Serie A: Lazio vs Juventus preview


Defending champions Juventus continue to chase leaders Napoli and Saturday's match at the Olympic Stadium in Rome against Lazio could be a major hurdle in their path. Lazio have already defeated the Bianconeri twice this season, first they won the Italian Super Cup match 3-2 and then they secured a surprising 2-1 league victory in Turin in October. Striker Ciro Immobile scored twice in each of those two matches and he is expected to be in the spotlight again because he's been in great scoring form lately with five goals in the last four games in all competitions.

Lazio have suffered a bit of a setback in midweek, they tried to push for a spot in the Italian Cup final and played 120 minutes against in-form AC Milan but eventually lost the penalty shoot-out. Before that match, they had won three consecutive matches in all competitions and moved up to third place in Serie A. The race for a top-four finish is red-hot because fourth-placed Inter are just one point behind Lazio, while rivals AS Roma are just two points behind in fifth place. Adam Marusic is suspended for this match, but head coach Simone Inzaghi doesn't have any injury concerns at the moment.

Juventus have been in excellent shape during the past few months, they have not lost any of their last nineteen matches in all competitions and won sixteen of those games. The 2-2 draw at home against Tottenham in the Champions League interrupted an eleven-match winning streak for the Bianconeri and the prospect of facing Spurs again next Wednesday in London might push head coach Massimiliano Allegri to rest a few players on Saturday. Federico Bernardeschi, Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio are still injured and expected to miss out.

Probable line-ups:

Lazio: Strakosha - Wallace, De Vrij, Radu - Basta, Parolo, Leiva, Lulic - Alberto, Milinkovic-Savic - Immobile

Juventus: Buffon - Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Chiellini, Sandro - Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi - Dybala, Higuain, Mandzukic

My prediction: 1-1 draw.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Lazio win - 3.50
Draw - 3.39
Juventus win - 2.14

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