DATE: 23 December 2017
TIME: 07:45 p.m. GMT
VENUE: Juventus Stadium (Turin)
Giallorossi travel to the Juventus Stadium with a game in hand and will be eager to put every dent in Juventus’ long-lasting monopoly in Italian football.
It has been a rocky ride for the top four sides in the Serie A. SSC Napoli currently sits at the top of the league table after Inter blew off their position at the top by losing 3-1 to Udinese at home. Juventus trail the league leaders by just a point and are sitting at the 2nd place.
Roma, with a game in hand, sits in 4th and trail Napoli by four points. If they come out with a win at Allianz Arena and manage to get all three points from their one extra game in hand, they may come out to be league leaders.
Coming to this match, Juventus have kept six clean sheets in a row across all competitions. The Old Lady have scored with thirteen different players this season – a league high. For Roma, they have already won five games by a 1-0 scoreline this season – another Serie A high. Roma’s defensive prowess has been exemplary as they have completely stopped their opponents from landing a shot on target in three games this season.
Before joining Juventus, Miralem Pjanic had played 159 league games scoring 27 goals for Roma. So this game will be a unique experience for him.
Young forward Paulo Dybala has made more Serie A appearances in 2017 than any other outfield player (38). And he expected to lead his team vs Roma once more in the attack.
Juventus have won their last six home games against the Yellow-Reds in Serie A, keeping a clean sheet in four of those clashes. However, Roma defeated Juventus 3-1 in their previous league meeting at Stadio Olimpico. These sides have faced each other 18 times across all competitions in which the Bianconeri bagged nine wins and five losses while four of them ended as a draw.
Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that Gianluigi Buffon won’t be available for the match. The veteran goalkeeper has missed the last three games with a muscular problem. Allegri explained that they’re evaluating Juan Cuadrado day-by-day in his pre-match Press conference.
The Italian added that Mandzukic and De Sciglio might miss the Roma clash. Benedikt Höwedes is out with a thigh injury. Giorgio Chiellini and Stephen Lichtsteiner are back in training and will most likely feature on Saturday.
For Roma, the loanee from Sassuolo, Gregoire Defrel is recovering from his knee injury and is expected to be back very soon. The Dutch defender Rick Karsdorp is out with cruciate ligament injury since October.
Juventus Probable XI (4-3-3)
Defenders: Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Chiellini, Sandro
Midfielders: Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi
Forwards: Dybala, Higuain, Costa
Roma Probable XI (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker
Defenders: Florenzi, Manolas, Jesus, Kolarov
Midfielders: Pellegrini, De Rossi, Nainggolan
Forwards: Shaarawy, Dzeko, Strootman
This match is going to be the one to watch until the very end. The visitors have a considerable chance of returning to the top spot in this all-important game.
The odds are in Bianconeri’s favor as they have the home support, but the Giallorossi has shown time and again that they’re never the one to be ruled out.
Our Prediction: 1-0