Simone Inzaghi’s tenure as Biancocelesti coach couldn’t have begun more positively as a brace from Miroslav Klose and a third from Felipe Anderson saw Lazio halt a three-game winless stretch.
Stefano Pioli was relieved of his duties as head coach after Lazio were humbled by bitter rivals Roma in the Derby della Capitale a fortnight ago, the result coming a mere three weeks after the Aquile exited the Europa League to Sparta Prague on a whimper.
Sassuolo‘s inability to coax a consistent run of form, coupled with the managerial mayhem at AC Milan, has reopened the door for Lazio and victory over a Empoli outfit will doubtless strengthen their European aspirations.
The Tuscans were the topic of the nation prior to Christmas, with coach Marco Giampaolo building impressively on the foundations laid by his predecessor Maurizio Sarri to guide Empoli to within touching distance of the European places.
However, a rocky spell after the winter hiatus has seen the Azzurri slide into mid-table, with last weekend’s 2-0 success over rivals Fiorentina their first victory since January 10.
Manuel Pucciarelli and Piotr Zielinski were among the scorers as Empoli effectively ended Fiorentina’s Champions League aspirations.
Lazio boast the superior head-to-head record between these two sides and yielded a supreme performance when the sides clashed at the Stadio Olimpico last season.
Empoli will take solace from the reverse fixture between the side’s this season, when a Lorenzo Tonelli goal proved the difference.
There are no new injury concerns for Inzaghi to mull over, with the long-term absentees of Stefan de Vrij, Stefan Radu and Ricardo Kishna making up the injury list.
Empoli, meanwhile, will be without the services of Lukasz Skorupski and Marko Livaja. Piotr Zielinski will also miss out through suspension.
Form Guide: Lazio (W-L-D-L-W) Empoli (L-D-D-L-W)
Expected Starting XIs
Lazio: Marchetti; Basta, Bisevac, Gentiletti, Lulic; Onazi, Biglia, Parolo; Candreva, Klose, Keita.
Empoli: Pelagotti; Laurini, Tonelli, Costa, Mario Rui; Buchel, Paredes, Croce; Saponara; Maccarone, Pucciarelli.