A late goal the Biancocelesti scored in Turin could easily prove decisive in this Coppa Italia semi-final tie, as Lazio appear to be favourites to reach the final after the 1-1 draw in the first leg, but Juventus will give their best to beat their rivals at Stadio Olimpico and reach the final for the second time in a row.
Costly defeat to Chievo
This season is proving to be a huge success for Lazio, who are doing well on all fronts, although this particular fixture does not come at the right time for the Stadio Olimpico outfit. Following an outstanding run that saw them go unbeaten for 16 straight matches in all competitions, the Biancocelesti were finally beaten at the weekend, losing at home to Chievo, although everything suggests that was just a one-off result. Even if boss Vladimir Petkovic opted to rest key midfielders Hernanes and Stefano Mauri, Lazio created enough chances to win the game, but just couldn’t get past Chievo’s rock-solid defence. They will now have an excellent opportunity to make amends for the weekend setback, with a place in Coppa Italia final up for grabs. Given the importance of the tie, Vladimir Petkovic is set to revert to his strongest line-up, which should give the hosts an extra edge over their severely weakened opponents.
Hernanes and Mauri are set to return, but Miroslav Klose, Ederson and Ogenyi Onazi are definitely out.
No Pirlo, no party!
After winning the Serie A title last term, Juventus have picked up where they left off, with the Bianconeri enjoying a lot of success this season as well. However, despite Antonio Conte boasting a very big squad, the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini and Kwadwo Asamoah are being sorely missed, with selection problems the main reason for some under par results of late. Last three matches showed that this is not the same team when Pirlo is not on the pitch, with Juventus winning just one of those fixtures, despite the fact all three were played in Turin. With Claudio Marchisio also likely to be unavailable for the trip to Olimpico, the midfield area will be severely weakened, so I don’t really agree with online bookmakers that the Bianconeri are the favourites to go through.
Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Giorgio Chiellini, Nicklas Bendtner, Kwadwo Asamoah and Simone Pepe are all unavailable.
The first match showed Lazio are a good match for their more illustrious opponents and I have reason to believe the Biancocelesti can finish the job in the return leg. Juventus are missing several very important players, while it is evident they are not on top of their game at the moment.
Top pick: Both teams to score 1.75 (3/4) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Lazio to qualify 2.20 (6/5) @ Paddy Power
Alternative pick 2: Lazio Draw no bet 2.38 (11/8) @ bet365
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