TURIN, ITALY - The defending champions play their first home game of the season against Lazio on Saturday as both sides look to maintain their 100% record. Lazio beat Udinese 2-1 at home on the opening day while Juventus travelled to Sampdoria, who beat them twice last season, and recorded a 1-0 win.
It's a repeat of the Italian Super Coppa match when the Old Lady crushed Lazio 4-0 with a ruthless display of finishing. Juventus were priced at 1.83 just two weeks ago against Lazio, however, Coral and Ladbrokes make them as short as 1.40 favourites for victory this evening. Lazio are available at a top price of 10.5 with BetVictor, a price that seems ridiculously big. The draw is chalked up at 5.0 with the same firm.
Lazio's wounds from the freakish 4-0 defeat are still fresh and they will need to dig deep to get a result at the Juventus stadium. But the 2-1 victory over Udinese in Rome will give the visitors some hope. They will need to weather an early onslaught and frustrate the Bianconeri, a task that is easier said than done.
Vladimir Petkovic will have to make without several players for the trip to Turin. Anderson, Mauri, Alfaro, Konko, Araujo and Pereirinha will all miss out through injury or suspension. Lazio will most likely lineup in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Antonio Candreva sitting behind Miroslav Klose. Candreva will play a key role in the visitors plans to counter attack and he looks overpriced at odds of 9.0 with 888Sport to score ANYTIME. The 26 year-old netted in the victory over Udinese and looks great value here. Klose is available at 12.0 with bet365 to score first or 4.33 anytime with the same firm.
With the additions of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente the Bianconeri have the cutting edge and depth they were missing last season. The Argentine striker seems to have adjusted to life in Turin seamlessly and has already struck up a rapport with Mirko Vucinic, you can back Tevez at 4.50 with Skybet to open the scoring but the value has been squeezed out in my opinion and he is genereally odds on to score anytime.
As well as a lethal front pairing Juventus have an almost embarrasing wealth of riches in the centre of the park. The central trident of Pogba, who will be deputising for the injured Marchisio, Vidal and Pirlo is arguably the most feared in Europe. French youngster Pogba scored the opener in the SuperCoppa and he is chalked up at 10.0 with bet365 and Paddy Power.
Lazio have a poor recent record against Juventus, having won only one of the previous 12 meetings; however, while I expect a home win, it will be much closer than the bookmakers prices are suggesting. I like the price of 10.0 with Ladbrokes and BetVictor on a 2-1 Juventus victory, it will give you a much better run for your money than looking at the 90 minute or asian handicap markets.
The game kicks off at 7:45pm BST on Saturday 31st August 2013
Mark Smith' bets on this game: