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Juventus vs Lazio
Match Date: 18-04-2015
Location: Turin
Stadium Juventus Stadium
Referee Rizzoli
Time 20:45 CET
Lazio take on Serie A league leaders Juventus this Saturday night in Turin. Juventus made amends for their shock loss to Parma in Serie A last week by beating Monaco in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals, thanks to a Vidal penalty shot. Lazio enter this match coming off yet another victory, this time rather convincingly over Empoli, by a score of 4-0, Mauri, Klose, Candreva and Anderson all found the back of the net in the win. This will be a difficult task for Lazio, Juventus are almost impossible to beat at their home field, Fiorentina were the first team to do it in over two years in the first leg of this years’ Coppa Italia semi-final.

Lazio will likely be without some regular starters, as they are currently suffering from injuries. Marchetti is still recovering from a broken nose so Berisha will get the start for Lazio in goal this weekend. Berisha will need the game of his life, Tevez will exploit any insecurity. In defence for Lazio, it is unclear if Radu is fit to play, to be honest Lulic makes more sense at left back, he basically immediately earned a spot back in the Lazio starting eleven after recovering from injury, unfortunately not at his more comfortable left midfield role, as Anderson has that locked down, and for good reason. In the centre of defence for Lazio, Mauricio and Cana should feature, De Vrij will not be risked with his sprained knee and Novaretti will be unavailable due to suspension from the red card he picked up against Empoli. Basta will unquestionably pick up the start at right back for Lazio this weekend. This defensive core will be tested by Juventus, this will be Lazio’s weakest part of the pitch on Saturday, De Vrij is a rock that cannot be replaced and Lulic is naturally left footed but is a more attacking minded player and his preference is to play in midfield.

There will also be changes this weekend in the midfield for Lazio. Parolo is unavailable to play due to a fractured rib sustained in the Empoli match, a costly victory indeed. It is unclear who will take his place in midfield but my suspicion tells me that Cataldi should join Biglia in the deeper role of the 4-2-3-1 formation Pioli likes to field. If it is not Cataldi it may perhaps be Onazi, we shall soon find out. In the higher more attacking midfield positions, we should see Mauri in the centre and Candreva and Felipe Anderson on the wings. What an opportunity this will be for these three men to try to break down the best defence in Serie A, all of them will need to intensify their creativity that has led them on this current win streak. Up front for Lazio, Klose will lead the way, he has played well recently and getting his name on the score sheet but the speed of Keita should prove more difficult for the Juventus defence to handle, it would be nice to see him pick up some playing time.

Lazio currently sit in second place in the Serie A with 58 points, Juventus are 12 points ahead leading the table with 70 points. Lazio must enter this match with humility and keep clear sight of their objective, which is to qualify for the Champion’s League. Roma take on Atalanta at home and are in third place, with 57 points, 1 behind Lazio. Lazio will need to be tactically sound and execute Pioli’s plan to perfection, Juventus are skilled enough to wait and wear any opponent down and capitalize on a single opportunity. Lazio enter this match as one of the hottest teams in Europe with nine consecutive league victories, if they are to make it ten they must respect Juventus. Lazio have only been able to achieve 37 wins from a total of 151 matches against Juventus, if they are to make it 38 every Lazio player must have a monumental performance. Forza Lazio!

Writer: Michael Petricca
Team Name Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Juventus vs Lazio
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