It was nearly a dreadful start to the Serie A season for Juventus. Juventus are looking to win their eighth straight Italian championship, yet they nearly suffered a defeat in their first match of the year. Chievo gave the defending champions all they could handle for most of the match, before eventually falling to Juventus late. It was certainly a wake-up call for Juventus, who will now look for a much better performance at home against Lazio on Saturday.
Don't miss the Italian Serie A action from Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 25, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPN2.
Italian Serie A Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Over/Under 2.5 and 3
Lazio have a justified beef with the schedule makers. They opened the season by hosting the team that finished in second place in Serie A last season in Napoli, and now they must travel to take on Juventus.
In their first match, Lazio were able to get on the board first. Ciro Immobile received a deep ball, cut inside of three defenders, and expertly finished to give Lazio a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. It was a beautiful bit of individual skill, and for a while it looked like that could be the catalyst in a Lazio victory. However, Napoli equalized just before halftime and put a considerable amount of pressure on Lazio going into the break. Lazio eventually buckled and allowed a goal midway through the second half that ended up being the deciding goal in a 2-1 loss, but all in all it wasn’t a bad first game for the club.
Expectations are sky high at Juventus after the club spent heavily this offseason. The club doled out nearly 250 million Euros in its efforts to win the Champions League, as they brought in superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Cancelo, and Douglas Costa and brought back Leonardo Bonucci.
It didn’t take long for Juventus to get on the board against Chievo in their opener. Sami Khedira scooped up a loose ball after a corner kick and opened up the scoring for Juventus in the third minute. However, two defensive errors put the club down 2-1 late in the match, and Juventus were in need of some magic. Bonucci grabbed the equalizer for the club in the 75th minute, and then an unlikely hero knocked home the game winner three minutes into extra time. Super sub Federico Bernardeschi stuck his foot out to put a cross into the corner of the net, giving Juventus the win.
Lazio will be without two players in this match. Ricardo Kishna is still on the mend after suffering an ACL injury and Luiz Felipe will be out due to an ongoing calf issue. Adam Marusic is listed as questionable in this match due to an ankle injury.
As for Juventus, the club will be without Leonard Spinazzola until December, but those are all the long-term injuries to note. Moise Kean and Mattia De Sciglio are both hurt, but both players are listed as day to day.
Player to Watch
Although the Ronaldo signing generally leads the news when it comes to Juventus, the addition of Douglas Costa could arguably be even more beneficial. Ronaldo is on the tail end of his career, and while he is still one of the best in the world, we saw what Costa could do against Chievo. He was constantly attacking along the flanks and putting dangerous balls into the box throughout the match. Costa looks like one of those players that makes everyone better with his passing, and he might be the team’s most important player by season’s end.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
Juventus were close to drawing with Chievo last week, but their dominance in the stat sheet shows that was a bit of a fluke. At home for the first time this season, they will leave little doubt in a romp.
Italian Serie A Odds: Juventus 3, Lazio 0
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