Juventus VS AS Roma Prediction
One of this weekend’s screamers will take place on the Italian Serie A stage when on Saturday night, 17 December 2016, Juventus takes on AS Roma at its “Juventus Stadium” in Turin. Matchweek 17 virtually faces both Serie A leaders couple of days after another significant round, when on Sunday afternoon Juventus was victorious in the “Derby della Mole”, while AS Roma won a second-place decider against AC Milan on Monday night. A successful weekend which once again confirms domestic supremacy of “The Bianconeri”, who are on four points ahead AS Roma. “The Giallorossi” have once again won a position of being a main runner-up in Italian Calcio, but Luciano Spalletti surely realizes what kind of challenge he has and that putting an end of Juve’s hegemony requires some exceptional results.
Juventus vs AS Roma – Team News and Match Preview
Juventus started the new week in an excellent mood since the Italian champion has been drawn against FC Porto in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League 1/8 finals, which seems to be a really acceptable opposition. “Dragons” from Portugal are surely a tough side, but opportunity to have them on the ring, compared with prospects to face someone among Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich makes current situation absolutely passable.
Bianconeri’s mood was already superb after a wonderful comeback in the Derby di Torino on Sunday, when Torino opened the score by its goal scorer Andrea Belotti, but Massimiliano Allegri’s men have shown character and responded in a proper fashion. Their behaviour was of a champion and despite “Il Toro’s” enthusiasm, which has been spread over Torino’s squad but on the stands as well, Juventus used its experience and squad depth in best possible way. “The Old Lady” showed wisdom and tactical knowledge, and all second-half substitutions made by Allegri were absolutely effective. First of all he refreshed Juve’s midfield where Marko Lemina replaced Stefano Sturaro, while few minutes later Paulo Dybala made its Serie A return, after he suffered injury in the 0-1 defeat against AC Milan on 22 October. Dybala’s presence had an immediate effect and we clearly saw how eager the Argentine was for first-team football. Meanwhile Dybala’s compatriot Gonzalo Higuain scored twice, respecitvely in 28th and 82nd minutes of the game, which has turned the game completely in Juve’s favour and Torino had to take more risks. Seconds before second goal of Higuain, another summer purchase made by Juventus came on the field, when Miralem Pjanic replaced Juan Cuadrado. Exactly Pjanic scored third goal into Joe Hart’s net, but Bosnian midfielder was not that far away to miss a golden chance created by Paulo Dybala’s brilliant individual effort. However, Pjanic scored from its second attempt and thus formed final 1-3 at the “Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino”.
“The Giallorossi” have also been one of all direct participants in UEFA’s Monday activity, but in the Europa League, where Roma will meet Spanish Villarreal in the Round of 32. First day of the new week was even more loaded for “The Roman Wolves”, who had to defend their home record against AC Milan and they did it. Indeed, round 16 was wrapped up with a match between Roma and AC Milan, respectively 2nd against the 3rd in Serie A’s standings, which has put the home side under serious pressure. That happened in first half ot the match when Roma’s goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny fouled Milan’s striker Gianluca Lapadula in the box, which caused a penalty for “The Rossoneri”. Happily to the home team, Szczesny saved the penalty and that was a penalty miss for M’Baye Niang in second successive game.
Later on Roma won the game after a lovely strike by Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan, whose goal was enough to scoop the entire set of points for Luciano Spalletti’s men. Thus hosts have extended their record at the “Stadio Olimpico”, where Roma remains unbeaten in the Serie A for more than an year. Their last defeat was 0-2 from Atalanta in end of November 2015. In fact that defeat has been followed by an impressive streak containing 16 wins and 4 draws in Roma’s last 20 Serie A home matches.
Eight from these sixteen victories have been accomplished in the 2016-17 season, which makes Roma flawless when it comes to playing in front of the home crowd. By the way, there are two Serie A clubs which have not dropped a single point in their home games so far, so you probably won’t be surprised if we say the other one is Juventus. Anyhow, Roma can boast with a 2-0 win against Lazio earlier in December, which is considered for a game away from home, but we all know that both Roman clubs share the same stadium. This practically makes “The Giallorossi” even more impressive at home turf, but this time they’ll be guests at one of the most inhospitable venues not only in Italy, but in Europe at all.
Head-to-head (H2H) Stats: Juventus vs AS Roma
Rivalry Juventus-Roma exists since many years (reached its peak in the 80’s) and it represents a clash between two of the most supported, reputable and successful Italian clubs. Competition of both clubs is pretty much influenced by the competition between Turin and capital Rome, which are two of the most important business and cultural centres in Italy.
In last few Serie A seasons, after the famous Calciopoli scandal and Juve’s resurrection afterwards short period in Serie B, “The Giallorossi” are one of the teams with biggest desire and motivation for stopping Juventus, but “The Bianconeri” have lifted the Scudetto at the end of last five campaigns.
Since both clubs have very rich common history and we can easily calculate 12 encounters in the past 5 season (except 10 Serie A games, they have also met twice in the Coppa Italia), we can highlight what’s the balance between Juventus and Roma in term of Juve’s hegemony. It seems logical and pretty related with current situation in the Calcio, when we have “Bianconeri” once again on top and Roma following them, which is not something new for the reviewed period.
Juventus can boast with 7 victories including the 1-0 from January, which is the last clash of both teams. It was first managerial duel of Massimiliano Allegri and Luciano Spalletti with their current clubs and it came only 10 days after Spalletti has been appointed as Rudi Garcia’s successor. Max Allegri will have some confidence on its side after a victory against Spalletti and his narrow success came after a goal by Paulo Dybala in closing part of the game.
