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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Lazio

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

As Italy went to slumber Friday night, the predicted lineups showed Juventus in its base 4-3-1-2 formation and there were few really disagreeing with it. A change here and there because of that pesky midweek game in Europe, but the look of the formation would be what Allegri has used a good amount of the time this season.

And then, as people are getting out of bed, we have this thrown our way:

Well that's a sudden change in what Max Allegri may or may not but everybody is predicting him to go with. Not that the 3-5-2 is a bad thing by any means considering how effective it has been over the last month or two. And sans Arturo Vidal being included in the picture above, that's about as first choice of the lineup as a first-choice starting lineup gets.

Which, based on what Allegri said at his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, shouldn't be much of a surprise even with the trip to France to play Monaco in the Champions League waiting in the wings.

It's also understandable considering that Juventus are playing their closest competition in Serie A. There is still a sizable gap between Juve and Lazio in the standings, which stands at 12 points as the teams prepare to step onto the Juventus Stadium field today. It's one of the few times in months we can say somebody other than Roma has been in second place, as one Roman team continues to win while the other one draws against everybody.

I think Juve want to put an end to the eight-game Lazio winning streak, preventing them from setting a new club record for consecutive victories at the same time. That would be cool. Not that I've got much of anything against Lazio. (That may change if their manager starts playing a fake violin on the sidelines, though.)

So let's go out there and have a funky good time — even if there's the potential of no Simone Padoin. Let there be Buffon, let there be Chiellini, let there be Tévez and Morata. Here's to the latest top of the table matchup, this time against the other team the city of Rome has to offer.