AS Roma vs Juventus
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Sunday, 14th of May 2017
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Stadio Olimpico (Rome)
The league leaders Juventus are looking to win their sixth Scudetto in a row at the Stadio Olimpico as they only need a point against the strong second place Giallorossi side from the capital.
Spalletti’s Roma come to this fixture after their impressive 4-1 victory at the San Siro over AC Milan, and are still looking to challenge Juventus for the Scudetto trophy. They currently stand 7 points behind the top with only 3 games to go, with Napoli right behind them with only a point difference. A win would also secure Champions League football for Roma.
After progressing through to the UEFA Champions League final midweek against AS Monaco, the Bianconeri still have a job to do in their domestic league competition. As said, they only need a draw from this game to secure the title, but Juventus’ coach Massimiliano Allegri never goes to a game looking for a draw.
Both teams are going in to this fixture on a similar form, after they both have picked up 22 points from their last 10 games. Roma have only lost 2 games at home this season, against Napoli and Lazio (who they share their stadium with) and Juventus hasn’t been exactly the best side on the road this season, after losing 4 times out of 17 games.
Juventus were the better side in the last game between these sides, winning narrowly 1-0 in a fierce battle with an early goal from Gonzalo Higuain. Roma won the possession and created more
chances, but Juve’s absolute wall of a defense and pace on the counter attack pulled the longer straw in Turin.
Roma have their leading goalscorer Edin Dzeko out with a calf injury, which is a massive blow for them. Florenzi is out for the season. Strootman is suspended and Nainggolan, Perotti and Grenier are doubts. Roma’s boss Luciano Spalletti might have to use one of El Shaarawy or Salah or Perotti in a false nine role, due to not having a fit striker.
Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Emerson, Fazio, Manolas, Rudiger; De Rossi, Paredes; Perotti, Nainggolan, Salah; El Shaarawy
Juventus have Rugani and Pjaca out for the rest of the season and Khedira has a minor thigh and will probably be rested for the weekend. The youngster Kean is also out. They also will rest some players after having a midweek fixture going in to this game, and also having a Coppa Italia final against Lazio on the 17th of May.
Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Buffon; Asamoah, Benatia, Bonucci, Lichtsteiner; Rincon, Pjanic; Mandzukic, Dybala, Cuadrado; Higuain.
HEAD TO HEAD
– Their last 20 league meetings have had 12 Juve victories, 5 draws ad 3 Roma wins.
– Roma has scored 79 times this season and conceded 32 times, while Juve has scored 71 times and conceded 23.
– The last goalless draw between these two sides was in December 2000.
– Juventus has failed to score against Roma only once in their last 20 league meetings.
– Last two games between these two sides have ended up as a 1-0 victory to Juve.
STYLE OF PLAY
Going forward Roma are very good on counter attacks and they tend to attack through the
middle using long balls to their wingers who like to cut inside. They like to press high and shoot a lot (averaging 17.7 shots per game), which is granted with players like Radja Nainggolan who has a rocket of a shot.
Roma like possession based football and they average 55.4% ball possession this season, and their pass accuracy is a decent 85% as well. Their team is also really tall and physical,
which makes them really strong in air.
Defense is definitely their weakness, especially on the flanks. They let their opposition create way too many chances and average a shocking 12.4 shots conceded per game.
Going forward Juve mostly attacks from the flanks with their fullbacks and wingers with the likes of Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado bursting up and down with tremendous pace. Juve also presses high which might be crucial in this fixture with Roma’s defense being a little shaky.
Even though Juventus averages 55.2% ball possession, they gladly let the opposition have the ball so they can break on the counter using short passes straight through the middle.
It’s a well known fact that Juve’s biggest strength is their defense. The infamous BBBC (Buffon, Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini) is arguably the best defense in the world and it has shown it for years and years on a weekly basis.
This game will surely have it all. It’s a big game with 2 great, great sides who will both fight until the end. There is most likely going to be some cards and questionable decisions but most importantly beautiful Italian football.
I reckon Roma will take on the possession right from the beginning and Juve will try to press their defense, which may leave their midfield a little weak and let Roma attack against Juve’s back line. This also lets Juve hit on the counter attack which can also be very dangerous.
Score prediction: Juventus to edge it 2-1.