Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo set for home debut
Lazio head to Turin.
Cristiano Ronaldo is poised for his home debut as Juventus host Lazio in Serie A on Saturday night.
The Portuguese forward made his bow in last week’s 3-2 win at Chievo but will feature in front of his own fans for the first time.
Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri has praised the 33-year-old for improving the standard at the club following his big-money move from Real Madrid in the summer.
“Cristiano Ronaldo trains very competitively, he takes nothing for granted and is a champion, building his own success over the years through hard work and sacrifice,” Allegri told the club’s official website.
🎙 @OfficialAllegri: "@Cristiano is always striving for more. He's highly competitive in everything he does. He has built his own success over the years through hard work and sacrifice. He's a role model for many of the other guys and he raises our overall quality."#JuveLazio pic.twitter.com/tJqpPkw3YP— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 24, 2018
“He is a great example for the younger players and he raises our overall quality.
“Ronaldo is bringing a great enthusiasm to Italian football, I see all the people that are waiting outside Continassa, but regardless of the excitement we still have to win games.
“We haven’t won anything just by signing him, we have to show that on the pitch.”
Juve have won Serie A for the last seven campaigns, but needed a last-minute goal against Chievo on the opening day of the season to seal a comeback win.
He is a great example for the younger players and he raises our overall quality Massimiliano Allegri on Cristiano Ronaldo
And Allegri is contemplating changes, adding: “There will also be a very hot atmosphere tomorrow so everyone will be needed, even those who enter during the game.
“For example, the wing is more covered with Douglas Costa, but we also know what can happen with Ronaldo there.
“I have to make a decision on (Blaise) Matuidi today. He’s in good shape and he always runs.
“He came in late last season but immediately made us understand what he could give us.
“Changes will depend on the moment, our state and our opponents. From September 16 we’ll be playing every three days, so the changes will be natural.
🎙 @OfficialAllegri: "@MATUIDIBlaise is an important player for us, as he demonstrated last year. He's in excellent condition, but I still need to decide if he plays tomorrow. I have plenty top-class midfielders to choose from."#JuveLazio pic.twitter.com/kEUjOt5WSB— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 24, 2018
“However, decisions must be made and only winning counts. If you win, every decision you make is a good one but they’re never fully accepted.”
Lazio, who opened with a 2-1 loss to Napoli, have injury concerns.
Luiz Felipe and Valon Berisha are out, but Adam Marusic might be fit.
Felipe has a grade-two tear of his calf, picked up against Napoli, while Berisha has a hamstring injury.
Marusic sprained his ankle in Rome last week but could recover in time.