What: Italian Serie A
Who: Juventus vs Lazio
When: Saturday 17th November, 2012, at 17:00 UK time
Where: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Back on Track
On a wonderful league run, Juventus’ magnificent streak came to an end as they succumbed to defeat against Inter at the start of the month, allowing the Nerazzurri to close the gap between the two sides. However, Antonio Conte’s men knew how to get back in the saddle with eye-catching wins over FC Nordsjaelland and Pescara, in the Champions League and Serie A, respectively. However, facing Lazio will be a harder challenge.
The Biancoceleste will be a hard task for the league leaders, but Juventus will fancy their chances in front of their own fans. At home, they boast 43 victories out of 68 matches played against Lazio. Furthermore, it seems as if the team quickly forgot the Inter defeat, and they look focused ahead of this important encounter.
However, Juventus have been dealt a hard blow as they will lose the services of midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo for this one, as the former AC Milan man serves a one-match ban following an accumulation of yellow cards.
Lazio’s Derby della Capitale win over Roma allowed the 2009 Coppa Italia winners to repel their bitter foes, and stay in the race for third place; they are four points away from third-placed Napoli and two from fourth-placed Fiorentina. Meeting the reigning champions and table leaders will naturally be Lazio’s toughest test so far in the league calendar, but should they play their cards right, then they could very well inflict a second home loss upon Juventus.
Indeed, midfield man Hernanes believes that the task is a little easier after Inter managed to defeat Juventus on 3rd November. “Two weeks ago I would have said it would be an impossible task to beat Juventus, but after Inter won there, the psychological barrier was broken and we all began to believe that we can win there”, explained the Brazilian.
Lazio will also be lifted by the news that Miroslav Klose has trained regularly, and the experienced German striker will likely be available for selection.
Juventus 1-3 Inter (03/11; Serie A)
Juventus 4-0 FC Nordsjaelland (07/11; Champions League)
Pescara 1-6 Juventus (10/11; Serie A)
Catania 4-0 Lazio (04/11; Serie A)
Lazio 3-0 Panathinaikos (08/11; Europa League)
Lazio 3-2 Roma (11/11; Serie A)
Juventus: Andrea Pirlo (suspended); Paolo De Ceglie (doubt); Simone Pepe (doubt)
Lazio: Stefano Mauri (doubt); Senad Lulic (suspended)
Players to watch
Juventus – Fabio Quagliarella: The striker is a prized asset in Turin at present, having extended his good form with a hat-trick at Pescara. Against Lazio, Quagliarella will need to reproduce this display against more experienced defenders. Failure to keep him at bay will be costly for the guests.
Lazio – Antonio Candreva: The midfielder will be coming up against his former side. Once touted as a bright prospect for Juventus while on loan from Udinese, Candreva struggled to dislodge Claudio Marchisio from the starting line-up. He will have a chance to exhibit his talent in this match.
Juventus showed nerves of steel as they quickly managed to put the Inter defeat behind them, but Lazio have been grabbing the results they need to stay competitive in the league, and will undoubtedly prove to be a hard task for the leaders. However, the Bianconeri can prevail in the end. Juventus 2-1 Lazio.
Betting on the weekend’s games? Check out Inside Bet.