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Serie A

  • 29 April 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Communale Friuli, Udine
  • Referee: M. Bergonzi
  • • Attendance: 18000
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Udinese - Lazio Preview: Guidolin's men lock horns with fellow rivals in Champions League qualification race

Udinese - Lazio Preview: Guidolin's men lock horns with fellow rivals in Champions League qualification race

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Both teams are currently in the midst of poor form, having previously lead the way for third spot in Serie A, but a win on Sunday could prove to be the vital tonic for either side

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

UDINESE

Handanovic
Benatia, Danilo, Ekstrand
Pereyra, Pinzi, P'enza, Asamoah, Pasquale
Torje
Di Natale
LAZIO

Marchetti
Diakite, Dias, Biava
Konko, Gonzalez, L'sma, Matuzalem, Scaloni
Mauri
Rocchi

It looks set to be a tale of two depleted outfits when Udinese and Lazio do battle at the Stadio Friuli on Sunday, as firstly the hosts are missing six first-team players. Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Andrea Coda and Damiano Ferronetti have all been ruled out of the encounter, while Maurizio Domizzi is a doubt in defence. Mauricio Isla remains sidelined for the foreseeable future, and Antonio Floro Flores is suspended.

As a result, numerous changes are likely to be made by coach Francesco Guidolin, with Dusan Basta, Joel Ekstrand, Roberto Pereyra, Giovanni Pasquale and Gabriel Torje all set to come into the fold.

Meanwhile for Lazio, they too are suffering from a high volume of absentees. Stephen Makinwa, Marius Stankevicius, Hernanes and Cristian Brocchi's seasons have already been confirmed to have ended, plus Senad Lulic and Miroslav Klose require at least another week to return to fitness. Also, Antonio Candreva is banned from participation and Stefan Radu needs a late fitness rest.

Subsequently, three changes are expected to be made from last weekend's 1-1 draw with lowly Lecce. They include Andre Dias, Abdoulay Konko and Stefano Mauri coming back into contention for the Biancocelesti.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Only against Atalanta have Udinese won more Serie A games than against Lazio, but they have won just one of previous five versus Edy Reja's men.
  • Lazio are the Serie A team that the Zebrette have scored the most goals against, with 93 strikes to their name, including in each of their last 10.
  • Only against Roma has Antonio Di Natale scored more goals than he has done against Lazio so far in Serie A, netting 10 to date.
  • However, while Udinese have won just one of their last nine league fixtures, Lazio are winless in their last three.
  • The Biancocelesti have lost six of their last seven games away from home, including the last four.

Players to watch

A. Di Natale

Position: Attacker

Games: 21

  • 9
  • 4
  • 0
The Italian continues to produce year in, year out for the Zebrette. The 34-year-old has 20 Serie A goals to his name again this season and will need to find the back of the net on Sunday if Udinese hope to pick up three precious points. His form against Lazio is also mightily impressive, scoring 10 goals against them, and he will be relishing the prospect of facing an under-strength Biancocelesti side.

S. Mauri

Position: Midfielder

Games: 18

  • 8
  • 4
  • 0
The veteran No.10 is looking for a place on the national team this summer and certainly boosted his chances with an outrageous overhead kick-goal against Napoli a few weeks ago. The playmaking responsibilities will be on his shoulders on Wednesday – can he be the one who unlocks the Udinese defence with the added impetus of a weakened defensive unit standing in his way?

Editor's Prediction

A low-scoring affair is to be expected between these two outfits, who go into the match struggling to keep up in the race for Europe's elite club competition. History should repeat itself, with a draw looking the most likely outcome. However, with Di Natale on the pitch for Udinese and Rocchi having a knack for scoring goals out of the blue, you simply never know.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Udinese

Lazio

Wins
2
0
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Udinese Calcio UDI
Udinese Calcio Udinese
Draw
SS Lazio LAZ
SS Lazio Lazio
32%
21%
47%

Top 3 Predictions

Udinese Calcio UDI
1 - 2
SS Lazio LAZ
Udinese Calcio UDI
2 - 1
SS Lazio LAZ
Udinese Calcio UDI
1 - 1
SS Lazio LAZ

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