Roma (10-5-3) vs Juventus (14-3-1)
Serie A: Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm ET (Stadio Olimpico)
Line and Odds: Roma +240/Juventus +113 — Over: -107; Under: -104
FREE SERIE A Pick Roma vs Juventus
Juventus travel to Rome hoping to reclaim position at the top of Serie A
Fourth-placed Roma host Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico in Matchday 19 of the Italian Serie A. With Inter Milan slipping up at home to Atalanta, a Juve win will see Maurizio Sarri’s side move atop the League table and two points clear of Antonio Conte’s team. Roma, on the other hand, have a chance to open up a three point gap between themselves and Atalanta in fifth place if they manage a home victory.
It is hard to guess what state of mind Paulo Fonseca’s side will come with into the game after their recent run of mixed results. Their last five matches began with an encouraging 0-0 draw against League leaders Inter which was followed by a 2-2 draw at home to Wolfsberg in the Europa League – a game they should have won. They then recorded comprehensive 3-1 and 1-4 defeats of SPAL and Fiorentina respectively in the League. But the confidence built on the back of these two results came crashing down in a 2-0 home defeat to ninth-place Torino – a game where Fonseca’s side registered 31 shots and seven on target without scoring. However, the promise shown by the team and the talent in its possession, thanks to the likes of Edin Dzeko, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Nicolo Zaniolo gracing its ranks, coupled with the fact that Juve have not found the net in their last two visits to Rome should give Roma some hope to pull off a positive result going into the match.
Juve, on the other hand, have managed to get the results regardless of how they have played, with the team still looking suspect at times under Sarri. There have been times where the Italian outfit has gelled together admirably and played some fantastic attacking football, but also ones where they have struggled to break down rigid oppositions. Despite these, they have lost just one game in the League so far, which is definitely promising. Juve visit the Olimpico in much better form than the hosts, having won four out of their last five games. They have defeated Leverkusen (Champions League) and Sampdoria away from home and Udinese and Cagliari at home in the process. Their only loss came against Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana at the Stadio Olimpico. However, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain all regularly getting on the scoresheet regularly and the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Merih Demiral and Adrien Rabiot all putting in good shifts, Sarri’s side will look to go back to the summit of Serie A in style with a good showing against Roma.
Cover The Spread 365 Soccer Betting Trends:
– Roma are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Serie A matches
– Roma are 6-4 ATS at home in the Serie A this season
– Roma are 7-8-3 O/U in the Serie A this season
– Juventus are 3-5-2 ATS in their last 10 Serie A matches
– Juventus are 2-5-3 ATS away from home in the Serie A this season
– Juventus are 9-6-3 O/U in the Serie A this season
FREE SERIE A Prediction Juventus vs Roma
Last Time Out
Alessandro Florenzi and Edin Dzeko scored late in the second half to help guide Roma to a home win in May. Juve dominated the first half, with Dybala and Juan Cuadrado forcing good saves from home keeper Antonio Mirante, but Roma, then managed by Claudio Ranieri, dug deep to secure a victory, scoring twice from just three shots on target. The result boosted Roma’s hopes of Champions League qualification, but they fell short by three points as Inter took fourth place, with the Giallorossi falling to sixth place and as a result, to the Europa League. The result did not affect Juventus much though, as they secured their 8th top-flight title in a row, finishing 11 points ahead of Napoli in second place.
Edin Dzeko will be the biggest threat to Juventus from this Roma Side. The Bosnian is still going good guns at 33 and has already racked up seven goals and three assists in 16 League appearances this term. Dzeko moves quickly and is a constant passing option during build-up play as well and on his day, he can prove to be an absolute nightmare for defenders. The centre-forward will be crucial if Roma are to wear out a tight Juventus defence and might also be required to drop back when defending the Old Lady’s high quality attack. Dzeko has scored twice and assisted twice in his last four games and was also vital to Roma’s second-half comeback against SPAL, despite not getting on the scoresheet. He will hope to continue his good run as Roma look to lay a firm grip on the final Champions League spot.
Chris Smalling will also have to put in a composed and focused performance on Sunday if Roma are to see off Juventus. The Giallorossi have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four games and they were without the Englishman for three of those matches due to a knee injury. His return should, however bolster the defence and Smalling, who had a promising start to his career at Roma before the injury, will be keen to carry out his defensive duties well. The 30-year old has impressed in his loan spell at Rome from Manchester United so far and a solid showing here against a poised Juve attack might go a long way in securing his future at the Italian club.
The little maestro, Miralem Pjanic is one of the players Roma will have to look out for. Pjanic has the most League appearances amongst all of Juventus’s midfielders and given the enormous number of quality options they have in their possession to deploy in midfield, it speaks volumes about the Bosnian’s importance for Sarri’s tactics. The 29-year old, when in full flow, is a joy to watch in the middle of the park, providing some mesmerising passes and setting off brilliant transition plays and his shrewd knowledge of the game really comes out when he walks on to the pitch. Pjanic has also developed into an able leader without the captain’s armband in the absence of Giorgio Chiellini. His significance for this Juventus side goes beyond direct goal involvements, but the midfielder has chipped in with three goals and two assists this term as well. Another solid performance from the Bosnian in midfield will almost definitely guarantee Juventus the top spot in the League before they head back to Turin.
And how can we miss this man? Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 56th career hat-trick last week against Cagliari as Juve romped to an easy and deserved win. The Portuguese ace has scored 13 League goals this term in just 15 matches and the early signs are that he will easily eclipse his League goal tally of 21 from last season. The 34-year old goalscorer has shown in the past that he thrives on crunch games like this one and he will be keen to get his name on the scoresheet yet again. If it proves to be his day, there is no doubt that Ronaldo can single-handedly take the Old Lady across the line at Rome.
Fonseca’s team selection is bound to be heavily hampered in all areas of the pitch for this match. Full-backs Davide Zappacosta and Davide Santon are both out, as are midfielders Javier Pastore, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Bryan Cristante and forward Justin Kluivert – all due to injury.
Predicted Line-up: Lopez; Kolarov, Mancini, Smalling, Florenzi; Veretout, Diaware; Zaniolo, Pellegrini, Perotti; Dzeko.
Sarri will be without Giorgio Chiellini who is still recovering from a long-term injury and Sami Khedira, but the rest of the squad is expected to be fit for this crunch clash.
Predicted Line-up: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Demiral, Bonucci, Sandro; Rabiot, Pjanic, Matuidi; Ramsey; Ronaldo, Dybala.