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Sampdoria vs Lazio
Match Date: 16-05-2015
Location: Genoa
Stadium Luigi Ferraris
Referee Mazzoleni
Time 20:45 CET
Lazio travel to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday to take on Sampdoria, who are direct rivals for a European football place in the 2015-2016 season. Sampdoria currently sit in the final Europa league position in the Italian table on 54 points and enter this match against Lazio coming off a very convincing 4-1 victory last week over Udinese. Lazio still sit in third place in the Serie A table on 62 points, only one point behind Roma and three points ahead of Napoli, both of these opponents Lazio must face in the final two rounds of the Serie A Campionato. Lazio enter the Sampdoria match from a disappointing 2-1 loss to Inter Milan, Lazio will need to put in a much stronger performance on Saturday if they hope to achieve the full three points against Sampdoria, Mihalovic will have his men ready for redemption after Lazio pounced Sampdoria rather convincingly in Rome in the reverse fixture of the match earlier in the year.

Berisha will start in net for Lazio, Marchetti will be unable to play due to the red card he received in the Inter match, this will be a great opportunity for Berisha to once again make his case as being a valid starter. In the center of defence for Lazio, Mauricio will be suspended and De Vrij once again does not appear to be healthy enough to play, this will likely force some changes for Pioli. It is hard to determine who we will see on Saturday shoring up the back Line for Lazio; it will likely be Ciani in the middle, if Novaretti or Cana are fit to go, once of those two men will join Ciani. If neither are available, it is possible that Radu may move into the centre with Ciani and that Braafheid will start on the left side of defence in Radu’s place, perhaps Lulic may have to take one for the team and play in his less desired left back role on Saturday against Sampdoria. What we do know for sure is that Basta will start at right back for Lazio on Saturday.
Lazio also face adversity in midfield, Biglia looks in jeopardy of missing the remainder of the season due to a knee injury and Cataldi may also not be fit to go. Pioli will once again be faced with the question of which formation to field, his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation is much more attacking minded and has delivered the lion share of results for Lazio this season, he may not feel that he has the personnel to field this formation. My best guess is that this is the direction that Pioli will go, Parolo should play in the deep midfield role and he will likely be joined with either Ledesma or Onazi. This would mean that Mauri could start just in front of these two men in the centre of the three midfielders, playing in the deeper trequarista role, this is the only way that Mauri fits in the starting eleven, he does not have the legs to play out wide. On his wings we would likely see Felipe Anderson and Antonio Candreva; it is hard to imagine that these two men will not be given starting berths this weekend.

In the centre of attack for Lazio we should likely see Klose lead the charge, his experience will be crucial, it will take every amount of creativity by Klose and the Lazio attack to break down the defensive line of Sampdoria. Keita should feature in this match, he has made a great case for him to be a starter in attack for Lazio and should he be given an opportunity, fully expect him to make the most of it. Genoa is a very difficult place for any team in Serie A to visit, in fact, Lazio do not have a great history there and will face a monumental task this weekend if the hope to emerge victorious against Sampdoria. Let us not look forward to the bumped up Coppa Italia final against Juventus this coming Wednesday, with Lazio not at full strength and with two crucial games remaining in Serie A against Roma and Napoli in the coming weeks there is only one thing that matters at this point, Champions League qualification. This is a must win match for Lazio and the group must find a way to earn three difficult points on the road, if they do, the stage is set for a Rome derby that will likely go down in history as one of the most significant ever played.

Projected Lazio starting line-up: Berisha, Ciani, Radu, Lulic, Basta, Parolo, Ledesma, Mauri, Anderson, Candreva, Klose

Forza Lazio!

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