Juventus v AS Roma – Juventus Stadium at 19:45 Live at BT Sport
Undoubtedly the biggest game in Serie A this weekend, resurgent defending champions Juventus welcome fellow title challengers Roma to Turin on Saturday evening.
Only four points separate the top four in Italy with fourth-placed Roma having a game in hand but the capital club will be handed a stern examination of their credentials by a Juventus side that made easy meat of Bologna last weekend.
The Old Lady are starting to flex their muscles as they chase a seventh straight Scudetto. Since suffering defeat to Sampdoria in mid-November, Max Allegri’s men have recorded six consecutive clean sheets and allowed a solitary shot on-target in their last outing.
Juventus have silenced Napoli, Inter and Barcelona at bay during that spell as Allegri’s continues his season-long policy of heavy rotation. Giorgio Chiellini, Gigi Buffon, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Benedikt Howedes and Juan Cuadrado were all injured last week but it made no difference and the result was in little doubt from the moment Miralem Pjanic opened the account with his 14th free-kick goal in Serie A.
Paulo Dybala was dropped to the bench for the second week running and his second-half introduction brought the loudest cheer of the day from the large travelling support but it’s hard to know where he fits into the 4-1-2-3 formation that Allegri seems to prefer.
The betting angle
For now the Juventus manager is happy to grind it out and Saturday night’s clash might well be short on goalmouth action. Chances have been at a premium in matches between the top four this term, with the five such encounters averaging just 1.20 goals per-game.
Juventus have won this fixture 1-0 in each of the past two seasons and having already recorded clean sheets against Napoli and Inter, will most likely adopt a similar approach to this encounter.
Roma ran out 1-0 winners against Cagliari last time out but required a controversial 93rd-minute goal. It was Federico Fazio’s hand that deflected the ball into the net and secured another vital victory for Ernesto Di Francesco’s group.
The Giallorossi have shown greater defensive steel than in previous seasons as they’ve conceded just 10 goals – the best record in the division – and with only three of their Serie A matches since September featuring more than two goals, the best play should be to oppose goals. Under 2.5 Goals can be backed at 1.880.
Asian Total Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5 Goals at 1.880