Juventus vs Torino
Allianz Stadium, Torino
Saturday, 04-07-2020 @5:15pm
Ref: Fabio Maresca
The Turin derby has often been a mismatched affair, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be surprises, as troubled Torino throw everything at Juventus.
The Bianconeri know they cannot afford to slip up, as Lazio and Inter are keeping the pressure on, although nobody can be more motivated than their arch-rivals.
The Granata are only four points clear of the relegation zone and their form remains shocking, a scraped 1-0 win over Udinese the lone bright spot in the last 10 rounds, along with one draw against Parma.
Sacking Walter Mazzarri for Moreno Longo has made little difference and they remain embarrassingly reliant on Andrea Belotti.
Juventus might’ve fallen to Napoli in the Coppa Italia, but they’ve won all three Serie A games since the lockdown, scoring nine goals and conceding one.
The quality of the goals has been spectacular, too, Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo finding their form.
Expect Gigi Buffon to start in goal, setting a new all-time Serie A record with 648 appearances, breaking away from Paolo Maldini.
Torino have won only one of the last 27 Serie A meetings with Juventus, 2-1 in April 2015, along with six draws and 20 defeats.
Sassuolo vs Lecce
MAPEI Stadium, Reggio nell’Emilia
Saturday, 04-07-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Davide Massa
Sassuolo can’t seem to stop scoring at the moment, so goals are to be expected against a Lecce side with by far the worst defensive record in the division.
It’s easy to see why the Salentini are in the bottom three, because they have conceded a whopping 66 goals in 29 games.
They’ve lost five on the bounce, conceding 21 goals during that period. At the same time, one has to feel for them after the 2-1 defeat to Sampdoria, decided by some controversial penalties.
Roberto De Zerbi just extended his Sassuolo contract and is building for the future. His all-attack entertaining style has been in full display, as they’ve scored three goals in each of the last three games.
The fact two of those – against Inter and Hellas Verona – ended 3-3 is why they are only mid-table. The 3-1 win away to Fiorentina midweek saw them make the most of defensive errors.
Sassuolo have scored at least three goals in 10 Serie A home games since the start of 2019, so only Atalanta and Lazio have done better during that period.
Lazio vs AC Milan
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Saturday, 04-07-2020 @ 10:45pm
Ref: Gianpaolo Cavarese
Lazio go into this massive match without both Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo, while Milan need to shake off their SPAL misstep.
Simone Inzaghi has performed miracles to keep his squad in the title race this long, especially with the fitness concerns and compressed calendar following the lockdown. He’s down to the bare bones for this clash, because both Immobile and his natural replacement Caicedo are suspended, with Lucas Leiva, Luiz Felipe, Bobby Adekanye and Senad Lulic injured, leaving essentially just Joaquin Correa upfront.
This is Lazio’s first Serie A match this season without Immobile.
We could well see Inzaghi revert to a former iteration of his Lazio tactics, moving Luis Alberto to a more advanced role in support of Correa, focusing more on pace and through balls to surprise the Milan defence rather than crosses into the box.
Stefano Pioli lost Samu Castillejo to a muscular injury and quite a bit of momentum too, as the positive run was halted by a 2-2 draw at 10-man SPAL.
The Rossoneri were predictable and tired in the game, only able to get the equaliser in stoppages thanks to an own goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his comeback, but is probably not fit enough to start yet, so Ante Rebic will again lead the way with Alexis Saelemaekers in for Castillejo.
Lazio won 2-1 in the reverse fixture, but haven’t beaten Milan home and away in a single Serie A season since 1977-78 – and even that was awarded for off the field issues.
Sunday’s Serie A fixtures
-Inter Milan vs Bologna @6:15pm
-Cagliari vs Atalanta @8:30pm
-Parma vs Fiorentina @8:30pm
-Udinese vs Genoa @8:30pm
-Brescia vs Hellas Verona @8:30pm
-Sampdoria vs SPAL @8:30pm
-Napoli vs AS Roma @10:45pm