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Serie A Preview: Chievo - Lazio
The Flying Donkeys will be looking to get their first points on the board when the host the Aquilotti at the Bentegodi on Sunday...
Kick-Off: Sunday, August 30, 20:45 CET,
Stadio Bentegodi, Verona
Chievo Confident Following Spirited Opening Round Defeat
After a spirited second half-performance against Juventus last weekend, Chievo will be happy with the way they pushed the Turin giants despite their opening day defeat. With Sergio Pellissier displaying some worrying moments for the Bianconeri, the Flying Donkeys will be hoping the Italian can get his account underway this weekend as they take to the field for the first time in front of the Bentegodi faithful.
Following the successful manner in which Di Carlo kept the Gialloblu in the top flight on the penultimate round last season, the Chievo tactician will be looking for a much quicker start this year as the Veronese look to get a head start in the eventual relegation dogfight. Given the manner in which they failed to take no for an answer against the Bianconeri, it seems Di Carlo has certainly found the fighting spirit which will set Chievo in good stead for another difficult campaign.
The Flying Donkey’s will be desperate to take full advantage of Lazio’s midweek exploits in the Europa League as they look to outrun Ballardini’s men for their first victory of the season. With the Biancazzurri arriving at the Bentegodi with a makeshift defence following injuries to Modibo Diakite and Sebastiano Siviglia, the Gialloblu will be confident they can find the goals that will spur them towards some precious early season points.
Paying The Price For Europe?
Lazio continued their impressive start to the season last weekend with a hard-fought victory over Atalanta. Despite their exploits in the Europa League just three days earlier, Davide Ballardini’s men managed to put in a solid team performance to edge past a spirited Orobici side at the Stadio Olimpico. Whilst a draw may have been fairer on the visitors, the Aquilotti will take great heart from the manner in which they pulled together to get their league campaign off to a winning start.
Following the midweek trip to Elfsborg, it seems Lazio are starting to show their limits after they struggled to cope with a string of successive injuries against the Swedish outfit. Whilst Ballardini praised his side for making the Europa League group stages, it remains to be seen how the Aquile’s league form is affected as they look to recover from an energy sapping 90 minutes on the synthetic pitch of the Boras Arena.
Despite encountering numerous difficulties at the Bentegodi in recent years, Lazio will remember the manner in which they edged the Gialloblu through a late Andrea Mantovani own goal. With a number of top side’s going head-to-head this weekend, the Biancazzurri will be desperate to take the spoils back home and go into the international break with maximum points.
August 23 v Juventus (A) – LOST 1-0 (SERIE A)
August 20 v Sant’Anna D’Alfaedo (H) - WON 12-0 (FRIENDLY)
August 15 v Mantova (H) - WON 3-0 (COPPA ITALIA)
August 10 v Aris Thessaloniki (A) - WON 1-0 (FRIENDLY)
August 1 v West Bromwich Albion (A) DREW 0-0 (FRIENDLY)
27 August v Elfsborg (A) – LOST 1-0 (EUROPA LEAGUE)
23 August v Atalanta (H) - WON 1-0 (SERIE A)
20 August v Elfsborg (H) - WON 3-0 (EUROPA LEAGUE)
13 August v Osasuna (H) - WON 5-4 (SKY TROPHY)
8 August v Inter (A) - WON 2-1 (ITALIAN SUPER CUP)
Mimmo Di Carlo is set to stick with the favoured 4-3-1-2 formation and confirm the side that narrowly fell to defeat against Juventus in the opening round.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-1-2): Sorrentino; Mantovani, Yepes, Morero, Frey; Marcolini, Rigoni, Luciano; Pinzi; Pellissier, Bogdani
Davide Ballardini has a few selection issues following the testing encounter on Elfsborg’s synthetic pitch on Thursday. Both Sebastiano Siviglia and Cristian Brocchi picked up heavy knocks during their exploits in Sweden and are set to join Modibo Diakite in the Lazio infirmary.
Probable Starting XI (4-4-2): Muslera, Kolarov, Cribari, Radu, Lichtsteiner; Foggia, Matuzalem, Baronio, Mauri; Rocchi, Zarate
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mario Yepes (Chievo)
After being linked with a summer switch to Formello, it will be interesting to see how the Colombian shapes up against the duo of Rocchi and Zarate. The veteran centre-back was one of the Gialloblu’s unsung heroes last season, and he will certainly want to finish the first game at the Bentegodi with a clean sheet.
Fernando Muslera (Lazio)
After another man of the match performance in Thursday’s narrow defeat to Elfsborg, the Uruguayan once again showed he is ready to become a key player for the Biancocelesti this season. Considering his difficult beginnings in the capital, it is great to see ‘Nando’ finally fulfilling his potential and he has been duly rewarded with a call-up to the Uruguay squad.
Given the manner in which the Aquilotti have got their campaign underway so far, it seems Ballardini’s men are close favourites to take all three points again this Sunday. However, after playing an energy sapping 90 minutes against Elfsborg during the week, Lazio could find themselves struggling in the latter stages, and this will certainly give Di Carlo’s men an opportunity to take full advantage in the second period.
Chievo 1-2 Lazio
Terakhir diubah oleh Dicanio tanggal August 28th 2009, 18:45, total 1 kali diubah