Juventus could come undone against adventurous Lazio
Serie A leaders Juventus are set to resume their table-topping antics as they travel to Rome to face Lazio, where they are evens with Coral to take all three points.
The champions smashed Parma 7-0 before the international break and will be hoping to pick up where they left off against the Eagles, with a switch in tactics breathing new life into Massimiliano Allegri’s men.
Juve have seemingly scrapped their hugely successful 3-5-2 formation permanently to be bolder in attack.
The Old Lady are now utilising a diamond system spearheaded by top scorer Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, who both netted against the capital club last campaign and are 4/1 and 11/2 to strike first and last respectively.
Basque frontman Llorente was not involved with Vicente del Bosque’s Spain squad, so his freshness and experience should see him preferred to compatriot Alvaro Morata (19/10 to grab a goal anytime).
Allegri will benefit from the double boost of Arturo Vidal’s return from suspension and ever-graceful Andrea Pirlo’s availability following fitness concerns.
With his main midfield men back in the fold, the Old Lady will be feeling confident about extending their excellent record against the Eagles.
Juventus have not lost to Lazio in the last 19 league clashes between the two teams, and are on a fine run against their competitors that stretches back to 2003.
The hosts are now a different prospect from the Eternal City outfit that Juve faced last season, however, when the Old Lady triumphed with an emphatic 4-1 scoreline.
Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio is certainly wary of the Rome club’s threat. Speaking recently, the 50-capped Italy star said: “Is the challenge of Olimpico a trap? Yes it’s true, and then after the international break it’s always very difficult, regardless of your opponents. It will be a tough away match, Lazio can hurt us.”
Lazio are the second-highest scorers in Serie A this season, just four behind the champions, so are more than capable of giving as good as they get.
The Eagles have their eye on Champions League qualification and, on home turf with a raucous Roman crowd behind them, should be the biggest test yet for Juventus’ modified four-man defence.
Having won five of their six home games this season, Stefano Pioli’s side have been thrilling fans and also netted 17 in their past seven outings.
Their attacking intent is led by free summer signing and in-form Serbian striker Filip Djordjevic and the poaching talent of veteran Miroslav Klose (9/4 and 15/8 to net anytime respectively), who have netted nine league goals between them this term.
Lazio’s fearsome forward line is complimented by an aggressive midfield, also featuring the guile of Italy international Antonio Candreva, who netted whilst on international duty, and is 8/1 draw first blood.
A shock defeat to Empoli last time out spoiled the party and highlighted the capital club’s porous backline, but Pioli’s men can get back on track with a memorable win against the Old Lady, a feat they are 11/4 to achieve.