Juventus are on course to wrap up another Serie A title, but they could still make it a famous treble as they have two cup finals to come. The Champions League final against Real Madrid will be the biggest football match of 2017, but a substantial prize is also up for grabs when they meet Lazio in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday.
Juventus have not quite breezed to victory like the typically do in Serie A. With two games to go they are still not quite home and dry as they are just four points ahead of Roma, who beat them 3-1 at the weekend. They face a bit of a dilemma over whether or not to rest players and which competition to prioritize. They left out Giorgio Chiellini, Paulo Dybala, Andrea Barzagli and Dani Alves against Roma and were duly punished, so you would expect them to field a strong side against Lazio. Then they could field a good team in their next league game and try to beat Crotone at home, which would allow them to wrap up the league title with a game to spare, then field a weakened team for their final league game of the season, resting players ahead of the Champions League final.
You might want to wait to see the starting line-ups before placing your bet, but Juventus are more than likely to field a strong team as the Champions League final is not until June 3. Manager Max Allegri called the Roma defeat “a wake up call” and will demand much greater focus from his charges in their next game.
Lazio have been in great form of late and have surged up to fourth in the table on the back of a series of impressive wins. They have been pretty solid defensively this season but seem to have abandoned that strategy for the final weeks and gone all out attack. They beat Palermo 6-2, then got a great 3-1 win over title-chasing city rivals Roma before beating Sampdoria 7-3. They have consolidated fourth place and are four points clear of fifth-placed Atalanta. But they cannot catch the top three, so they too rested players for their last game and were beaten 3-2 by Fiorentina.
Their big guns will all be in the starting line-up for the clash with Juventus and it should prove a cracking game. After their recent exploits, Lazio have become the joint third top scorers in Serie A, level with Juventus on exactly two goals per game. But Juventus have by far and away the league’s meanest defence, conceding just 26 all season, and that has propelled them to the summit of the table. This game will see Juventus’ superb defence, featuring Chiellini, Leonardo Bonnucci and possibly Barzagli, with Gianluigi Buffon in goal, take on a free-scoring Lazio attack. It should be an interesting encounter, but Juventus have proved their mettle time and time again in the big games this season and should get the job done here. They prevented Leo Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez from scoring in 180 minutes in the Champions League and kept a fantastic Monaco largely quiet, so they will not fear Lazio.
They have played Lazio twice already this season and won both times, 1-0 away in August and 2-0 at home. They should make it three in a row and the odds are fantastic, with Stan James and Betway offering 2.10 on a straight Juventus win. That seems too good to ignore. You could go Juventus to win to nil again for more value – and it is 3.50 with Paddy Power – but given Lazio have scored 18 goals in their last four games that seems a little risky. If you do want more value, you could try Juventus to win and over 1.5 goals at green listed bookmakers.