Juventus seek Brescia boost as rivals Inter, Lazio go head-to-head

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MILAN, Feb 14, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Juventus return to their home comforts of
Turin after a poor away run, hosting struggling Brescia on Sunday with top
spot in Serie A at stake as title rivals Inter Milan and Lazio go head-to-
head in the Stadio Olimpico.

Inter moved top last weekend ahead of Juventus on goal difference after the
eight-time reigning champions’ shock 2-1 defeat at Hellas Verona.

Maurizio Sarri’s side will be counting on a win over Mario Balotelli’s
lowly Brescia, who are second last in the table.

Sarri’s side have been rattled by two successive away defeats, with
Cristiano Ronaldo’s late penalty snatching a 1-1 draw in their Italian Cup
semi-final, first leg against AC Milan at the San Siro on Thursday.

“We have to change gears. We need more from everyone,” said defender
Leonardo Bonucci with a Champions League last 16 trip to Lyon looming later
this month.

“There is absolute unity with the coach,” insisted Juventus chief football
officier Fabio Paratici.

“We have precise ideas along with Sarri which go beyond a game done a
little less well or a game done better.

“In ten years Juventus have always managed to change cycles and continue to
be successful and competitive. The same thing this year, we are in line with
expectations.”

Juventus have never lost at home in the league against Brescia, with the
promoted side winning just four games this season and none since mid-
December.

In a three-team title race, Lazio are just one point behind the leading
duo, and on an 18-game unbeaten run going back to a defeat to Inter back in
September.

Antonio Conte’s Inter showed signs of fatigue as they fell 1-0 at home to
Napoli in the Italian Cup after a stunning derby comeback win.

But Inter have lost only one of their last seven games against Lazio while
Romelu Lukaku has scored 12 away goals this season for Inter.

Lazio boost Serie A top scoer Ciro Immobile who has scored 15 goals at
home, for a total of 25 this season.

Behind the leading trio Champions League hopefuls Atalanta and Roma also
face a direct clash in Bergamo.

Atalanta are fourth, 11 points behind Lazio, with Roma a further three
points adrift in fifth.

The side from the capital have lost their last two games.

Napoli, in 11th, look to get back to winning ways at Cagliari, who shocked
the southerners in the reverse fixture in Naples.

The Sardinians are eighth, just two points off the Europa League places
despite being on a nine-match winless run.

Hellas Verona, in sixth, travel to Udinese after their success against
Juventus, as Torino, on a run of four consecutive defeats, travel to Zlatan
Ibrhaimovic’s AC Milan.

One to watch

Cristiano Ronaldo can push his scoring streak to a record-equalling 11
consecutive league games to match the mark currently held by Gabriel
Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored
24 goals in all competitions this season for Juventus, including 15 in the
last ten league games.

Key statistics

38 – Points between Juventus and Brescia

18 – Lazio’s unbeaten run in Serie A

4 – Torino’s losing streak

1 – Inter’s points lead on third-placed Lazio

Fixtures (all times GMT)

Saturday

Lecce v SPAL (1400GMT), Bologna v Genoa (1700), Atalanta v AS Roma (1945)

Sunday

Udinese v Hellas Verona (1130GMT), Juventus v Brescia, Sampdoria v
Fiorentina, Sassuolo v Parma (all 1400GMT), Cagliari v Napoli (1700), Lazio v
Inter Milan (1945)

Monday

AC Milan V Torino (1945)

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