Sunday Sep 21, 2014  
     
 
  08/02/2013: Looking Forward
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Lazio started the new-year as potential Scudetto challengers, having been on a run of sixteen matches without defeat. As of late, that ever so familiar dip in form has started to take effect in the capital once again.

Alarmingly, Lazio have only managed to take just one point from matches against Palermo, Chievo and Genoa. With lack of transfer activity in January and the news that Miroslav Klose will be side-lined for two months, does this spell the end for Lazio’s targeted third place finish?

Up until Christmas, everything was rosy at Formello. Klose was scoring for fun, and Lazio were developing as a force to be reckoned with in Serie A. It was said by many that if Klose were to become injured, the Biancocelesti would be starved for goals.

Sergio Floccari has been relied upon as the ‘vice-Klose’ on occasions this term, and has done reasonably well when standing in for the German. Beyond the 31-year-old though, there isn’t a player in Lazio’s squad who can really add to the goal tally.

Being reliant on a 34-year-old for your goal-scoring needs can only have certain repercussions. The German is at the wrong age in his career to stay fully-fit all season long, and Claudio Lotito and Igli Tare should have acknowledged this in January.

Seeing Tomasso Rocchi depart for Inter has left the club with just Floccari, Libor Kozak and the young Antonio Rozzi to fill Klose’s shoes. Now god forbid it should happen, but if Floccari became injured or missing for any reason, it would leave Lazio in a worrying mess as to who could possibly grab the goals.

Lazio do however have the exciting prospect of Louis Saha to look forward to after the Frenchman was signed on a free transfer as a replacement for the injured Klose. It remains to be seen if he can fill the boots of the talismanic German.

Adding to the bad news even further, Hernanes is still missing from action and looks to be out for the next month at least. Worrying times are approaching for the club as it seems the quality isn’t there to adequately replace these players.

Despite recent controversy surrounding Mauro Zarate, I think it is now time for Lotito to make things right with the striker. Still one of the clubs highest earners despite being frozen out, it is only right that Zarate feature for the club in their time of need.

There is no question that Zarate would give his all for the Biancoblu, if he is that desperate to force a move away from Rome, then what better way than to put yourself in the shop window with some good performances? Everyone would benefit from this decision, and it would be the only way for Mauro to make it right with the fans again after recent dispute.

Petkovic stated after the match against Genoa that “It’s definitely a defeat that hurts, but we’ll be able to start over with all energies to improve our ranking, as we have done in the past after such defeats.“

“We reached a cup final by eliminating Juventus, Italy is not as black as it seems. The season is still long and there are lots of matches ahead of us, these little dips shouldn’t affect our goals“.

Andre Dias and Giuseppe Biava provide Lazio with some good news at last, as they both return from bans. This should see Petkovic revert to his usual 4-1-4-1 formation this weekend.

The weekends encounter with Napoli is starting to look like a daunting task for Petkovic and his men after recent casualties. But if Lazio are to prove their worth for a third place finish, then these are matches that need to be won, regardless of who features on the pitch. The fans just hope Floccari can continue his goal-scoring form and keep Lazio where they want to be.

Follow Ben on Twitter: @Lazio_UK

Author: Ben Lally
 
 
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