Juventus vs Lazio by Enzo
Juventus rotated their squad a bit last time out, but the experiment didn't work that fine as the team suffered 3:1 defeat away to Roma, since the players probably have taken the game a bit more lightly than what was supposed to be. They are still more than sure regarding the title race, while it was very important for them to save some energy and rest several players ahead of Coppa Italia finals and surely even more important, to make their schedule lighter ahead of Champions League finals in Cardiff early in June.
They actually opened the game decently, even took the lead with a goal from Lemina in 21st minute, but De Rossi leveled up just few moments later. Players of Roma showed some more fighting spirit in the second halftime and therefore, deserved their victory thanks to goals from El Shaarawy in 56th and Nainggolan ten minutes later. As for the league, they are now four points above Roma with two rounds till the end - they need just one victory against modest Crotone at home or away to Bologna in the last round.
Juventus will probably be playing in some version of 4-2-3-1 formation, using Higuain as their central striker, but also with Mandzukic, Dybala and Alves most likely as offensive midfielders. After rotating just a bit last time out away to Roma, their manager Massimiliano Allegri will surely field his best eleven here. Midfielder Sami Khedira (30/5) is not yet back to his full fitness and won't be risked here, with Mario Lemina being candidate to replace him. Midfielder Miralem Pjanic (28/5) is suspended, while injured remain central back Daniele Rugani (15/2) and offensive midfielder Marko Pjaca (14/0).
Lazio also rotated their squad a bit last time out, as the team suffered 3:2 defeat away to Fiorentina in also not that important game of the previous Serie A round. The team is quite safe at their fourth position which will lead to group stage of Europa League and it was logical to mix the things up ahead of more important Coppa Italia finals.
First halftime in Florence wasn't that interesting, but the second halftime brought many excitement, as the guests took the lead via Keita in 55th minute and Viola responding with much better performance from that moment on - reverting the scoreline to 3:1 withing nine minutes - via Babacar in 67th, Kalinic in 73rd and an own goal in 76th minute. Still, combative visitors managed to reduce the deficit via Murgia in 81st minute for the final 3:2 result. That run broke their streak of three victories, as the team seems to be in decent form ahead of this one.
Lazio should be set playing in 4-3-3 formation, with Anderson and Keita as wingers, plus Immobile as central striker. Goalkeeper Federico Marchetti (17/0) is remaining injured, while doubtful for this match are midfielder Marco Parolo and left back/midfielder Jordan Lukaku. Similar to offensive midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, but he should be ready to start.
- Juventus have won their last 6 matches against Lazio.
- Juventus have kept a clean sheet in their last 6 matches against Lazio.
Lazio was in fine form in previous matches and showed plenty of quality upfront, but also many defensive gaps. Juventus probably lowered their form just in time, since they await this Cup's finale, but also Champions League finals, with the title still being more than a sure thing for them in Serie A. I expect that players of Juventus will now show their best and I believe that the quality difference is strongly with their side, even though Lazio showed some more than decent things in previous weeks and despite the fact that they will be playing on Lazio's ground actually.