A thrilling weekend of Serie A action is upon us with one of Matchday 13’s standout fixtures arriving on Saturday evening as Lazio play host to Juventus.
It’s the first revenge game of the season for Maurizio Sarri, who was sacked by Juventus after just one season at the helm despite claiming the Scudetto in 2018/19. He takes on Massimiliano Allegri’s rebuilding Bianconeri with his Lazio outfit three points better off than the Old Lady in the Serie A table following an upsurge in form.
Since their Giovanni Simeone humbling last month, the Biancocelesti have beaten Salernitana and Fiorentina at the Olimpico, while they were unfortunate not to walk away with all three points in Bergamo. Marten De Roon salvaged a late point for Atalanta in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Juventus, meanwhile, picked up an imperative victory before the international break thanks to the heroics of Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian’s late strike was enough to sink Fiorentina in a 1-0 victory to lift Juve to within four points of the top four. Allegri’s side had previously succumbed to back-to-back domestic defeats against Sassuolo and Hellas Verona.
The Old Lady are as vulnerable as ever despite the return of their master pragmatist, and Saturday’s bout is a huge one for both sides as the close of the calendar year draws nearer.
Here’s our preview of Juventus’ trip to Lazio in Serie A at the weekend.
How to Watch Lazio vs Juventus
When is kick-off? Saturday 20 November
What time is kick-off? 17:00 (BST)
Where is it played? Stadio Olimpico
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport 1 (UK), Paramount+ (US)
Lazio Team News
Star striker and captain Ciro Immobile is working incredibly hard to be fit for Saturday’s clash after sustaining a calf injury that ruled him out of Italy’s recent World Cup qualifiers. There’s growing optimism that he’ll play some part at the Olimpico, with a final assessment of his fitness coming on Friday.
In addition, flying full-back Manuel Lazzari is hopeful of passing a late fitness test, although Adam Marusic is out. Veteran Pedro, who’s enjoyed a fine start to the season, is also a doubt after picking up an ankle injury.
Should the Spaniard miss out, summer arrival Mattia Zaccagni could fill in after returning from injury before the international break.
Juventus Team News
Paulo Dybala will be assessed on Thursday after picking up a calf injury while away on international duty with Argentina. Even if he’s deemed fit, expect La Joya to start from the bench with Allegri having one eye on next weeks fixtures against Chelsea and Atalanta.
Federico Bernardeschi has been ruled out, while Mattia De Sciglio and Giorgio Chiellini are continuing their recoveries at Continassa. Moise Kean is back in contention, however.
Lazio: Reina; Lazzari, Felipe, Acerbi, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Chiesa, Locatelli, McKennie, Rabiot; Kulusevski, Morata.
Lazio’s Recent Form
Lazio 3-0 Salernitana (07/11) – Serie A
Marseille 2-2 Lazio (04/11) – Europa League
Atalanta 2-2 Lazio (30/10) – Serie A
Lazio 1-0 Fiorentina (27/10) – Serie A
Hellas Verona 4-1 Lazio (24/10) – Serie A
Juventus’ Recent Form
Juventus 1-0 Fiorentina (06/11) – Serie A
Juventus 4-2 Zenit (02/11) – Champions League
Hellas Verona 2-1 Juventus (30/10) – Serie A
Juventus 1-2 Sassuolo (27/10) – Serie A
Inter Milan 1-1 Juventus (24/10) – Serie A
Slowly but surely, Sarri is inculcating his principles onto this Lazio side. Their ceiling under the chain-smoking Italian is under debate, but there’s no doubting that he’ll get them playing some good stuff.
This is a game where Juve have to be patient, and it might be a difficult watch for supporters with Dybala likely absent. Lazio build-up slowly and favour long passing sequences. Thus, I expect the visitors to contain and attempt to hit the hosts on the counter-attack.
The first goal will be pivotal and Lazio’s efficiency in front of goal will concern Juventus supporters. They’ve scored 19 times (the third most in Serie A) despite accumulating an xG of just 11.1. Such efficiency could ruin Allegri’s likely plan. Overall, I suspect the Bianconeri to struggle without the talismanic Dybala with Lazio, who boast a superb home record, snatching a slender victory.
Prediction: Lazio 1-0 Juventus