Serie A champions Juventus and Coppa Italia winners Lazio lock horns in the Supercoppa Italiana which officially marks the beginning of the season for the Italian clubs. Juventus are presented as firm favourites to win the match but Biancocelesti will be relying on home advantage given the fact the Sunday match is being played at Stadio Olimpico.
Super Cup not a formality for Serie A champions
Juventus are coming off from a mixed season during which the Serie A giants reaffirmed their dominance at domestic stage, but failed to reach their ultimate goal of climbing the European top. Bianconeri were pushed from the edge of the cliff with only one step away from the Champions League title. Real Madrid proved too much of a challenge for Max Allegri’s side who this time want to kick off the new campaign on a high and forget all about the last season’s disappointment. The Old Lady has become a Super Cup regular given their six consecutive Serie A titles, but they’ve had mixed results over the last five editions of the competition winning three and losing three matches over the past five years. Allegri’s men have been installed as favourites to win and continue their domestic dominance, as well, but Bianconeri are very much aware that differences between Serie A top contenders, including Lazio in that lot, have gotten significantly smaller. Juventus had a busy summer as far as the transfer window is concerned with key defender Lenardo Bonucci leaving for AC Milan. On the other hand, the likes of Federico Bernardeschi, Mattia De Sciglio, Wojciech Szczesny, Rodrigo Bentancur and Douglas Costa in particular are expected to raise the bar and keep the performance quality high for the champions.
Max Allegri should have his full squad to choose from with the excepction of Marko Pjaca who is still nursing his cruciate ligament injury.
Lazio to prove they are no pushovers
After a couple of underperforming years which brought nothing but disappointment for Lazio fans, the Biancocelesti have emerged as one of the most exciting sides to watch in Italy. Simone Inzaghi grabbed his chance at Lazio firmly with both hands and is doing wonders with his young and exciting squad, boosted with a rejuvenated Ciro Immobile who has enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons in his career last year. The Coppa Italia winners have not had the best of luck in Supercoppa Italiana losing to Juventus 4-0 and 2-0 in 2013 and in 2015 respectively. But Biancocelesti are out to prove they are not the same side and that they will not be pushed around as easily. Lazio boast an exciting team with players such as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Keita Balde Diao who have both caught the eye of the champions. And while the Serbian midfielder is expected to remain at the club despite heavy pressure in the market, the latter is already packing his bags with Premier league runners-up Tottenham already identified as most likely destination for the talented striker. Lazio lost key midfielder Lucas Biglia but did well to bolster their ranks with former Liverpool man Lucas Leiva and Espanyol striker Felipe Caicedo, who is expected to be a direct replacement for Keita.
Milinkovic-Savic, Keita and Immobile will all be lined up to face Juventus, together with the summer arrival Lucas Leiva, whereas Felipe Caicedo will wait for his shot from the bench.
Juventus have got to be considered favourites here, but Lazio are not to be taken lightly. Core of the last season’s team is intact, whereas a couple of quality signings are expected to add value to Inzaghi’s side. On the other side, that’s exactly what can be said for Juventus as well and we definitely should expect an evenly-contested match and an exciting game all together. A note to all bettors – both teams did not score in last seven meetings between these two sides.
Top pick: Both teams to score – No 2.00 (1/1) Betfred
Alternative pick 1: Asian handicap Juventus -0.5 2.55 (17/11) @Unibet
Alternative pick 2: Juventus to lift the trophy 1.40 (2/5) @Bet365