An intriguing Serie A battle is in proposition on Saturday evening as Juventus host top four rivals AS Roma.
Thus far, the season has not been that straight forward for the Old Lady, currently sitting fourth in the table and seven points adrift of leaders AC Milan. Elsewhere, Roma are quietly enjoying an excellent campaign, sitting third and currently one point clear of this weekend’s opponents. It goes without saying then that a win for either could really propel them into title contention. As it stands, it’s Andrea Pirlo’s men who are the more fancied to lift the league title at odds of 11/4 with Paddy Power, whilst Roma sit some way behind at 17/1 to lift their first Scudetto since 2001.
It’s somewhat understandable that Juventus are looked on as the more likely for success considering the form that they are currently in. The team are currently in the midst of a five-match winning streak in all competitions following their victory against Inter Milan last time out. They have also only lost one game at home in Serie A so far this season. Roma also seem to be firmly back on track after a somewhat sticky patch in mid-January. Their 3-1 success against Hellas Verona made it back-to-back wins. Juventus are once again favourites to extend their victorious run at odds of 8/11 with William Hill. Roma can be backed at 7/2, whilst a draw is at 14/5.
The visitors will certainly have to keep a close eye on Cristiano Ronaldo if they hope to claim anything in Turin. He is currently the top scorer in Serie A with 15 goals in 16 games and he sits at odds of 23/10 with Betfair to score first on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, former Manchester United and Arsenal man Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been in terrific form for Roma this season with nine goals and eight assists already. The Bosnian then could be a clever bet to net the opening goal instead at odds of 8/1.
The only doubt for Juventus ahead of the game is forward Paulo Dybala. He has missed the last three league matches so will be evaluated ahead of the game. Other than that, Pirlo can boast a relatively clean bill of health. Meanwhile, Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has a few problems as he prepares his side for the trip. Defender Chris Smalling is likely to be out with a thigh injury and joins long-term absentees Nicolo Zaniolo and Pedro on the sidelines.