James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Juventus v Roma and provides us with his best bets for Saturday night’s Serie A clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

Juventus v Roma Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 22/12/18
  • Time: 19:30
  • Venue: Allianz Stadium
  • Channel: Eleven Sports 1

A struggling Roma will be looking for an early Christmas present when they travel to the Allianz Stadium and league leaders Juventus on Saturday night.

Last year’s Champions League semi-finalists have failed to recuperate any similar form this time out, currently in 7th, 22 points behind their opponents on Saturday but only 3 behind AC Milan in 4th.  Juventus meanwhile are absolutely flying; they’ve dropped points only once this season and are already 8 points clear of second-placed Napoli.

You’d feel that the remaining fixtures of this month may be a big indicator of how Roma will fare during the second half of the season. The game on Saturday is followed by a home game to 8th placed Sassuolo on Boxing Day and then they travel to Parma on the 29th,  a team that have only lost twice at home this season. If they don’t get a result on Saturday, which is likely, the games to round off the month become that more crucial for Roma’s Champions League hopes.

As for the home side, it’s been business as usual for Massimiliano Allegri’s men, winning all but one of their 16 games this season. The partnership of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci is proving as strong as ever after Bonucci ventured off to AC Milan last season before returning to the ‘Old Lady’ in August. The signing of Cristiano Ronaldo has certainly helped Juventus fans forget about Gonzalo Higuain, who left for AC Milan in the summer. The five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or has been a real success so far, appearing in every league game and notching 11 goals and 5 assists in the process. Allegri has been using him as an out-and-out number 9 on occasions this season, rotating the role with Mario Mandzukic, who has also had a good start to the season with 7 goals.

Juventus have shown some vulnerability in the Champions League this season, losing two of their group games against Manchester United (at home) and away at Young Boys. They did manage to finish top of their group however, whilst Roma also made it to the last 16, finishing second to Real Madrid in their group. But the draw was much kinder to Roma, who now face Porto over two legs whereas Juventus have the tough task of Atletico in the next round.

Team News

Rodrigo Bentancur is available after serving a suspension and will likely start in midfield. Joao Cancelo is expected to be out until after the winter break, so Mattia De Sciglio will feature at right back. Andrea Barzagli and Juan Cuadrado are still unavailable due to injury.

Roma have injury concerns over a number of key players, with Edin Dzeko, Stephan El Shaarawy, Daniele De Rossi and Lorenzo Pellegrini all having to pass late fitness tests before Saturday’s game.

Potential Juventus Starting XI: Szczesny, De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Mandzukic, Ronaldo.

Potential Roma Starting XI: Olsen, Fazio, Manolas, Juan, Florenzi, Kolarov, Cristante, Nzonzi, Under, Dzeko, Kluivert.

Head To Head

  • Roma have suffered three 1-0 defeats in a row away at Juventus.
  • Last 8 meetings: Juventus-4, Draw-2, Roma-2.

Key Stats & Facts

  • Roma have only won twice in 8 away games this season (at Empoli and Torino).
  • They have scored in all but two away games this season.
  • Stephen El Shaarawy, who is a doubt for this game, is Roma’s top scorer with 5 goals.
  • The away side have failed to keep a clean sheet since October 6th.
  • Juventus have won all but one of their Serie A games this season.
  • Under 2.5 goals in over 50% of Juve’s games.
  • They have conceded a mere 8 league goals and have a current streak of 5 clean sheets on the bounce.
  • Since joining Juve in the summer, Cristiano Ronaldo has the most G+A’s in the league with 16 and averages 6.73 shots per game.

Betting Odds

  • Juventus 4/9
  • Draw 10/3
  • Roma 7/1

The Verdict

In order for Roma to have a chance at beating the Italian superpower at the moment, they would’ve needed a fully fit squad, which they quite simply don’t at the moment. Their defence is not as stout as it was last season, conceding the joint most out of teams in the top half this season.

Moreover, the likes of Edin Dzeko haven’t been firing for Roma this season with the Bosnian scoring only twice compared to his tally of 16 in 2017/18.

With El Sharaaway a doubt and Juve’s imperious defensive record, it will be tough for Roma to get on the scoresheet.

Therefore, I can’t see them potentially clinging on for a 0-0 or scraping a 0-1 win, I can only see a pretty comfortable win for Juve here.

Despite Juventus’ impressive record this season, I wouldn’t say they’ve been at their absolute best – more so efficient. So, I don’t see Juventus completely blowing away their opponents on Saturday, more of a typical Juve 1 or 2-0 win.

Recommended Bets

  • Juventus to win to nil @ 5/4 (Coral)
  • Under 2.5 goals @ 21/20 (Ladbrokes)