Juventus vs Lazio, Preview: Can the Eagles topple the league leaders?

Marco Luzzani

On paper, this fixture doesn’t favour Lazio at all.

League victories against Juventus are very few and far between. Aside from a pair of 2-1 victories en route to winning the 2009 Coppa Italia, the Biancocelesti haven't won this fixture in ten years.

Only Inter have managed to outclass the Old Lady this season. Ever since that defeat a fortnight ago, Juve have taken their frustrations out on Nordsjaelland (4-0) and poor Pescara last weekend, humiliating the Serie B champions 6-1 on their own ground. The Bianconeri currently have a four point cushion at the top and are nine points ahead of their visitors.

Lazio shouldn't be totally discounted after edging last week's Derby della Capitale, as playmaker Hernanes believes Juventus are beatable. He said: "After Inter's victory something has broken, maybe even subconsciously, and now we all believe that we can win there."

"If we sit and wait for Juventus, then they will eventually score a goal, so we have to play and attack them first."

Juventus will have to do without Andrea Pirlo, after the midfielder picked up a fourth booking last weekend to trigger a suspension. The onus will be on Paul Pogba's 19-year-old shoulders - should the former Manchester United starlet be picked to deputise for Pirlo.

Pogba was absent from last week's win after he turned up late for training twice. The Frenchman has since issued an apology and is back in favour.

Lazio duo Senad Lulic and Stefano Mauri also miss the match through suspension. Mauri had been an ever present in the league thus far, alongside Antonio Candreva, but the captain's dismissal last weekend puts paid to that.

Fit-again Stefan Radu is expected to deputise for Lulic. Candreva will have a point to prove against his former club, while on the opposite flank, Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner - who continues to be linked with Chelsea and PSG, could face his former teammates. Miroslav Klose has been struggling with the flu all week and missed the midweek internationals. He's included in the squad, but it's unclear how much of a part he'll play.

Juventus won this fixture 2-1 last season, thanks to an Alessandro Del Piero free-kick. However, Fabio Quagliarella is now the danger man the Eagles will need to watch, after he netted a hat-trick last weekend.

Juventus injuries and suspensions

Out: Paolo De Ceglie (injured) Andrea Pirlo (suspended) In doubt: Simone Pepe

Lazio injuries and suspensions

Out: Senad Lulic, Stefano Mauri (suspended) In doubt: Miroslav Klose

Match Date/Time: Saturday 17th November 2012, 6 p.m. local, 12 p.m. ET

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy) RAI Internazionale, beIN Sport 1 (U.S.)

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