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Lazio vs Chievo
Match Date: 26-04-2015
Location: Rome
Stadium Olimpico
Referee Tommasi
Time 15:00 CET
Lazio return home to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday to host Chievo Verona. Lazio’s winning streak was snapped last weekend as they fell to Juventus by a score of 2-0, all but sealing the deal for yet another Scudetto for the reigning champions. Chievo Verona are coming off a draw last week to Udinese, a match that saw the clubs icon, Sergio Pellisier, pick up his 112th goal in the famous yellow and blue colours dawned by the flying donkey’s. The reverse fixture of this match was a goalless draw, albeit, a draw between two clubs that looked very different in November last year. Since then, Lazio have emerged as legitimate contenders for Champions League football and Chievo have managed to pull themselves out of the relegation zone. Chievo have played well in 2015, they force their opponents to find a way to beat them, putting in consistent performances week in and week out in Serie A.

There will be several changes for Lazio this week as the club is facing several omissions due to injury and suspension. In goal for Lazio, Marchetti will likely get the start, he is Pioli’s preference. Marchetti did not have a great game against Juventus and may still be timid as he is still recovering from a broken nose. In the centre of defence for Lazio we will likely see Cana and Mauricio play together once again, the extent of De Vrij’s knee injury is not major but he will be given more time to rest and recuperate. On the right hand side of defence for Lazio, we will surely see Basta pick up yet another start, it is nice to see Pioli let him go and move up the field in attack. Rather than Lulic at left back against Juventus, Pioli surprisingly decided to start Braafheid, he may do so once again as the Lazio midfield is decimated for this match.

In midfield for Lazio, Biglia and Parolo will both not be able to feature in the match due to injury and Cataldi will have to serve a one match ban for the red card he picked up against Juventus last week. In the centre of the park things will be interesting for Lazio, with Pioli’s three main men unavailable we will see some unconventional faces; perhaps Pioli will field his more conservative and defensive 4-3-3 formation. Lulic should start in his more familiar left midfield position, we may see Onazi and/or Ledesma in this game feature in midfield, perhaps Candreva can start on the right side of midfield, he should start this match, he came on and played well against Juventus. If Candreva did start on the right hand side of midfield, this would make way for Felipe Anderson and Mauri on the left and right hand sides of the attack, surely centred by Klose. This would be the likely formation in my opinion, Pioli will have some juggling to do, it is doubtful that Pioli will believe the current squad he has to choose from will have the technical ability to field the more attacking minded 4-2-3-1 formation he likes to use.

The next three matches for Lazio in Serie A are crucial; this one against Chievo is no exception. Lazio cannot afford to drop points against Chievo, Parma and Atalanta, or they will surely see their dream of Europe fade away. Napoli, Roma, Sampdoria and Firoentina will not give up and will fight until the end for the three Champions League positions. Lazio’s final run in to finish this season will see them come up against direct opponents searching for Europe as they face Inter, Sampdoria, Roma and Napoli in their final four games. Lazio need to prove to themselves and to their faithful Laziali that they are mentally strong enough to bounce back from their loss to Juventus, and complete the task with a depleted squad. This is a great test for Lazio and we will learn quite a bit about this team, if Lazio wish to be successful in Europe next season, assuming they qualify, games like this with man games lost to injury and suspension are regular occurrences, success in all competitions cannot be attained without finding a way to overcome these circumstances, Lazio’s depth will be tested.

Forza Lazio!

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