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Napoli vs Lazio
Match Date: 31-05-2015
Location: Naples
Stadium San Paolo
Referee Rocchi
Time 20:45 CET
Lazio head to Naples this Sunday to battle with Napoli for third position in the Serie A table, the holder of this position will earn the opportunity to enter the qualifying stage of the Champions League. Lazio of course enter this match coming off a disappointing derby loss to Roma, a match in which they perhaps should have deserved more, unfortunately sometimes Italian football is unfair. Napoli were also unsuccessful in their last Serie A league match, as they fell to Champions Juventus by a score of 3-1, Napoli fought hard in this match and played very well. A draw in this fixture will give Lazio the third position in the table; they enter the match three points ahead of Napoli. If Napoli is victorious, they can go level on points with Lazio, and will be give third position by way of two victories in their head to head matches this season. This will be the match of the week in Serie, a battle that will surely be entertaining to watch, Lazio hold their fate in their hands.

In goal for Lazio, we should see Marchetti, his positioning on the second Roma goal was poor, he was too deep into the net, had he been further out, which he initially was before he stepped back, he may have been able to make contact and steer the ball wide. The winning goal was not Marchetti’s fault, it was poor marking by Lazio, a situation we have seen several times this season from set pieces, and they will need to be much better against Napoli. In the centre of defence for Lazio, we should once again see De Vrij and Gentiletti shoring up the middle, they should be supported on both the right and left hand sides by Basta and Lulic, Radu is unlikely to be available due to injury. If Pioli chooses to field a 4-3-3 formation, we may see Braafheid start on the left side of defence, which will allow Lulic to move up into the left hand side of the midfield for the Biancocelesti.

In midfield for Lazio, we should see Paroli in the centre role; he needs to be more visible for Lazio to be successful. He should likely be joined by Cataldi on his right and Lulic on his left, Biglia looks doubtful as he was removed early from the Roma match, he may have been rushed back too early. Lulic should be more comfortable on the left side of midfield, he is versatile but this is his more natural and preferred position. Cataldi has had an impressive breakout year and the young man should be commended for the poise he has shown; he will need a monumental performance for Lazio on Sunday.

In the attack for Lazio, given that Djordjevic is now fully fit, and he has played well coming off the bench in his last three matches, we should not be surprised to see him start this weekend, Pioli will believe that he is Lazio’s greatest threat in attack and gives Lazio their best chance at winning, Klose will be ready to put in some quality minutes. On the left and right hand sides of Djordjevic, it will unquestionably be Candreva and Felipe Anderson, both men will need to work the sidelines hard and be as creative as possible if they hope to break down the Napoli defence. Candreva had an excellent first half against Roma but he appeared to tire in the second half, he will need to be his dominant self for the full ninety minutes. Anderson did not have a great match against Roma, apart from his ball into the box that set up the Lazio goal he was very well neutralized by the Roma defence, Anderson will need to put in a solid performance if Lazio are to emerge victorious. Lazio must enter this match with confidence and have the derby disappointment put behind them, they are a solid squad and they must play with the belief, Pioli will have his men prepared.

Projected Lazio starting line-up: Marchetti, De Vrij, Gentiletti, Braafheid, Basta, Cataldi, Parolo, Lulic, Djordjevic, Anderson, Candreva

Forza Lazio!

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