Saturday Jan 23, 2021  
  06/11/2013: Europa League Preview: Lazio - Apollon Limassol
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A fortnight ago Lazio were held to a goalless draw in Cyprus and as the second half of the group stages are kicking off on Thursday Lazio will be looking to get a lead over Apollon Limassol through a win. At the moment the second and third placed teams are the two facing each other and either of the teams looking to advance needs the three points.

Again Petkovic will be forced to make changes to his starting line-up. Also some new additions are expected in order to give some rest to some of the players that have featured regularly, while also knowing that Apollon will come to Rome to defend the one point they are holding when the game kicks off and hope for a break - just like Genoa punished Lazio on Sunday.

The likelihood of new goalkeeper Berisha getting his first minutes in Lazio are set at 50% and only by tomorrow it will be known if Marchetti or the Albanian is set to start. In the back line Ciani and Cana will be central defenders, while Radu will be tested late to decide if he is in or out. The 4-2-3-1 seems to be the preferred formation, giving Hernanes and Onazi the nod over Ledesma and Gonzalez to play behind the three more attacking players in Keita, Ederson and Anderson. As lone striker Floccari is expected to start.

One of the most intense discussions in Rome as well as in our own Forum is the future of Lazio under Petkovic. Surely a win is expected and no one wants to think too much about a potential loss. However, cases are being made that Petkovic might see himself replaced would another loss be collected and a game against a side from Cyprus that Lazio should beat any day of the week has become more than only a game on the pitch.

Very few tickets have been sold and again it seems as if the European adventure will take place without any crowd support. The Curva is shut by UEFA and not many have opted to watch the game from the stands open. If this is a good or bad thing for the team, whích is under heavy pressure from the fans demanding some better football and higher quality accompanying wins, remains to be seen as the game develops.

Apollon coach Christoforou pointed out that Lazio are massive favourites, but that his team is there to show they are worthy of a progress from the group stage. Sitting only one point behind Lazio and comfortably ahead if Legia Warsaw the aim is to give the team the avantage needed ahead of the final two games and into the knock-out stages.

Probable line-ups:
Lazio: Marchetti, Cavanda, Ciani, Cana, Crecco, Onazi, Hernanes, Anderson, Ederson, Anderson, Floccari.
Apollon Limassol: Vale, Vasiliou, Merkis, Karypidis, Mena, Hamdani, Grigorie, Konstantinou, Sangoy, Popoulis, Garcia.
Author: Khashayar Kashefi
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