17:00 BST, Saturday 25 August, Allianz Stadium (Torino), Eleven Sports
Juventus will look to build on their winning start when they welcome Lazio to Turin on Saturday evening in a game that should provide their first big test of the season.
The Bianconeri are clear favourites for the title but they’ll expect strong competition from their rivals in the top four. A slip up here would bring some early pressure while giving hope to the challengers.
Cristiano Ronaldo got his first taste of Serie A action in Verona last week but failed to get on the score sheet. His debut appearance on home turf will prompt a rousing reception.
The Romans left with all three points in the corresponding fixture last season. They’ll hope for a repeat as they aim to get their new campaign up and running. They narrowly missed out on the top four last term and want to be in the mix again.
Last Time Out
Chievo 2-3 Juventus (Serie A)
Among the favourites for relegation, few expected Chievo to cause too much trouble for the reigning champions, a forecast that looked accurate when the visitors took an early lead through Sami Khedira.
The Flying Donkeys weathered the storm and responded through a Mariusz Stepinski header seven minutes before the interval, Juventus returnee Leonardo Bonucci failing to track the striker’s movement.
Emanuele Giaccherini made it 2-1 after winning and then converting a 56th-minute penalty before a Mattia Bani own goal levelled the scores.
Cristiano Ronaldo came close to opening his account but the heroics of veteran keeper Stefano Sorrentino denied him. The two collided late in the game: the Chievo guardsman forced to leave the field of play with a broken nose and whiplash.
Despite the Verona side’s best efforts, a feeling of inevitability preceded Bernardeschi’s late injury-time winner.
Lazio 1-2 Napoli (Serie A)
Lazio got off to a good start against last season’s runners-up, taking the lead after 25 minutes through Ciro Immobile’s individual effort.
Last term’s joint-top scorer latched on to a long ball from Francesco Acerbi before turning into space and arcing the ball into the top corner.
Napoli thought they had equalised through Arkadiusz Milik but VAR revealed a foul in the lead up to the goal. The Polish striker struck again just before the break, this time legitimately, arriving at the back post to convert Lorenzo Insigne’s knocked down delivery.
The momentum now favoured the Neapolitans and they took full advantage, Insigne confidently curling in the winner on the hour mark.
Francesco Acerbi struck a late effort against the post as the hosts finished empty-handed.
Juventus have no fresh injury concerns with Leonardo Spinazzola the only absentee.
Juan Cuadrado didn’t convince in the opener and may miss out if Allegri switches to a 4-3-3 formation for the first home game of the season.
Emre Can could come in for Khedira for his first start in a black and white shirt while Mandzukic could join Ronaldo up front.
A slight calf injury forced Luiz Felipe to leave the field in the first game. Club doctors will carry out tests through the week but there is hope he will be fit to face Juventus.
Berisha could return from injury but Lukaku’s knee problem will keep him out.
Lucas Leiva and Senad Lulic are both available again after suspension.
Key Battle: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) vs Ciro Immobile (Lazio)
Both players will look to end the campaign as top scorers but Immobile has the early advantage over Ronaldo having netted against Napoli last weekend.
The Lazio man scored both goals as his team came from a goal down to record a surprise victory in this fixture last year.
He also grabbed brace in last year’s Super Cup final clash between the two teams which Lazio won 3-2 on home soil.
Only the fingertips of veteran goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino prevented Ronaldo from breaking his duck last weekend.
Hoping to thwart the former Real Madrid man this week will be the 23-year-old Albanian Thomas Strakosha.
Meanwhile, Atalanta’s Papu Gomez got off to a flying start, scoring twice at home to Frosinone last week to set the early pace in the race for the capocannoniere
Will Marchisio address supporters ahead of the game?
Claudio Marchisio brought his 25-year Juventus career to an end last week, mutually ending his contract ahead of a proposed move to Monaco.
He has already said goodbye to fans via two letters and a video but Italian media have reported he has asked permission to address the fans directly ahead of this weekend’s clash with Lazio.
The midfielder joined the youth academy as a seven-year-old and has been with the club ever since, his only excursion a year on loan at Empoli in 2007/08.
Prediction: Juventus 3-2 Lazio
Juventus have won four of their last five meetings with Lazio at home, last year’s game being the exception. The addition of Ronaldo will raise hopes of a returning to winning ways against the Romans.
Immobile looks in good form and has scored four in his last two meetings with the Old Lady in all competitions, so expect Lazio to at least get on the scoresheet.
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