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Friday, April 25, 2014

Saturday, November 17, 2012
Sports

Lega Calcio

Lazio face Juve test

Lazio's away-from-home blues could be set to continue on Saturday when they travel to Juventus seeking to overcome an unenviable record against the champions.

Juventus stretched their lead over title rivals Inter Milan to four points last week thanks to a 6-1 rout of Pescara and the shock 3-2 defeat for their closest rivals in Atalanta.

With Inter expected to collect three points at home to struggling Cagliari on Sunday, Juve know they have to seize every possible chance for three points.

"We've started the season well and taken a lot of points, but there are still plenty of games to play and we need to hang in there," said Ghanaian Kwadwo Asamoah.

Lazio may take heart from Inter's stunning 3-1 defeat of the champions two weeks ago, but the form of Vladimir Petkovic's side has been inconsistent.

Having suffered a first away defeat to Napoli, in which Edinson Cavani scored a memorable hat-trick in a 3-0 win, Petkovic could only look on helpless as his side were humbled 4-0 by Sicilian side Catania two weeks ago.

That reverse came on the back of a 1-1 home draw to Torino and a 2-0 defeat away to Fiorentina.

In all, Lazio have amassed only nine points from a possible 22 on their travels this season -- and the statistics against Juve do not make good reading.

In a total of 68 matches away to the Old Lady of Turin, Lazio have won only eight times and drawn 17.

In last season's corresponding fixture Juve prevailed 2-1 thanks to a late freekick from Alessandro Del Piero, a result which allowed the hosts to retain top spot until the end of the season.

On paper, Juve will be hard to beat but a shock defeat would boost both Inter and Napoli ahead of their respective matches.

Napoli welcome an AC Milan side which is enduring its worst start to the season in living memory.

Napoli, too, have suffered their fare share of away defeats but rolled up their sleeves to secure a gutsy 4-2 win against Genoa last week to move to within a point of Inter.

Both AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy and Napoli striker Edinson Cavani are top of the Serie A scoring charts on eight goals apiece and are attracting interest from some of the top clubs in Europe.

El Shaarawy is in rude health, having scored Italy's only goal in a 2-1 friendly defeat to France on Wednesday, but after 12 games Massimiliano Allegri's men sit 13th on just 14 points, 17 adrift of Juventus.

Inter, meanwhile, will have to get back on the winning trail if they are to keep pace with Juve and keep Napoli at bay.

The Fiorentina v Atalanta match, meanwhile, could produce one of the tightest contests this weekend.

FIXTURES
(times GMT)

Saturday
Juventus v Lazio (1600),

Napoli v Milan (1845)

Sunday
Siena v Pescara (1030), Bologna v Palermo, Catania v Chievo, Fiorentina v Atalanta, Inter v Cagliari, Udinese v Parma (all 1300), Sampdoria v Genoa

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