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Dec 18, 2017
Dec 18, 2017

Serie A Preview: Juventus vs. Roma

Defensive strength keeps it tight at the top

How finishing ability could decide the game

Juventus vs. Roma live odds

Serie A Preview: Juventus vs. Roma

Reigning champions Juventus host fourth place Roma in the highlight Serie A game of the week. Juventus will be looking for all three points as they attempt to close the gap on Napoli and Inter Milan at the top of the table. Read on to find out if there is value on offer in the Juventus vs Roma odds.

Live Juventus vs. Roma odds

Both sides come into this game in strong form and a win for Roma would take them level on points with the Turin side.

Strong defences keep it tight at the top

The current top four Serie A teams have the best defensive records in the league, so low scoring games between the sides should not be surprising. Matches between the title challengers have averaged only 1.2 goals per game over the five fixtures played so far this season.

Matches between the title challengers have averaged only 1.2 goals per game so far this season.

Juventus’ back line has consistently been one of the best in European football. The reigning Serie A champions have conceded only 14 league goals and comfortably prevented Napoli and Inter Milan from scoring in their biggest games so far.

Roma have an even better defensive record than Juve this season, conceding a league-low ten goals. If both defences play to form then goals may be difficult to score, but both teams possess attacking players capable of breaking the stalemate.

Which goal scorer can make the difference?

If the strength of the two defences ensures the game is low scoring then the match may be decided by one well taken opportunity. The sides’ recent fixtures against fellow Scudetto candidates Napoli were decided by a single goal to nil and taking a big chance when it arrives could be the deciding factor on Saturday.

The teams will need to provide chances for the players that can make the difference in front of goal. In Gonzalo Higuaín and Edin Dzeko each side can boast a Serie A golden boot winner. The two attackers scored over 50 Serie A goals between them last season and certainly have the ability to prosper against even the tightest defences.

Gonzalo Higuaín Expected Goals vs. Goals Scored

Gonzalo Higuaín Expected Goals vs. Goals Scored

Season

Expected Goals Total

Actual Goals Scored

Difference

2017/18

6.22

9

+2.78

2016/17

19.41

24

+4.59

2015/16

27.3

36

+8.7

Juventus’ star forward Gonzalo Higuaín has found opportunities more difficult to come by than usual this season. Despite a lack of opportunities, he has still managed to score 9 goals from a total of only 6.22 expected goals.

Higuaín’s exceptional finishing ability has allowed him to consistently outscore his expected goals season after season, making him a valuable player in close matches. The Argentinian striker demonstrated the importance of clinical finishing when he scored the deciding goal in the crucial win against Napoli.

Edin Dzeko Expected Goals vs. Goals Scored

Edin Dzeko Expected Goals vs. Goals Scored

Season

Expected Goals Total

Actual Goals Scored

Difference

2017/18

9.62

8

-1.67

2016/17

32.4

29

-3.4

2015/16

13.5

8

-5.5

Higuaín’s opposite number in the Roma side is Bosnian Edin Dzeko. Dzeko was the top goal scorer in Serie A last season with 29 league goals. He has scored 8 goals in his 16 appearances so far this season and is an ever-present in the Roma side.

Dzeko shoots 5.1 times per game whilst Higuaín takes just 2.8.

In contrast to Higuaín, Dzeko consistently scores less goals than his total expected goals stat. Dzeko relies on consistently getting into good scoring positions and taking a high volume of shots to score his goals.

The Roma striker shoots a Serie A high 5.1 times per game whilst Higuaín has taken just 2.8. If Roma are to take points from this game then Dzeko will probably need to be less wasteful in front of goal. They will also need to avoid presenting any chances to the clinical Higuaín.

Juventus vs. AS Roma odds: Where is the value?

The top teams in Serie A have produced performances of similar quality this season and only five points separate the top four teams. This has led to some very tight games between this season’s title contenders.

Previous encounters between Roma and Juventus also suggest a low scoring game, with four of the last nine Serie A matches between the two sides ending in a 1-0 scoreline. If Saturday’s game follows this trend then it could be another low scoring encounter. Under 2.5 goals is currently available at 2.000* and is likely to be a popular bet.

The strength of the Juventus defence is well known and the match may be decided by how efficient Edin Dzeko can be in front of goal. Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has kept a clean sheet in 50% of the games he has played this season, so Roma to score under 0.75 goals could offer value at 2.190*. Read the Pinnacle guide to over/under betting strategy to improve your total goals betting.

Odds subject to change

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