Juventus will aim to close their gap against second-placed AC Milan to one point when they face Lazio at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
An inspired second-half performance with goals from Alvaro Morata, Federico Chiesa and Cristiano Ronaldo, led to an easy 3-0 win for Juventus against Spezia at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday. Juventus have not been at their best in recent weeks with only two wins in six games for the Bianconeri in all competitions.
Andrea Pirlo’s men currently occupy the third position in the league, seven points behind league leaders Inter Milan. The Turin giants will look to capitalize on the points dropped by second-placed AC Milan on Wednesday by reducing the gap between them to one point with a win over Lazio on Saturday.
Lazio started the season poorly losing five games until December. However, their performances drastically improved since the New Year, with the Biancocelesti winning six of their first seven games in the league in 2021.
But this winning run hit the brakes after they lost 3-1 to league leaders Inter Milan. Post that result they have had a bit of a downfall losing 4-1 to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 and being humbled 2-0 by Bologna last weekend.
Simone Inzaghi’s men were in great form last year before the pandemic and looked to give Juventus a run for their money in the title challenge. However, their form has faltered post the pandemic and they’re yet to fully find their best form this season as they’re currently seventh in the league, with the likelihood of qualifying for the Champions League looks bleak.
Inzaghi’s men will look to get a positive result against Juventus on Saturday in order to reignite their fight for a place in the top four. It was a 1-1 stalemate between the two clubs in the reverse fixture. Ahead of this game, let us take a look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) March 4, 2021
Andrea Pirlo will continue to remain without Paulo Dybala, Arthur Melo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Juan Cuadrado, as they are still recovering from their injuries. Rodrigo Bentancur will also miss this fixture after testing positive for COVID-19. Gianluca Frabotta should also miss out after the defender picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Spezia.
However, Matthijs de Ligt has recovered from the knock that caused him to miss the midweek game and will likely partner Merih Demiral in central defence, allowing Alex Sandro to switch to his left-back position. Wojciech Szczesney will continue in goal, with Danilo, Demiral, de Ligt and Sandro forming the back line.
Aaron Ramsey will partner Adrien Rabiot to form the midfield pivot, while Federico Chiesa and Weston McKennie occupy the flanks. Upfront, Alvaro Morata will replace Dejan Kulusevski to partner Cristiano Ronaldo to form the Bianconeri attack.
Pirlo will continue to employ his fluid 4-4-2 system, with McKennie drifting into midfield from wide positions, allowing Alex Sandro space out on the left flank to maraud forward. Aaron Ramsey will play in an advanced role and his link-up with Chiesa and Ronaldo will be a key factor for Juventus.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Demiral, De Ligt, Sandro; Chiesa, Rabiot, Ramsey, McKennie; Morata, Ronaldo
Simone Inzaghi will be without the services of defenders Manuel Lazzari, Luiz Felipe, Stefan Radu for the trip to Turin this weekend.
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) March 4, 2021
Pepe Reina will play in goal. Marco Parolo will compete with January signing, Mateo Mussachio, to play alongside Patric and Francesco Acerbi in a patched-up back three. Adam Marusic and Senad Lulic will be the wing-backs.
Lucas Leiva will be partnered by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto in the three-man midfield. Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa will form the Biancocelesti attack.
Inzaghi’s 3-5-2 enables Marusic and Lulic with the width to bomb forward and provide crosses for the attackers, Milinkovic-Savic, very often, plays as a target man and his late runs in the box creates a lot of pressure in the opposition defence. Luis Alberto will be the creator and his link-up with Correa and Immobile will be crucial.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Reina; Patric, Parolo, Acerbi; Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Lulic; Correa, Immobile
- Juventus have lost only one home game this season while winning nine (P12 W9 D2 L1).
- Lazio have lost their last three away games in all competitions.
- Juventus have lost only once to Lazio in their last 13 home games in the Serie A, winning 10 of those encounters (P13 W10, D2, L1).
- Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in Serie A with 20 goals this season.
- Ciro Immobile is Lazio’s best performer this season with 14 goals and 3 assists in the league.
Player to Watch
Cristiano Ronaldo after 30 games in every season with Juventus:
2018/19: 19 goals & 8 assists.
2019/20: 25 goals & 2 assists.
2020/21: 27 goals & 4 assists.pic.twitter.com/m2s1hyZBud
— The CR7 Timeline. (@TimelineCR7) March 4, 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo proves every week that age is just a number, as his performances keep on getting better game after game. The Portuguese international has scored in the last three league games he has started for the club.
His goalscoring exploits have single-handedly kept Juventus in the hunt for the title this year and the Turin giants struggle to score without his presence.
With 20 goals and 3 assists in Serie A, Ronaldo is well on his way to winning the Capocannoniere this season. Andrea Pirlo will want his best player to fire the Bianconeri to their tenth consecutive Scudetto this year.
Juventus 2-1 Lazio
Juventus will be confident ahead of this fixture after winning their last six home games. Andrea Pirlo’s men will want to keep their momentum going in order to maintain the pressure on Inter Milan in the race for the Scudetto.
Lazio have shown shaky form in their last few outings and look likely to be out of contention for the Champions League if their current form continues. Simone Inzaghi will want his troops to fight till the last game in order to give them a realistic chance of reaching the top four this season.
The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for the Bianconeri, as their attack will be too strong for Lazio’s defence.