PRE MATCH FOCUS – Juventus vs Roma

Following the two week winter break, football finally resumes in Italy’s Serie A and what a game to kick things off! Table toppers Juventus will be hosting second place AS Roma on Sunday evening. These teams are undoubtedly the inform teams this season in Italian football and the match promises to be a memorable one.

Juventus are quite literally flying in Serie A this season. In the 17 games that they have played so far, they have only dropped 4 points and have won 9 games on the trot and have taken an incredible 90.2% of the points available to them thus far this season. This stat has also made them the bookies heavy favourite for this game despite the fact that Roma are unbeaten this season and have taken an impressive 80.4% of all points available to them. The only other team in a top division that betters this is Glasgow Celtic in Scotland who is unbeaten in 19 and there is no doubt that the difference in quality between the Scottish Premier Division and Serie A is vast.

Both teams are very defensively minded with Juventus having conceded only 11 goals all season whereas Roma have let in even fewer goals with Morgan De Sanctis having been beaten on only 7 occasions! Both teams have kept 10 cleans sheets in their 17 games so far.

The Juventus Stadium has been somewhat of a fortress for Juventus where they have won all 8 of their games played there, scoring an incredible 23 goals in the process. Roma, on the other hand, have been slightly weaker in the travels, having drawn 3 of their 8 games away from home. 5 of the 7 goals that they have conceded this season have come on the road.

The two teams have also been proficient in front of goal with Juventus also topping the scoring charts with 39 goals. Roma are not far behind having scored 35 goals so far. For those who cannot watch the entire game, both teams tend to score the majority of their goals between minutes 61 and 75!

As one would expect, there is not much to separate these two teams in terms of the statistics. What we have found interesting is a slight difference in the source of many of their respective attacks.

In their 17 games, Juventus managed to gain possession of the ball from the opposition defence on average 40.4 times per game. Roma, on the other hand, only managed this on 29.4 times per game, on average. This would indicate that Juventus spend a large portion of the game in the opposition half where they pressure their opponents into giving up the ball. Further, 24% of these kinds of attacks led to the team being in a good scoring chance or in a position whereby a chance on goal could be created.

When looking at counter attacks, we see that Roma go on the counter, on average, 10.7 times per game whereas Juventus only do this 6.9 times per game. We see from this that Roma are more likely to allow their opponents to move the ball around all areas of the field with Roma taking the ball from the opposition and launching counter attacks. 37% of these counter attacks consisted of high quality play.

It remains to be seen if Roma will be able to get the ball off the Juventus forwards and launch the counter attacks which have proven to be so successful for them so far this season or if Juventus will be able to pressure the Roma defenders into giving up possession in advanced positions. We expect this to be a very tight game between two very evenly matched teams who are in great form coming into this game!

Pictures courtesy of:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Francesco_Totti_Chelsea_vs_AS-Roma_10AUG2013.jpg
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carlos_T%C3%A9vez%2713.JPG
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Inside_Juventus_Stadium_(2).jpg

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