from allowing goals in.
This is expected to be different from Torino game where they conceded three and still recorded an incredibly dramatic comeback victory.
Felipe Caicedo has been the team’s saviour of recent,-having previously scored against Sampdoria and Atalanta. He continued this during the midweek action in the Champions League, scoring the equaliser.
Caicedo has proved that he can be valuable despite being overlooked for the first XI due to the stellar input of Ciro Immobile, Joaquin Correa and now Vedat Muriqi.
Juve is yet to lose in the league this season. They will therefore be banking on their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored in each of his three league games this season. Whenever he’s on the pitch for the Bianconerri, his effect on their win percentage is dramatic.
The Portuguese star announced his return from COVID-19 isolation within three minutes against Spezia last week, establishing himself as the club’s leading scorer on five goals in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata, who returned to the club in the summer transfer window has four goals so far.
The former Real Madrid striker is Andrea Pirlo’s favoured partner for Ronaldo, as Paulo Dybala continues to work his way back to full steam following an illness.
With a good defensive that is better than that of their hosts, Juve could bank on this factor.
Lazio v Juventus: Injury news
Unfortunately, Simone Inzaghi has to deal with several absences as eight of his players are out of action, including the likes of Ciro Immobile, Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakosha who have tested positive for COVID-19. Luis Alberto has had a negative swab test and is eligible to play.
But things can still change this morning if the test result returns negative for Immobile especially.
Aaron Ramsey and Alex Sandro are ruled out till after the international break while Matthijs de Ligt could be back in the starting line up after returning to training. If the Dutch will travel with the team he would start from the bench and be in line for his first match of the season.
Lazio (3-5-2): Reina; Patric, Hoedt, Acerbi; Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic, Parolo, Luis Alberto, Fares; Correa, Caicedo.
Juventus (3-5-2):Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini; Cuadrado, Rabiot, Bentancur, McKennie, Chiesa; Ronaldo, Morata.