Stadio Olimpico, Rome
23rd September 2014, 1:15 IST
League leaders Juventus take on a Lazio side, running low on form and morale. While Juventus battered Parma 7-0, Lazio were defeated by lowly Empoli. Juventus would look to grab all three points with force, and distance themselves from AS Roma, who are currently three points adrift of Juventus. Lazio however, sit fifth with nineteen points.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
After stretching their incredible run of home form to 24 unbeaten matches, Juventus would set their targets to gather points on the trot. The league leaders are arguably Italy’s best side, only rivaled by AS Roma. Although, Juventus have struggled at the European Stage, the Bianconeri look more than impressive in a tattered league.
Massimiliano Allegri has continued with his back four experimentations, which he believes is the way forward for the league leaders. With tactical mastermind Andrea Barzagli injured alongwith Martin Caceres and Luca Marrone, Juventus could feature in an exact lineup which started against Parma.
Stephen Lichtsteiner, who has been at the thick of transfer rumors is expected to operate as the Right Back. The Swiss Express, as he is called would look to attack Lazio’s right wing, while providing a passing option to Juventus’s midfielder and crossing the balls in for the Llorente to thrive on. With Patrice Evra and Asamoah, both unlikely to start, Allegri can once again use a makeshift left back in the form of Simone Padoin. Although Simone Padoin has been critisized by the black and white faithful, for his uncanny and rusty performances, the Italian cemented and impressed in the left back position.
Arturo Vidal is expected to be out with injury issues, as the Chilean returned late from International duty. Andrea Pirlo is expected to spearhead Juventus’s midfield with Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio as his two generals. Roberto Peryra is once again expected to start in a trequartista role, deployed behind the attacking partnership of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-3-1-2): Gigi Buffon, Stephen Lichtsteiner, Leonardo Bonucci, Gorgio Chellini, Simone Padoin, Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio, Roberto Pereyra, Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente.
Labelled as the most prepared coach by former Italian gaffer Cesare Prandelli, Stefano Pioli has led a personal campaign to rejuvenate the ageing squad of Lazio. Pioli, has dismantled the age old team built around Mirsolav Klose, a team which thrived on arieal dominance, but has started initiate team building around young Filip Djordjevic.
Although Lazio has failed to impress in their early matches, the biancocellesti resurged back to impressive ways, with wins on the trot. But a defeat to lowly Empoli, has once again put their league objective in doubt.
Lazio are expected to start with Federico Marchetti in goal. Cana and Devrli have acted like two defensive pillars for Lazio and would expect to impose Tevez and Llorente with spells without the ball. Marco Parolo, is another young talent present in Lazio. Operating as a right center mid in a three men midfield, Parolo is expected to join in attack, whilst tracking back to do his defensive duties.
The attacking trio of Candrea, Djordjevic and Keita Balde – could prove to be a handful for Juventus. While Candrea could drop deep in a system which could revert to 4-4-2, Djordjevic would look to benefit from the lack of pace present in the form of Leonardo Bonucci, in Juventus’s defense.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-3-3): Federico Marchetti, Basta, Devrli, Cana, Edson Braafheid, Marco Parolo, Lucas Biglia, Senad Lulic, Antonio Candreva, Filip Djordjevic, Keita Balde Diao
- Juventus have only lost one and drawn one match in this season, so far.
- Juventus have scored the highest number of goals in Serie A with 25.
- Lazio have scored the second highest number of goals in Serie A with 21.
- Juventus have conceded just 4 goals, in this campaign.
Players To Watch Out For:
Carlos Tevez ( Juventus )
Carlitos Tevez, has been a revelation for Juventus ever since he moved from Manchester City. The Argentine is arguably Juventus’s best player in attack. His pedigree of converting half chances still stands strong in the Serie A, whilst scoring goals at regular intervals. Tevez would look to haunt the Lazio defense, with his snappy footwork and tireless running off the ball.
Filip Djordjevic (Lazio)
Although Filip arrived on a free transfer from Nantes, the Serbian has been sensational so far. He has successfully replaced the ageing Mirsolav Klose and has given Lazio somewhat of a live wire in the final third, which they often missed. His hard work and relentless running is applauded massively.
Lazio 2 – Juventus 3
Both Juventus and Lazio have been clinical in the finals halves. While Juventus lead the Goal scoring charts with 25, Lazio reel just 4 goals behind the champions. With two hefty sides, flaunting 46 goals between them, clashing swords, a end to end game is set to follow. Juventus are expected to win this match and elate themselves to 31 points.