Serie A preview: Juventus vs AS Roma

Juventus are scheduled to entertain the Giallorossi at the Allianz Stadium in this weekend’s Serie A encounter. The Bianconeri have dropped just two points through their opening 16 games of the season and they are currently comfortably placed at the top of the standings with an eight-point gap over nearest competitors Napoli.

Roma, however, have struggled to replicate their form from the previous campaign and a run of just two wins from the previous eight matches sees them a massive 22 points adrift of the top of the table. Still, they have plenty to play for with AC Milan, currently occupying the fourth Champions League position, only three points ahead of them.

Key statistics ahead of the weekend clash:

Juventus have conceded just eight goals during the ongoing campaign and that is presently the second-best defensive record across Europe’s top-five leagues behind only Liverpool.

The Bianconeri have managed five successive league clean sheets coming into the Giallorossi game and that has included key wins over Inter and their fierce rivals AC Milan.

Meanwhile, Roma have struggled to find the scoresheet regularly on their visits to the Turin giants and they have scored in just two of their previous eight away meetings.

As such, they remain winless over the past seven trips to the Allianz Stadium with their previous three outings producing an identical 1-0 scoreline in the hosts’ favour.

Player to watch for:

Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus: Bianconeri boss Max Allegri had recently talked up the need to rest the Portugal international, who has played 90 minutes in all but one league game for the club this term. However, ahead of the Roma game, Allegri confirmed that he may rest Ronaldo for either the Atalanta or Sampdoria match to follow and this should witness the Portuguese feature from the off in his preferred left-wing role. The ex-Real Madrid star has already netted on 11 occasions in the 16 league games and his precise movement in and around the box is sure to prove a test for the Roma backline, which has conceded twice in each of the previous three league games.

Prediction:

Roma have Edin Dzeko back in their ranks after a muscular problem but even his presence may not assure the Giallorossi of the three points against a resolute opposition backline. Hence, we are fancying Juventus to secure a fourth-straight 1-0 home win over Roma with Eusebio di Francesco’s side likely to come up with a better defensive display than in recent weeks.

Image – Juventus’ official website