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  Upcoming Match | Lazio vs Verona
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Lazio vs Verona
Match Date: 22-03-2015
Location: Rome
Stadium Olimpico
Referee Massa
Time 20:45 CET
Lazio host Hellas Verona at the Stadio Olimpico in week 28th of the Serie A championship. Lazio firmly sit in the battle for Champions League football next year and will need to enter this match with the utmost tactical precision. Verona are slightly above the drop zone on 32 points and will be looking to add to their points tally to ensure a mid-table finish, well above the relegation zone. Verona played well last week and shocked Napoli with a 2-0 victory, thanks to a brace from Luca Toni. Lazio’s last result was a 2-0 win over Torino, where Felipe Anderson once again shinned. The reverse fixture of this match in Verona was a 1-1 result, both Lulic and Toni found the net in the draw. Pioli will have a full squad at his disposal for this match, excluding Djodjevic, so he will have some difficult decisions to make in search of Lazio’s sixth league win in a row.

Marchetti will surely start in goal for Lazio this week, he will be riding high amidst the rumours of him potentially receiving a call from Antonio Conte for international duty for the Azzurri. The rock solid defensive core unit should once again remain intact for Lazio, De Vrij and Mauricio will feature in the centre and should be supported on the left and right hand sides by both Radu and Basta. The Lazio defence will need to be conscious of Toni up front in the centre of the park, cutting down runs up the flanks and preventing balls crossed into the box will minimize his impact on the match.

In midfield for Lazio, we should expect to see Parolo, Biglia and Cataldi. This appears to have become Pioli’s trusted core in the middle of the park for Lazio, all have been playing well, Cataldi has unexpectedly progressed and earns himself a constant spot in Lazio’s starting eleven, effectively freezing out Onazi. With that in mind, based on Cataldi’s youth he may not start this weekend, he may be dropped from the starting eleven but should still get some time. Halfredsson is a work horse for Verona in midfield, the midfield unit for Lazio will need to make sure not to allow him to move forward quickly, he was the instigator in both of the Toni goals against Napoli.

Up front for Lazio, we should once again expect to see some familiar faces. Klose has been a large part in Lazio’s resurgence and he will be counted on to continue to find the net and also open up space for his attacking compatriots. Felipe Anderson should start for Lazio on the left side of the attack, providing his knock has healed and he is up to full match fitness. With his contract renewal with Lazio eminent, Anderson will be playing with a clear mind and should be as lethal as always pressing forward. Pioli will have some decisions to make with both Mauri and Candreva for the remaining spot in the Lazio attack, one of these two may possibly not start for Lazio, but both should feature in the match in some capacity. If Pioli chooses to start both Candreva and Mauri, we may see Cataldi dropped and Lazio revert to a 4-2-3-1 system, as was seen in the Fiorentina match, Mauri would play behind Klose in the middle. Keita should also feature for Lazio, likely giving Klose’s legs some rest at some point in the second half.

This is a real opportunity for Lazio to show the rest of their Serie A competitors that they are indeed for real in the fight for Champions League football next season. The next string of league matches for Lazio are crucial, the maximum points available must be taken between now and the end of April. It is hard not to look ahead but Lazio must be aware that the final four league games come against Inter, Sampdoria, Roma and Napoli, all of which are direct competitors for European football positions. If Lazio have strength in the table entering the final month of play they will afford themselves the luxury of approaching these matches in a more confident state of mind. Lazio cannot underestimate Verona or they will run the risk of yet another potential banana skin match that they cannot afford to lose. Lazio must enter this match compact, aware and precise; expect a prepared group and a strong Lazio performance.

Forza Biancocelesti!

Writer: Michael Petricca
Team Name Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Lazio vs Verona
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