Three to Watch: Juventus have quality in every department

Roma travel to Turin to face Juventus on Saturday evening, striving to end the Old Lady’s 24-match unbeaten streak at home and, in the process, close the gap on first place.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men are taking over 16 shots and making the same number of tackles per match, which shows his sides dominance in both parts of the game.

Sitting four points above the Giallorossi – the result of two additional draws for Luciano Spalletti’s side so far - the Bianconeri will surely be feeling the pressure from the Lupi, as they bid to preserve top spot.

Spalletti’s men will be strengthened by the news that both Mohamed Salah and Bruno Peres are considered fit enough to travel - but our columnist believes these three players will be looking to extend La Vecchia Signora’s streak to 25 wins…

Gonzalo Higuain

The high profile signing from Napoli this past summer, El Pipita is surely one of the deadliest strikers in world football. Having tied the Serie A single-season goal-record last campaign, the 29-year-old has shown his deadliness once again by grabbing three goals in his last two matches.

Leading Juventus with nine goals in total, South America’s costliest player is averaging just over three shots per game – a relatively low number when considering his goal tally, adding further credit to his deadliness in front of net. That was certainly in full evidence last week against Torino, as Higuain scored twice in clinical style to swing the game.

Although the striker has lost a part of his speed, his deadly finishing and all-around offensive abilities indicate that he is not to be given even a glance at goal – or else Roma are likely to pay the price.


Claudio Marchisio

Following a six-month layoff after an ACL tear in April, the heart of the Bianconeri is quickly regaining his confidence and form, having already registered a goal and an assist since his return.

An athletic and composed player who can play just about anywhere in the midfield, he is most effective in any position of a mixed midfield of three.

A player loved by most of Italy due to his Azzurri contributions, Marchisio’s game is based on toughness and endurance, obedience in helping his teammates, tactical discipline, vision of play and competent passing.

Sometimes compared to 1982 World Cup winner and legend Marco Tardelli – one of Italy’s best two-way midfielders – the match will surely be impacted by Il Principino’s presence as he looks to reestablish his commanding performances.


Alex Sandro

Likened to 2002 World Cup winner and legend Roberto Carlos, the Brazilian wingback has worked his way into becoming a staple of Allegri’s 3-5-2 formation on the left flank.

What makes Sandro most effective is his ability to not only to assist in the defence, but also to provide in the attack – of which he is tied for second most assists on the team, with three total.

The Selecao defender is particularly strong in making key passes, dribbling, and crossing.

His goal against Atalanta two matches ago leaves him confident, at a time when Roma’s opposite flank is plagued by injuries. Expect Sandro to take advantage of Spalletti’s defensive absences and be a key figure in the contest.