Lazio v Juventus: Coral’s cracking combined XI of Serie A stars
Holly Thackeray | December 2, 2015
Coral’s combined XI for Italian giants Lazio and Juventus
Ahead of Friday’s fascinating fixture between Serie A superstar sides Lazio and Juventus, Coral present a combined XI featuring the best fit and in-form picks from these Rome and Turin teams.
With both giant clubs jam-packed with talent but struggling to live up to last season’s splendor, read on to find out who made our final cut…
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Still by far the best choice in net, there are few Serie A stoppers that can hold a candle to sturdy Buffon, a mainstay for the Old Lady, though Juve back-up Norberto Neto is certainly no slouch. But this world class custodian is not about to give up the number one jersey just yet, having kept three clean sheets in a row across all competitions.
Right back: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus)
With Juventus currently playing wingbacks, steady Lichtsteiner is facing a battle with Juan Cuadrado for his spot, but still got the nod for the biggest battles against AC Milan and Manchester City. The reliable right back can produce at both ends of the pitch.
Centre back: Andrea Barzagli (Juventus)
Evergreen Barzagli continues to be an experienced evergreen rock alongside the next player in our XI, beating out younger peer Leonardo Bonucci. You may notice that Juve defenders dominate this defence, but with good reason, as the Italian champions have conceded just 11 times this Serie A term, with Lazio leaking double that.
Centre back: Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
What needs to be said about this master of the defensive arts? Still one of the world’s best, crafty Chiellini typifies the traditional Italian defender and is perhaps still the most stand-out star in this XI, overshadowing attacking quality.
Left back: Senad Lulic (Lazio)
Somewhat of a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’, Lulic can play in numerous positions, but has nominally been a marauding wingback for the Eagles this season. Though, as Patrice Evra and Alex Sandro continue to battle for a starting berth in Turin, the underrated attacking exploits of Lulic get our nod here, with our backline, unlike Lazio’s, solid enough to accommodate.
Defensive midfield: Lucas Biglia (Lazio)
Deep-lying dictator Biglia has been linked with some of the biggest clubs across the globe, following some precise passing performances. So, including the tenacious technician here is a no-brainer, with Biglia the man to bring balance.
Central midfield: Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
Usually, the power of Paul Pogba would make him first on the teamsheet, but the Frenchman is banned for this upcoming clash, meaning Marchisio steps into the fold. Reliable, with a nose for goal and tactically astute, this Old Lady academy product should keep things ticking over nicely.
Central midfield: Stefano Sturaro (Juventus)
Another Turin-reared talent gets the slot alongside Marchisio here, as starlet Sturaro has risen to prominence this campaign, to become a key cog for Juve. A goal last time out only heightened the fuss around this all-action midfielder.
Right wing: Antonio Candreva (Lazio)
Intelligent and tricky, wide schemer Candreva (7/2 with Coral to score anytime) can be the brains and inspiration in this outfit, as the Italy international complements a clubmate who pops up later on this list perfectly, with threat provided from both flanks.
Centre forward: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus)
Juventus may have snapped up striking starlets Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala, but the poaching pair have had their struggles this season. To replace Carlos Tevez, then, Juve needed a formidable frontman, and in goal machine Mandzukic they have just that. Three goals in his last four shows the Croatian (9/2 to net first versus Lazio) is cranking into gear.
Left wing: Felipe Anderson (Lazio)
Admittedly, Anderson has not hit the heights of last season yet, but the Samba star is still causing a stir, and could add much needed movement and lightening pace to this attack. The adaptable Brazilian is able to bamboozle defences on his day, and has four league goals plus two assists this season.
Read more superb articles on Serie A in our archive.