Serie A Round 26: Juventus – Lazio Preview and Expected Lineups

There is no time to rest during this congested period as Serie A teams are back in action once again after an intriguing set of fixtures in midweek. In Round 26, Juventus welcome Lazio at the Allianz Stadium, with both teams continuing the fight for a top-four finish in the league.

In midweek, the Bianconeri cruised past Spezia with an easy 3-0 win on Tuesday night, with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata getting on a scoresheet, whereas Lazio didn’t play their match against Torino following a COVID-19 outbreak in the Granata camp.

Juventus – Lazio

Serie A Round 26
Saturday, 6 March 2021
Kick-off at 20:45 (CET)
Allianz Stadium (Turin)

Recent Form – Juventus

Following the consecutive defeats to Napoli in Serie A and Porto in the Champions League, Juve have been on a three-game unbeaten domestic run in recent weeks, having collected 7 points out of 9 possible. During this short run, Andrea Pirlo’s men have come away winners against lesser opponents in Crotone and Spezia but were held to a 1-1 draw by Hellas Verona. The Bianconeri are currently sitting in 3rd place with 49 points, which is 10 fewer than the league leaders Inter.

Juventus’ most recent win came in a midweek game against Spezia, which proved to be a tougher encounter than first expected. It took more than an hour for Pirlo’s side to break the defensive resistance of Spezia, with Morata opening the score in the 62nd minute of the match. Ten minutes later Federico Chiesa added the second, while Ronaldo’s strike put the game to bed with a minute of normal time left to play. It was Juventus’ one of the best performances in terms of chance conversion this season, with the Bianconeri converting 3 out of 4 big scoring chances they created in this game.

Although Juve showed their clinical nature in front of goal in a game against Spezia, overall, they have not been quite at their best so far this season. Pirlo’s men are ranked only 6th for goals scored (48), but at the same time, they have the third-best non-penalty expected goals (npxG) per game record in the division (1.84 npxG). It indicates that Juve do create quality chances in front of the opposing goal, but they are simply not clinical enough on most occasions. To support this, Pirlo’s men rank only 9th in the league for goals scored for every shot on target (0.32 goals). Although Juve hit the target fairly regularly – ranked 4th in the league for shots on target – it seems that the opposing goalkeepers deal with their goal attempts fairly easily.

Team News and Predicted Lineups – Juventus

It looks like Juventus’ luck with injuries have finally run out, as Pirlo is expected to miss at least five key players from his usual starting lineup against Lazio.

The biggest point of concern is the defensive line, with Matthijs de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci, and Giorgio Chiellini all sidelined with small niggles. In midfield, Juventus will have to cope without Rodrigo Bentancur and Arthur, while Gianluca Frabotta will have to sit out due to suspension.

Expected Starting XI (3-5-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Demiral, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Ramsey, McKennie, Rabiot, Chiesa; Kulusevski, Cristiano Ronaldo

Unavailable: Frabotta (suspension); Bentancur (COVID); de Ligt (muscle injury); Dybala (knee injury); Chiellini (calf injury); Bonucci (muscle injury); Arthur (muscle injury)

Recent Form – Lazio

Lazio’s most recent form has been ups and downs, with Simone Inzaghi’s men losing the last two matches they played. A heavy 4-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 in the Champions League and an unexpected 2-0 loss to Bologna last weekend have reminded Lazio of their inconsistencies this season. The Biancocelesti are currently placed in 7th position in the league with 43 points, which is 6 points short of the Champions League places.

In their most recent Serie A game, Lazio suffered an unexpected defeat to Bologna, which at the end of the season might prove to be costly when fighting for a precious Champions League spot. It was 90 minutes of frustration for Lazio as Ciro Immobile failed to convert his penalty kick, whilst Bologna managed to score twice from the only two chances they had during the entire game. Lazio finished the game with expected goals (xG) of 2.47 compared to Bologna’s 1.41.

Overall, Lazio’s mediocre form this Serie A season is not by no means just bad luck. Inzaghi’s men are ranked only 8th for goals scored (38) and 7th for npxG (non-penalty expected goals) with 31.2. The ranking itself is not so much of a concern; however, the fact that they should have scored 7 goals fewer indicate that the chances Lazio create do not result in a high probability of scoring. Besides, even though Lazio are far from the team they were last season, they have still been massively overachieving, having collected 9 points more than expected at this stage of the season, according to the expected points statistical metric (xPTS 33.8).

Team News and Predicted Lineups – Lazio

Similar to Juventus, Lazio have been hit hard by an injury crisis to their defensive line. On Saturday night, Inzaghi will have to cope without Stefan Radu and Luiz Felipe, who are likely to be replaced by Patric and Dutch international Wesley Hoedt. Additionally, Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro will slot in place of Manuel Lazzari, who is still recovering from a calf injury.

Expected Starting XI (3-5-2): Reina; Marusic, Hoedt, Acerbi; Lulic, Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva, Luis Alberto, Fares; Correa, Immobile

Unavailable: Lazzari (calf injury); Radu (hernia); Luiz Felipe (ankle injury)

Juventus vs Lazio – Previous Meetings

This will be the 177th meeting between the two teams, with Juventus holding a much superior record of the two. So far, the Bianconeri have been victorious on 91 occasions (51.4% win ratio), whilst Lazio have celebrated a victory only 43 times (24.2% win ratio).

The first head-to-head meeting of this season ended in a 1-1 draw back in November, with Felipe Caicedo scoring a 93rd-minute equaliser.


Following the recent performances of both teams, Juventus come into this game as quite clear favorites. Seven goals scored and just one conceded in the last three matches suggest that Juve can be an exciting attacking team we all have been accustomed to over the years.

In contrast, Lazio are heavily reliant on Ciro Immobile and his scoring form this season. The Italian striker has not scored in the last three Serie A matches, and it is highly likely that Lazio will come away empty-handed again if their talisman fails to find the back of the net for the fourth game running.