Lazio v Fiorentina – Preview: Final Effort by Viola to Salute Limping Season
The Biancocelesti are currently sitting in eighth position in the league standings following their 1-3 away win achieved last week against Carpi; after a dramatic game in which the Falconi’s Jerry Mbakogu missed two penalties.
The arrival of new coach Simone Inzaghi has partly revitalised the team, but it was too late to salvage their Serie A campaign.
The Viola have secured a position in next season’s Europa League, and are currently only looking to say goodbye to a season that, after an amazing start, has seen Paulo Sousa’s squad fizzle out.
Fiorentina, indeed, have been winless for four straight games and last week’s draw against the relegation candidates Palermo is only the last of a series of disappointing results.
The two sides last met in January, when the Aquile earned a surprising away win at the Stadio Artemio Franchi thanks to the goals scored by Keita Balde Diao, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Felipe Anderson; the Gigliati tried to answer with a late goal by Facundo Roncaglia, but inevitably sank for a 1-3 loss.
Of the three goalscorers of that match, only Keita will likely be among Inzaghi’s starters, being one of the members of Lazio’s attacking trio which will feature also Antonio Candreva and Miroslav Klose.
The Biancocelesti will once again face the injury problems of their defenders Stefan De Vrij, Stefan Radu and Wesley Hoedt, leaving Abdoulay Konko, Santiago Gentiletti, Milan Bisevac and Dusan Basta as starters for the defensive line.
The ban of captain Lucas Biglia will leave an empty spot in the midfield, which will be occupied talented youngster Danilo Cataldi.
On the other side of the pitch, Fiorentina will also miss important elements such as playmaker Borja Valero and full-back Manuel Pasqual, both absent for a ban, while Khouma Babacar is out due to an injury.
Paulo Sousa will, therefore, display his midfield as a 4-man line, composed by Cristian Tello, Matias Vecino, Milan Badelj and Marcos Alonso, while Josip Ilicic and Federico Bernardeschi will support Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic.
Form Guide: Lazio (W-L-L-W-W); Fiorentina (W-L-L-D-D).
Expected Starting XIs:
Lazio: Marchetti; Basta, Bisevac, Gentiletti, Konko; Cataldi, Parolo, Lulic; Candreva, Klose, Keita.
Fiorentina: Tatarusanu; Tomovic, Rodriguez, Astori; Alonso, Vecino, Badelj, Tello; Ilicic, Bernardeschi; Kalinic.