Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus return to action on Sunday for arguably their toughest game this season yet away to Lazio.
Sunday’s round of Serie A football begins with a mouth-watering clash between Italian giants Lazio and Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Both sides have endured somewhat underwhelming starts to their respective campaigns and are yet to hit top form. Victory in this match, however, would be a real statement of intent ahead of the international break.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace settled the last encounter between the two teams at the Allianz Stadium in July, earning Juventus a 2-1 win. The Portuguese star had a brilliant comeback against Spezia last weekend, but can he lead the Bianconeri to another victory? Or will Lazio pull something special out of the bag? It should be an exciting affair all the same.
Lazio Form & Stats
Last season’s title challengers haven’t enjoyed the best of starts to the new campaign, winning just half of their six games and losing twice. They only narrowly won their previous game away to Torino as well. In fact, it took a late comeback to salvage a 4-3 victory in Turin.
10 points from six games isn’t exactly what Simone Inzaghi would’ve hoped in his fifth season as manager. That said, Lazio aren’t far away from securing a second top-four finish in a row. And while a first title since 2000 is a big ask, they’re still just six points behind leaders AC Milan in the standings.
This past month, in particular, hasn’t been easy for Inzaghi as he lost several players to positive COVID-19 tests. One of them is reportedly Ciro Immobile, who missed the club’s 1-1 Champions League draw against Zenit Saint Petersburg midweek. No official word has come out yet on whether last season’s Golden Boot winner will play on Sunday.
Key Team Stats
- BTTS in their last five games in all competitions.
- BTTS in their last four games against Juventus in all competitions.
- Won their last two home games in all competitions.
- Over 2.5 goals in their last three league games.
Juventus Form & Stats
The Bianconeri are undergoing a transitional period under Andrea Pirlo and, therefore, results have been mixed at this stage. For now, the target will be to stay in touch with Serie A leaders AC Milan in the standings.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return, though, has served as a massive boost. It’s clear Juventus are heavily reliant on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has supplied five goals in his three league games so far. In fact, it only took him three minutes to reinsert his influence in the squad during last weekend’s 4-1 win over Spezia after returning from self-isolation.
Alvaro Morata is also supplying goals and appears to have won favor as Ronaldo’s partner as Paulo Dybala works on recovering his best form after suffering an illness. The trio are all in the matchday squad for Saturday.
Successive 4-1 victories over Spezia in the Serie A and Ferencvaros in the Champions League were solid results. But facing Lazio in Rome lies arguably Pirlo’s biggest test as a manager yet.
Key Team Stats
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored five goals in three league games this season.
- Alvaro Morata has scored six goals in seven games in all competitions.
- Unbeaten in their last six league games (W3 D3).
- Over 2.5 goals scored in 13 of their last 15 away league games.
- BTTS in seven of their last eight away league games.
Out: Silvio Proto & Senad Lulic
Doubt/s: Djavan Anderson, Manuel Lazzari, Gonzalo Escalante, & Stefan Radu.
Out: Aaron Ramsey, Matthijs de Ligt, & Alex Sandro.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top scorers in Recent Serie A Games
Below are some head-to-head stats between the two teams based on their form and Over/Under stats in their recent Serie A games.