Juventus Instagram. Pictured: Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala
Betting Odds: Lazio vs. Juventus
- Lazio moneyline: +696
- Juventus moneyline: -263
- Draw: +398
- Over/Under: 3 (Over +100/Under -121)
- Kick-off: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
- Channel: ESPN+
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If Juventus found their opening match of the season away at Chievo more difficult than expected, Saturday’s match with Lazio certainly won’t be much easier.
In the latest of a long line of debuts in which Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance will come under the microscope, this time being the Portuguese’s first appearance for the Italian champions at the J Stadium, the summer signing will be keen to open his account for his new club.
The visitors will undoubtedly be working on a game plan to limit the 33-year-old’s influence, but know full well that Juve will pose a real threat elsewhere too.
These two sides have become very familiar with one another after all, with this the sixth meeting between them since the start of 2017, and Lazio will take some heart from their most recent encounters with Max Allegri’s side.
Le Aquile won on their last visit to Turin after all, one of only three sides all season to take as much as a point away from the Champions last time around, having also beaten The Old Lady in the Supercoppa Italiana last August.
The hero on both occasions — scoring twice in each of said games — was star striker Ciro Immobile, who ended the 2017/18 campaign with a second Golden Boot award of his career and is already off and running having found the net at Napoli in Lazio’s season opener.
The Italy international rises to the occasion against the top teams then, and while the hosts are the strong favorites to take all three points, conceding twice at Chievo proved that defensively there’s work to be done to return to their former glories following the departure of Gianluigi Buffon.
Up against a Lazio side that were the only team to score more than them last season, Juventus know this is no foregone conclusion, even if the outright odds point towards a relatively straightforward home win.
Simone Inzaghi’s men scored in every single one of their away games in Serie A after the turn of the year last season, and at -140 to do so again this weekend, the visitors are being underestimated.
My top value tip, however, does revolve around a Juventus goalscorer, and while Ronaldo will be the favorite to find the net in every game that they play this season, my play is to back his new partner in crime.
Paulo Dybala loves facing Lazio after all, and was the match-winner the last time the two teams met.
Just as it did last week, it took Juventus until the 93rd minute to secure all three points at the Stadio Olimpico back in March, with the Argentine on hand to score the tenth goal of his career against the capital city club.
It’s a better record than he can boast against any other side by a factor of three, and Lazio are no pushover, so there’s something about facing the Biancocelesti that clearly gets Dybala in the mood.
Out at a remarkable +325 to score at anytime (Unibet), the aforementioned Immobile is well worth considering, but Dybala is the safer bet, and at +132 with the same bookmaker he offers greater value than Ronaldo in what promises to be a hugely entertaining game.