Monday, December 17, 2018

Prediction: Juventus vs AS Roma

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: 888sport

Juventus and AS Roma have consistently been two of the top teams in the Serie A over the past few years, and that has not changed during the current term. With The Old Lady sitting second and Roma sitting fourth in the standings, this game is key for both clubs. A win for Juventus would send them to the top of the table, although they would depend on what Inter Milan do. And in Roma’s case, a win would at least tie them with Juve near the top.  There’s a lot to play for in this thrilling encounter that starts at 19:45 BST on Saturday.

Juventus

The Old Lady sit second in the Serie A standings, but there is no question they could have been playing better in recent weeks. Their form over their last five games indicates W3 D1 L1, but that defeat against Sampdoria wasn’t on anyone’s plans. The duo of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain remain as one of the most productive partnerships in the entire league, but they can’t do all the work themselves. Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado have not been playing as well as they were last year, and the defence felt the loss of Leonardo Bonucci, who signed with AC Milan during the summer. They have managed to hang on to the upper part of the standings, but they are not the dominant team they were in the past. They need to get back to that form if they want to beat another prolific, dangerous team such as AS Roma.

Team News

Benedikt Howedes has been ruled out of this game with a thigh injury.

Gianluigi Buffon (calf) and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (groin) are doubtful, and his status is up in the air right now. Both will need a late-fitness test to determine their availability.

AS Roma

Another season is reaching its midway point, and once again we see AS Roma nearing the top of the standings. The team has made an admirable work of staying near the top of the standings, and have looked like one of the most dominant teams in the Serie A at the moment. Roma are currently riding a nine-game undefeated run at the league level, with seven wins and just two draws over that span. And while they feature a potent attacking line with powerhouse names such as Edin Dzeko, Diego Perotti and Stephan El Shaarawy, the defence has been their calling card during the current campaign. Roma have the best defence in the Serie A since they have allowed just 10 goals in 16 matches, and they will need to be at their best if they want to escape with a positive result against Juventus. The Old Lady have the best attack in the league, as they have scored 44 times in just 17 contests.

Team News

Luca Pellegrini and Rick Karsdorp have been ruled out of this pivotal contest, as both are nursing knee problems.

Gregoire Defrel is dealing with a knee injury of his own, but the French forward has not been ruled out yet. He will undergo a late-fitness test to determine whether he will play or not.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Juventus have the best attack in the Serie A with 44 goals. Meanwhile, AS Roma have the best defence since they have only allowed 10 goals in 16 matches.
  • AS Roma are riding a nine-game undefeated streak in the Serie A, registering seven wins and two draws over that span.
  • The head-to-head record two wins for each side and one draws in their last five Serie A meetings.
  • A win would put Juventus at the top of the Serie A standings. Meanwhile, Roma would move up to second place in case they get the three points.
  • Three of their last six meetings between both clubs in the Serie A have seen over 2,5 goals. The home side has scored in each one of those games, too.

Conclusion

There is no question this is going to be an extremely intense game. These are two of the best teams in the Serie A, and both could use the win to move closer to the top of the standings.

As such, neither team is going to sit back and play negative. And I believe we will see both teams scoring in this one.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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