Juventus will be up against Lazio in the Serie A encounter at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on the 17th of May. Juventus will have to recover from the Coppa Italia heartbreak that they suffered last week at the hands of Inter Milan. They will be looking to secure a win in their final home game of what has been a very disappointing season. The visitors, Lazio, meanwhile, have posted consecutive wins in their last two matches to occupy the fifth place and remain within touching distance of European qualification for the upcoming season.
It has been yet another challenging and difficult season for Juventus and they will be ending a season without a trophy for the first time in over a decade. There have been no signs of relief from misery towards the back end of the campaign as well and Juventus have now last back-to-back matches after defeat in a special Derby d’Italia edition of the Coppa Italia final.
Opponents Inter Milan took the lead in the final but Max Allegri’s side showed plenty of character and a will to fight back from a goal down to lead the match heading into the final 10 minutes of the contest. However, Hakan Calhanoglu found the back of the net from the penalty spot in the 80th minute to restore parity and force extra time.
It was then that the side from Turin would eventually be vanquished thanks to a brace from Ivan Perisic in extra time. The Croatian scored two goals in the space of three minutes, one from the penalty spot, to give Inter the bragging rights in consecutive fights for the silverware against Juventus.
Juventus were also defeated in February’s dramatic Suppercoppa Italiana final against the same opponents. The Nerazzurri tragically also ended the Bianconeri’s nine-year reign as Serie A champions last season by winning the Scudetto. That dismal record is set to continue as Juventus haven’t been able to take part in the title race at any point in the season and are set to finish a lowly fourth in Serie A.
Last week’s defeat to lowly Genoa was the latest in a long line of slip-ups by the old Lady of Turin. They have conceded at least a single goal in each of their last six matches in the league, thus bringing an end to Max Allegri’s attempts of securing and building a formidable rearguard which has been rather consistent this season up until this point.
The last time Juventus endured a longer streak of games without keeping a clean sheet in the league was at this exact point last year, towards the final few matches of Andrea Pirlo’s debut and doomed campaign as manager. With that being said, Juve will be hoping that history favours them given that they have a fantastic record against Lazio in Serie A and it could aid their pursuit of third-placed Napoli who remain outside their grasp for the moment.
Under Max Allegri, who previously also managed Juventus between 2014 and 2019 before taking a two-year break from coaching, the Bianconeri have won 10 of their 11 meetings with the side from the capital in Serie A. They have found the back of the net at an average of 2.4 goals per match in the clubs’ last eight encounters at the Allianz Stadium and have also picked up seven outstanding victories in the process.
The two sides last squared off against each other in Rome in November 2021. Veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci stepped up and scored twice from the penalty spot to cap off a comfortable 2-0 victory in Rome. Including that win, the Bianconeri have won 12 of their last 15 matches against Lazio in all competitions, and will certainly start as the favourites here.
Having taken just a single point from the previous two matches, Lazio posted consecutive wins against Serie A’s struggling teams Spezia and Sampdoria to boost their hopes of securing qualification to the Europa League for next season. However, they cannot take that for granted as an underwhelming and inconsistent campaign reaches its conclusion for the side from Rome.
Lazio are three points ahead of neighbours and arch-rivals AS Roma in the Serie A standings and with two matches left in the season, the Biancocelesti are being closely followed by both Atalanta and Fiorentina before the penultimate round of fixtures. This means that they cannot afford any errors in the upcoming week. Following the trip to face Juventus in Turin, Maurizio Sarri’s men will then return home to face Hellas Verona at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to draw the curtains on their Serie A 2021/22 campaign.
While history and recent precedent suggest that Lazio will have a mountain to climb if they wish to secure all three points, the site from the capital will come up against Sarri’s former club having won five of their last seven fixtures away from home in the top flight including both of their two most recent games on the road.
Although Maurizio Sarri’s spell in charge at Juve was brief and ended with some discontentment, he has lost six of his previous nine league matches against the Bianconeri. Therefore, it goes without saying that the idiosyncratic former Chelsea manager would absolutely love to get one over his old side on Monday night.
JUV vs LAZ, Serie A 2021/22
Date: 17th May, 2022
Time: 12:15 AM IST
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin
Juventus Serie A form:
Juventus form (all competitions):
Lazio Serie A form:
Lazio form (all competitions):
Juventus wins: 34
Lazio wins: 14
Juventus Team News: Max Allegri now has several options at his disposal that were all previously unavailable. Midfielder Manuel Locatelli is back in the side after missing the last five league matches due to injury. Meanwhile, Luca Pellegrini has also recovered from an ankle sprain while his teammate and fellow full-back Mattia De Sciglio also returns to the squad after serving his suspension in the Coppa Italia final.
De Sciglio should start in this fixture and is likely to relegate Danilo to the bench. However, Weston McKennie may not recover from a lengthy injury layoff in time to feature in this clash. He might play a role in the final fixture before the season comes to an end though.
Paulo Dybala, who officially announced his desire to leave Juventus recently, is expected to lead the attack once again with Dusan Vlahovic. Dybala has scored nine goals against Lazio in his last 15 appearances, including one on his Juventus debut. Since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, no player has found the back of the net as many times against the Roman side across all competitions as the Argentine forward.
Lazio Team News: Lazio, as usual, will be spearheaded in the attack by the enigmatic Ciro Immobile. He has scored only four goals against Monday’s hosts, but three of those four goals have arrived in his last four trips to the Juventus Stadium in Turin.
He is currently leading the scoring charts in Serie A once again and is four goals ahead of his nearest rival, Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic. Immobile has found the back of the net 27 times in Serie A so far this season and will be desperate to increase his lead at the top of the charts, especially, if his defensive teammates manage to keep Vlahovic at bay. Immobile should be joined in attack by Mattia Zaccagni and Felipe Anderson in an attacking trio if the latter is able to shake off his ankle issue.
Veteran winger Pedro also returns to action this week after being sidelined for nearly two months due to a calf problem.
Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Pellegrini; Arthur, Rabiot; Bernardeschi, Dybala, Kean; Vlahovic
Lazio possible starting lineup:
Strakosha; Lazzari, Patric, Acerbi, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni
If they end up losing to the visitors, this will be only the second Serie A season where Juventus will have secured fewer points on home soil compared to their travels. The last two seasons have been very disappointing for the Bianconeri whose aura of invincibility in Italy is quickly fading away.
Lazio are the second-highest scorers in Serie A this season and they have nothing to lose heading into this clash against their dreaded rivals. Their shaky backline will be the primary cause of concern, but they will be fancying themselves to succeed here, especially given Immobile’s form and propensity to score.