The contest will be especially crucial for the home team as they look to get off to a successful start on the season. Juventus are the definite favorites in Serie A, and Lazio will need as many points as possible to hang with the Bianconeri in the title race. A win on Sunday would certainly help.
Lazio came away from a road match with Atalanta the victors, by a final score of 4-3. The Roman club got goals from new addition Ciro Immobile, as well as Danilo Cataldi, Cristiano Lombardi and defender Wesley Hoedt.
Despite the high-scoring affair, the Romans will need to play better at the back if they want to have any chance against the reigning champions. Lazio went up 3-0 in the first 35 minutes against Atalanta, but allowed the hosts to creep back into the game. That kind of defensive play won’t help against a loaded Juventus attack.
Speaking of Juventus, the Turin-based giants bagged an opening day win against a quality Fiorentina side by a score of 2-1. Sami Khedira opened the scoring early with a header off an excellent ball from defender Giorgio Chiellini. While the visitors did pull one back, new signing Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner in the 75th minute to seal the three points.
New additions who could play a role
The Old Lady have had an eventful summer transfer window to say the least. Despite selling Paul Pogba, the club has brought in significant quality. Higuain, Dani Alves, Medhi Benatia, Miralem Pjanic and Marko Pjaca all joined in the offseason. The new additions have Juve poised for big things in 2016/2017.
While Higuain and Alves debuted in the win over Fiorentina, the likes of Pjanic, Benatia and Pjaca could make their first Serie A appearances for Juve against Lazio.
It certainly would be interesting to see Pjanic and Benatia debut for Juve at the Stadio Olimpico. The duo both previously played for Roma, and while the game isn’t against the Giallorossi, it will be played in the same stadium Pjanic and Benatia used to call home.
Saturday’s contest will also mark the home debut for a number of new Lazio players. Immobile could debut against his former employers, while a few defenders could also see time. Jordan Lukaku and Wallace were brought in to reinforce the Biancocelesti defense. The two outside backs both started against Atalanta and could very well do the same versus Juventus.
Players to watch
Higuain is certainly a player to watch for Juventus. Should he start, the world-class forward will have an excellent chance to continue his goal scoring. Atalanta, a team who only scored 41 goals last season, put three in the net against Lazio. Higuain himself had 36 last year, so the opportunity is definitely there.
On the other side, the key players for Lazio include Stefan de Vrij and Hoedt. The Dutch duo will have their hands full with not only Higuain, but the rest of Max Allegri’s attacking players. Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Pjaca will all be goal threats should they start. What’s more, the likes of Khedira, Pjanic and Alves have also shown goal-scoring capabilities in the past.