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  20/11/2015: Preview: Lazio - Palermo
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Lazio host Palermo on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. This will be a match that simply cannot be defined in any other way than a must win for Lazio. Palermo welcome Ballardini back as coach, Lazio should take note that a coaching change in Serie A is enough for more than an upset. Let's hope that Ballardini's media comments of his past with Lazio are enough to prompt a response from Pioli and his troops. Pioli has done an admirable job at Lazio but his time in Rome is wearing thin, without a result in this match Lotito may be forced to react. Lazio sit in 9th place in the Serie A table on 18 points with six wins and six losses thus far into the season, Palermo are only four further adrift with 14 points and sit in twelfth place, even with Empoli.

Pioli will be forced to field his best starting eleven and he will without a doubt do so. Marchetti should start in goal for Lazio, the international break should have provided ample rest for his recurring knocks. In front of him in the center of defence we should see both Mauricio and Gentiletti start for Lazio this weekend, hopefully the two can figure it out and keep a clean sheet, time will tell but centrally Lazio are suspect at the back without De Vrij. Out on the left and right hand sides of the back line Pioli will likely opt for Basta and Lulic on the right and left hand sides respectively, perhaps the time for change and more creativity for Lazio in these positions is eminent.

In the deep two of the 2-3 formation in midfield that Pioli likes to field we should without question see Biglia and Parolo start for Lazio against Palermo. Onazi has filled in very well in Parolo's absence and he is the first man into the squad should a change in tactics be needed during the match. Cataldi played well during the international break for the Azzurri youth but he still needs time to develop. It would be very interesting to see Ravel Morrison start in one of these two deeper roles, he is used to playing a bit deeper in midfield, Lazio may already have a replacement for Biglia, should he decide to move on to greener pastures, and they are not even aware. In the central role of the midfield for Lazio we should see Savic start, he scored for Serbia against Italia for the u21's during the break and with Mauri having back issues Savic is the go to man. Without doubt on the flanks for Lazio we will see both Anderson and Candreva start. Multiple hopes exist here, hopefully neither men want out of Lazio, hopefully both men are ready to put in the performance of their lives against Palermo and hopefully they will both be able to find their form to finish out this campaign. Where Candreva and Anderson go this season will ultimately determine where Lazio will go, this is a bold statement but the form of both men last campaign were directly related to Lazio's third place finish.

Up front for Lazio in the lone attacking role Djordjevic should pick up the start, Klose may not be fit and is still pondering his move to the MLS, what great soccer is played there, sarcastic yes, but honesty must always prevail. To compound on honesty it must be said that things are quite simply not right in the Lazio camp at the current moment, we are all aware of this. A result against Palermo is exactly what the doctor ordered and this could potentiallly be the result upon which this season could find itself right for Lazio. Expect a strong performance from the Biancocelesti in a close affair. There is no more appropriate moment than now to turn the table.

Forza Lazio!
Author: Michael Petricca
 
 
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