AS Roma can offer only three wins in last 12 fixtures against Juve, which is not that much compared to 7 of Juventus, but last one from them was in the 2015-16 season. The 2-1 success from end of August 2015 came under Rudi Garcia’s leadership and in a moment when Juventus had a very bad beginning of its new campaign, which has obviously inspired some hopes in the other contenders. Anyway, only few months later “The Old Lady” was convincingly sitting at the Serie A peak and her lead over all other teams was crucial for the Scudetto.
Juventus vs AS Roma – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
So generally we have both most powerful home teams in Serie A and Juventus in particular is the team that can benefit from its superiority in current round. Massimiliano Allegri knows this and he must decide whether Paulo Dybala will be fit enough to begin from the outset or the 23-year-old forward can be alternative on the bench, especially if game is not going well for “The Bianconeri”.
Hosts from Turin will be keen to accomplish their 25th consecutive home success in Serie A, meaning their last slip at the “Juventus Stadium” was a draw against Frosinone in September 2015. Really impressive home record by Juventus and if Massimiliano Allegri wants to increase distance between top two sides to seven points, the 49-year-old Italian must decide carefully about its approach.
In a moment when two of the key centre-backs are injured (Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli) and they’ll surely miss this one, usage of formation with four defenders (two central defenders) seems to be the right choice. We highly doubt Allegri is willing to start with centre-back trio after that 3-1 defeat from Genoa just few weeks ago, so if we consider Giorgio Chiellini as a certain starter (when he’s fit), then we have Medhi Benatia and younger Daniele Rugani in contention for a starting position. Long-term injury of Dani Alves opens a space for another experience players as his replacement – Swiss Stephan Lichtsteiner is ready to deputize at the right-back.
Juve’s midfield looks a promised land for players like Sami Khedira and Claudio Marchisio, while Miralem Pjanic is expected to start against its former club and there are two options for his employment here. One of them is concerning rotation in the formation and Pjanic can play behind the strikers, in case Allegri plans to start with a 4-3-1-2 formation. Otherwise Bosnian attacking midfielder can start at the expense of Stefano Sturaro.
This decision may have special attention to Juve’s attacking formation, where Allegri has to choose from Dybala, Mandzukic and Higuain. Juan Cuadrado can also be an option on the right wing, but we believe starting duo between both Argentine compatriots (Dybala and Higuain), although Mandzukic had a decent contribution against Torino.
We cannot exclude attacking trio with Dybala, Mandzukic and Higuain all in, but this will be extremely attacking formation and Allegri may use it in different occasion, not in a match against its biggest opponent at the moment.
On other hand we also have some important absentees in guests from Rome, who will travel for Turin without already injured Alessandro Florenzi and Mohamed Salah. Expectations are that defensive midfielder Leandro Paredes should return to training in the week before that game, but he’ll need some time to get fully fit after a distortion in its ankle. And if these are all injured players before Monday’s challenge against AC Milan, Luciano Spalletti’s list has grown in that game and that happened in closing minutes of the first-half. Bruno Peres was replaced by Stephan El Shaarawy and the 26-year-old Brazilian is another player who can operate through the right flank, but will miss derby against Juventus due to suspension.
Update, 15 December 2016: Mohamed Salah was initially ruled out of action for “The Wolves”, but Egyptian is remarkably now looking to return to action this month, so there’s some chances for him to find its place in the group.
News on the day after game against Milan are that Bruno Peres will miss matches against Juve and Chievo Verona, so he’ll be available in first official match for 2017 – visit against Genoa on 8 January.
Injuries of Peres, Florenzi and Salah are leaving Roma without typical right winger, or at least player who likes to play wide like Beres, whose regular position is of defender. Thus Spalletti may have to re-organize its formation or to credit someone among attacking midfielder Gerson and Juan Iturbe, as even if latter is a typical right winger, he doesn’t get enough minutes in Serie A and Iturbe starts only in Roma’s Europa League quest. Nevertheless, these circumstances may force Spalletti to include him in the starting XI and it’s entirely up to him to prove his worth, as well as that he is keen in having a future in Rome.
Final conclusion, Betting Odds and Prediction
Allegri and Spalletti are set for another meeting in Turin where both managers will have to choose most adequate replacements in the relevant zones. Tactical setup and battle in midfield are two from the main factors which can redound for a final outcome at the “Juventus Stadium”.
That’s why we believe Juventus will maintain its excellent home run in Serie A and eventual victory against Roma on Saturday night will make their lead even more convenient. Prospects of having home advantage on your side, Paulo Dybala back in the squad and players like Alex Sandro, Miralem Pjanic, Gonzalo Higuain all in-form are among our arguments for recommending victory of Juventus – 1X2 Betting.
Venue: “Juventus Stadium”, Turin.
Referee: Daniele Orsato.
Possible starting lineups of Juventus and AS Roma
Juventus: Gianluigi Buffon – Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele Rugani, Stephan Lichtsteiner – Stefano Sturaro, Claudio Marchisio, Sami Khedira – Miralem Pjanic – Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuaín. (4-3-1-2)
AS Roma: Wojciech Szczesny – Antonio Rüdiger, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Emerson – Kevin Strootman, Daniele De Rossi – Juan Iturbe, Radja Nainggolan, Diego Perotti – Edin Dzeko. (4-2-3-1)