Lazio v Juventus – Stadio Olimpico at 19:45 GMT LIVE AT Premier Sports
Saturday night’s showdown in the capital between Lazio and Juventus promises to be a fascinating affair in Serie A. At this point 12 months ago, Juventus enjoyed an 11-point lead at the top of Serie A, although the Old Lady trail league leaders Inter Milan by a point after Matchday 14 and now face a tricky test in Rome.
Lazio are the form side in Italy. The Biancocelesti have bagged six successive Serie A victories and swept defensively-minded Udinese aside 3-0 last weekend; Simone Inzaghi’s side are the division’s top scorers – with 33 goals from 14 games – with Ciro Immobile bagging 17 of that tally already this season.
Le Aquile have been fabulous to follow, built around the strengths of Immobile. Inzaghi’s first Lazio sides largely employed a counter-attacking system, sitting deep and drawing opponents forward before releasing the Azzurri hitman into space. However, the capital club now have more strings to their attacking bow.
Lazio’s excellent attacking efforts
Lazio are now capable of unpicking more cautious opponents, thanks to a wealth of creative talents behind Immobile, from Alberto – whose nine assists lead the division – to Joaquín Correa and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. All three offer alternative threats and have consistently generated goalscoring chances.
The Biancocelesti’s offensive blend and ability is born out in the underlying metrics. Only Atalanta can better Inzaghi’s team for Expected Goals (xG) output, xG from open play, or shots attempted from inside the penalty area and so Lazio should be confident of putting under-fire Juventus under more pressure here.
If you expect Le Aquile to get on the scoresheet – the hosts have fired a solitary blank this season – then this Stadio Olimpico showdown should live up to its billing. In fact, Lazio have delivered Over 2.5 Goals in 10/16 (63%) outings on home soil against top-six opposition during Inzaghi’s reign and a repeat appeals.
Juventus far from reliable
Maurizio Sarri feels Juventus “didn’t use our brains” enough in their surprise 2-2 draw at home to Sassuolo last time out. The Old Lady were denied by an inspired performance from 18-year-old debutant goalkeeper Stefano Turati in Turin to surrender their position at the top of the Serie A standings.
It was only the third occasion that Juve have failed to take top honours under Sarri’s watch in domestic football but few could say the current crop have appeared assured and uncompromising. The defending champions have only twice triumphed by two goals or more and kept just five clean sheets thus far.
Eight of Juventus’ 14 league fixtures since Sarri arrived have produced at least three goals and backing a repeat looks our best angle of attack on Saturday night with 1.86 available. It’s a selection that’s already proven profitable in away trips to Inter and Atalanta, as well as when welcoming Napoli to Turin.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.860
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