Roma vs Juventus – Olimpico – May 13 – Italian Serie A preview
Juventus can safely claim to be the official Italian champions after their 3-1 trouncing of Bologna on Saturday. They are a clear six points ahead of 2nd placed Napoli and even if the latter were to end up dramatically on equal points with the Turin giants when the Serie A ends on May 20, they will be well behind on goal difference. Juventus’s near-blemishless run of 23 games since October is chequered with just one loss to Napoli in late April. Despite their pinnacle position, the Old Lady wouldn’t like to end the season with another loss when they face 3rd placed Roma at the Olimpico stadium on May 13, Sunday. Roma will be battling to stay in the Top 4, being just 2 points ahead of 4th placed Lazio and with 2 tough games to go.The Giallorossi seeem to have put behind their Champions League semi-final ouster with a thumping 4-1 win over Chievo and a somewhat unconvincing 0-1 over relegation candidates, Cagliari.
Roma have won all their 4 previous Serie fixtures, but all against bottom-half clubs. The Giallorossi defense of Aleksandar Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas and Bruno Peres will be severely tested on Sunday by the likes of Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Sammy Khedira who with 22, 16 and 9 goals apiece have been among the most prolific scorers in Italy this season. But Roma will be a tough nut to crack at the Olimpico stadium as was borne out by the 3-0 and 4-2 recent wins they registered against teams like Barcelona and Liverpool in their Champions League outings.
Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco will most like stick to his favourite 4-3-2-1 formation with his top scorer Edin Dzeko as the lone striker and El Shaarawy and Cenghiz Under playing behind him. The Juventus defense will be wary of the dangerous Dzeko, especially with the Bosnian’s propensity to score in almost every major game.
Juve’s Massimiliano Allegri will go for the customary attacking formation of 4-3-3 that will comprise of Dybala, Higuain and Douglas Costa in striking roles. The defense will be strong as usual with the legendary Gigi Buffon between the posts and a back-line that has the likes of the incomparable Andrea Barzagli, Alex Sandro, Daniele Rugani and Juan Cuadrado in it. Juventus’s Serie A record on the road has been almost flawless having conceded defeat in just one away game this season. Roma despite their heroics against Barcelona and Liverpool at the Olimpico stadium, have floundered badly at home, losing as many as 6 matches.
Bookmakers seemed to have overlooked this shortcoming while assigning odds with a win for the hosts. Since Roma are behind their Sunday rivals by 18 points, they have nothing to lose and with the Champions League ouster behind them, the Giallorossi are expected to go flat out against the Serie A champions.
Both Teams to Score, Best Odds 1.87 @ Coral
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