Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 1/1
Victories in top of the table clashes were one of the reasons why Juventus eased off to last few Serie A trophies and they will be looking to continue the trend with a win over AS Roma. The Giallorossi, on the other hand, recorded a very important triumph over AC Milan to stay close to the Bianconeri and will now attempt to get revenge on the Turin outfit for several costly defeats in recent years.
Even if the other top Italian clubs have been largely struggling in recent years, Juventus have got to be congratulated on winning five successive trophies in such a strong competition, and the Turin outfit are again regarded as the main candidates for the league title. The Bianconeri have so far suffered three defeats this term, but still boast a four-point cushion at the Serie A summit, and they can make a giant step towards title defence by defeating AS Roma. The incredible amount of money spent on the arrival Gonzalo Higuain is already yielding results as the Argentine has scored some important goals in Italy and Europe, while his departure also made Napoli considerably weaker, which was another reason behind the bumper deal. The Bianconeri did well to weaken the second title rivals by purchasing Miralem Pjanic from AS Roma, but, against all odds, the Giallorossi are now even doing better than last term. Sitting four points clear of their next opponents, Juventus will be quite happy to play a waiting game and pounce on any mistakes the opposition might make, so we don’t expect to see too many goals in Saturday’s encounter.
Max Allegri should welcome back veteran defender Andrea Barzagli from a month-long spell on the sidelines, but Leonardo Bonucci continues to miss out.
Miralem Pjanic will be recalled after he was surprisingly rested against Torino, whereas Dani Alves, Marko Pjaca and Rolando Mandragora are out injured.
Lucano Spalletti had had mixed success during his first spell as the head coach of AS Roma, but the second stint is proving a genuine fairytale. Granted, the experienced tactician has failed to take Giallorossi to the Champions League group stages, but his side have done much better than expected on domestic stage. Despite being often criticised for his supposedly poor treatment of club icons Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi, Spalletti is letting results speak for themselves, with high-profile wins over Lazio and AC Milan proving AS Roma are ready to mount a serious title challenge. In all fairness, the Giallorossi were quite fortunate to win both matches, but their character has got to be commended, and said wins certainly put them in good stead for the all-important clash with league leaders Juventus. If we look at team’s current form, the match comes at a good time, but this is not exactly true when we consider the injury situation, seeing as how at least three regular starters will be missing in Turin. It is important to note that AS Roma’s away form in Serie A have not been so impressive, as witnessed by defeats to Fiorentina, Torino and Atalanta.
Starting full-back Bruno Peres is set to miss three weeks of action after spraining his ankle, with Emerson set to be drafted into the side.
Mohamed Salah and Alessandro Florenzi remain in the treatment room, but Luciano Spalletti hopes that Leandro Paredes will at least make the bench.
Key Factors to Consider
- Juventus won last six home games vs AS Roma
- Under 2.5 goals were scored in four of their last six meetings
- Juventus won last 24 home games in Serie A
- AS Roma kept three successive clean sheets
- Edin Dzeko scored 12 goals in the current campaign
Past meetings between the two sides haven’t produced too many goals and we don’t expect the trend to change this weekend. Juventus boast a rock-solid defence and are unlikely to risk too much, whereas AS Roma are aware their title bid would be all but over in case of defeat, so we feel that under 2.5 goals is a good option here.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 1/1
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