Lazio must be wondering what they did to upset the Serie A schedule makers. The Rome-based club opened their season with Napoli last weekend, and they will face Juventus on the road this weekend. Juventus and Napoli finished last season as the top two teams in Italian soccer and playing these teams in back-to-back weeks to start the year hardly seems fair.
Lazio will look to get a result in Turin this week to keep from starting the season 0-0-2. Let’s look at this match on Saturday and soccer predictions.
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Juventus vs. Lazio
Date and Time: August 25, 2018, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
US Television Coverage: ESPN2
Betting Line: Juventus -1.5, O/U 2.5 and 3
Maybe we should halt Juventus’ coronation after what happened in their first match of the year. Juventus have won seven straight league titles and spent over a quarter of a billion Euros this offseason. The owners did that in order to compete for Champions League glory, and an eighth straight Serie A title was seen as an afterthought. However, they barely knocked off Chievo in their season opener, giving the rest of Italy some hope.
Everything started off well for Juventus. Sami Khedira scored in the third minute to get the ball rolling for Juventus, and they continually threatened for the next half hour. It only seemed to be a matter of time before they went up by two goals, but then a defensive collapse led to Chievo knotting the game 1-1. The two sides went into halftime tied up, and then Chievo got a sliver of hope shortly after the break. Joao Cancelo brought down a Chievo player in the box, giving them a penalty kick. They converted that to surprisingly go up 2-1 on Juventus.
Of course, a team as talented as Juventus won’t go away without a fight. Center back Leonardo Bonucci got the club level again in the 75th minute, although the goal was later classified as an own goal, but it looked like Juventus might end up with a 2-2 draw. However, an unlikely hero emerged to steal away the three points for Juventus. Super sub Fernando Bernardeschi came on and knocked in the game winner three minutes into extra time to salvage the three points.
As for Lazio, they are an example of how the other half lives in Italy. They lost star player Felipe Anderson to West Ham this offseason, and there are rumors that Jordan Lukaku might be on his way out next. The club brought in some quality replacements over the summer, but they don’t have the cash to throw at superstars like Juventus can.
On the field, they nearly picked up a result against Napoli in their opener. Ciro Immobile struck first blood for Lazio, coolly corralling a deep ball, slipping inside of three defenders with a slick first touch, and bending a ball into the far corner to score in the 25th minute. Unfortunately, Napoli continued to hound Lazio’s goal, and they eventually broke through in a 2-1 loss.
Juventus’ Leonardo Spinazzola has been declared out for this match, and he is not expected to return to action until December. Moise Kean and Mattia De Sciglio are both listed as questionable with day to day injuries, and both players may be ready by Saturday.
For Lazio, they will not have two players available this weekend. Ricardo Kishna and Luiz Felipe have both been ruled out for the next few weeks as Kishna recovers from an ACL injury and Felipe deals with a calf injury. Adam Marusic might be able to suit up though, and he is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Juventus vs. Lazio Free Picks
Although the price on Lazio is nice, I don’t see Juventus dropping this one at home. Juventus did dominate the stat sheet against Chievo last week, and they are unlikely to stumble again so soon. Take Juventus on the goal line.
Juventus vs. Lazio Prediction: Juventus 3, Lazio 0
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