It’s second against third in Serie A on Saturday as Lazio host Juventus and the visitors will be looking to regain top spot – and hoping Inter drop points on Friday night – after a disappointing draw last time out.
La Vecchia Signora had Cristiano Ronaldo to thank for salvaging a 2-2 draw against struggling Sassuolo, in a result that saw Inter leapfrog them into first place.
Juve’s failure to win last weekend brought to an end a run that saw them win four on the bounce in the league.
Hosts Lazio will provide a stern test for Juventus, having won six straight Serie A games.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 7 December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19.45 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||Stadio Olimpico|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Premier Sports 1|
Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi has no fresh injury concerns from their last outing against Udinese but is still without a couple of notable absentees.
Adam Marusic and Valon Berisha are both nursing thigh injuries and will miss Saturday’s clash. As will left back Jordan Lukaku who continues to recover from a knee injury.
Former Barcelona defender Patric will also sit this one out as he is still suffering from a calf problem.
Juve boss Maurizio Sarri received the news earlier this week that he will be without Sami Khedira for three months after the German underwent knee surgery on Wednesday.
Welsh star Aaron Ramsey is also on Juve’s list of casualties due to muscle fatigue while fellow midfielder Adrian Rabiot is a doubt for Saturday’s game.
Sarri is also missing captain Giorgio Chiellini, who has been absent from the side practically all season, and Douglas Costa, who isn’t expected to make a return until later this month.
|Lazio||Strakosha; Radu, Acerbi, Felipe; Lulic, Alberto, Lucas, Milinkovic-Savic, Lazzari; Immobile, Correa.|
|Juventus||Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro; Matuidi, Pjanic, Bentancur; Bernardeschi; Dybala, Ronaldo.|
Head to Head Record
The Old Lady comprehensively beat Lazio on the number of wins in this fixture. Juventus have chalked up 27 victories, while the Eagles have only triumphed on 11 occasions.
The last meeting between the two ended in a 2-1 away win for Saturday’s visitors, with one Ronaldo coming up trumps in the 88th minute to clinch victory with a penalty.
Lazio had led through an Emre Can own goal, but Joao Cancelo grabbed a close-range equaliser before Ronaldo stepped up to break Lazio hearts.
In the season’s other league encounter, Juventus scored a comfortable 2-0 win with goals from Miralem Pjanic and Mario Mandzukic sealing a win for the Bianconeri.
The hosts are flying, six straight wins in the league catapulting the Biancocelesti to one place behind Saturday’s visitors.
Inzaghi’s men are unbeaten in seven home games this campaign and have only failed to claim maximum points twice at Stadio Olimpico.
As for the visitors, despite of their slip up to Sassuolo, Juventus have been pretty faultless this season, underlined by the fact that they are the only team yet to taste defeat in the league.
Prior to last weekend’s game, Juventus had four straight wins to their name and Sarri’s side have registered 11 wins from a possible 14 in Serie A.
The Bianconeri have been almost perfect on the road this season, only failing to win in the 1-1 draw away at Lecce in October.
Here’s how the two teams have fared in their last five games in all competitions.
|Lazio 3-0 Udinese (1/12)||Juventus 2-2 Sassuolo (1/12)|
|Lazio 1-0 CFR Cluj (28/11)||Juventus 1-0 Atlético Madrid (26/11)|
|Sassuolo 1-2 Lazio (24/11)||Atalanta 1-3 Juventus (23/11)|
|Lazio 4-2 Lecce (10/11)||Juventus 1-0 AC Milan (10/11)|
|Lazio 1-2 Celtic (7/11)||Lokomotiv Moscow 1-2 Juventus (6/11)|
The Eagles have put four past Lecce and Torino in recent weeks and forward Immobile is racing away at the top of the Serie A goalscoring charts.
Inzaghi’s men will be confident of inflicting Juve’s first loss of the season on Saturday but Sarri’s side will be sure to give a marked improvement from the Sassuolo stalemate.
Given their positions in the table, this promises to be one of the biggest games of the weekend, definitely the standout in Serie A.
There are undoubtedly goals to be had, and this could be the match-day that sees Juve’s unbeaten run come to an end.
Prediction: Lazio 3-2 Juventus