Juventus will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run in the 2018-19 Serie A, when they face off against Lazio away from home this weekend.
Reigning Italian champions Juventus will be looking for their 19th Serie A win of the season, when they lock horns with Lazio in matchweek 21 at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men haven’t tasted a single defeat in their league campaign this term, having picked up 18 victories in 20 matches, while drawing a couple. With 56 points, Juventus are sitting comfortably at the top of the Serie A table, with an eight-point difference between themselves and second-placed Napoli.
Juventus are currently on a four-match winning streak, with their latest fixture ending in a comfortable 3-0 win over Chievo earlier this week. The Bianconeri will be aiming to extend that run to five games on Sunday night and strengthen their grip on the pole position.
Lazio, on the other hand, find themselves in seventh position in the league standings with 32 points from their 20 fixtures (W9 D5 L6). Simone Inzaghi’s men are currently three points behind AC Milan, who occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot. They will be hoping to cut down that deficit with a positive result against Juve.
The last time they were in action, the Biancocelesti were beaten 2-1 away from home by Napoli. Inzaghi’s men are unbeaten in their last five home league games (W2 D3) and will be gunning for a victory on Sunday to bring an end to the league leaders’ unbeaten streak this season.
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The Biancocelesti will be without the services of key defender Francesco Acerbi, who is suspended after being sent off against Napoli. Adam Marusic will also miss out due to suspension while an injury will prevent Luiz Felipe from participating.
Inzaghi is expected to go in with a three-man backline in front of goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha. Given the absence of Acerbi and Felipe, Bastos and Wallace are set to get rare starts in the Serie A alongside the experienced Stefan Radu in defence.
Jordan Lukaku is unlikely to be involved, despite having seen his loan move to Newcastle United fall through. Captain Senad Lulic is set to slot in as the left-sided wing-back, while Patric should get a recall on the right-side with Marusic ruled out.
The three-man central midfield is likely to comprise of veterans Lucas Leiva and Marco Parolo, along with the highly-rated Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has failed to live up to the lofty expectations placed on him this season.
Lazio’s leading goalscorer Ciro Immobile will spearhead the attack against the champions, with support coming from Spaniard Luis Alberto, who will operate as the auxiliary forward in behind the Italian international.
Probable Lineup (3-5-1-1): Strakosha; Bastos, Wallace, Radu; Patric, Parolo, Milenkovic-Savic, Lucas, Lulic; Alberto; Immobile
Allegri has a number of injury headaches to deal with heading into Sunday’s fixture as Andrea Barzagli, Juan Cuadrado and Mario Mandzukic have all been ruled out. Midfield mainstay Miralem Pjanic hasn’t been included in the squad for the trip, along with Sami Khedira, with the pair recovering from minor injury issues.
Juventus are set to sign Martin Caceres from Lazio with Medhi Benatia headed out of the club. Both will not be involved on Sunday. Having played a 4-4-2 formation in the win against Chievo last week, the manager is likely to switch back to a 4-3-3 setup for the visit to Rome.
Mattia Perin has started the last two league games for Juventus and is likely to pip Wojciech Szczeszny for the starting spot again on Sunday. Joao Cancelo will not start, having just recovered from an injury, meaning Mattia De Sciglio will feature at right-back while Alex Sandro should continue on the opposite side.
Daniele Rugani, who scored against Chievo, is likely to sit this one out, with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini likely to start at the heart of the defence. In Pjanic’s absence Emre Can is set to slot in as the deepest central midfielder, with Rodrigo Bentancur and Blaise Matuidi offering support alongside the German international.
Douglas Costa scored his first goal of the season last week and should hold on to his spot in attack ahead of Federico Bernardeschi. Paulo Dybala is expected to slot in a central role against Lazio, with star man Cristiano Ronaldo starting out on the left flank.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Perin; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Bentancur, Can, Matuidi; Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo
- Juventus have won and kept a clean sheet in eight of their last nine encounters against Lazio in the Serie A, with the only exception being a 2-1 win for the Biancocelesti in October 2017 in Turin.
- Lazio have scored just one goal in their last nine games against Juventus at Stadio Olimpico in the Serie A.
- Juventus and Lazio have scored the joint-most goals from corners in the league this season (6), along with Atalanta.
- Lazio have lost eight of their last nine Serie A encounters against teams currently in the top four positions of the table, drawing the other against AC Milan.
- Paulo Dybala has netted 7 goals against Lazio in the Serie A, including 3 in his last 4 appearances against the Biancocelesti at the Olimpico.
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The 33-year-old Portuguese maverick has taken the Serie A by storm in his debut season in Italy and has played a huge role in Juventus’ unbeaten streak in the league, helping them to a massive lead at the top of the table. Ronaldo is currently the second-highest goalscorer in the Italian top-flight with 14 hits from 20 matches along with 5 assists.
With Fabio Quagliarella (16 goals) edging past the former Real Madrid superstar in the race for the Golden Boot, courtesy of a double in Sampdoria’s 4-0 win over Udinese on Saturday, Ronaldo will be keen to close down the gap with a stellar display against Lazio on Sunday night.
Lazio 1-2 Juventus
Lazio haven’t been able to achieve consistency in their form this season, which has hurt their hopes of finishing in the top four. The Biancocelesti have won just two of their last nine games in Serie A (D5 L2) having managed seven wins in their previous nine matches in the competition (L2).
Juventus, on the other hand, are cruising to their eighth consecutive Serie A title, having not lost a single league game so far this season. Allegri’s side are unbeaten in their last 22 matches away from home in the Serie A (W18 D4). And, that streak is unlikely to come to an end this weekend, with another win for the Bianconeri the most likely outcome at Stadio Olimpico.