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

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


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

Diakite, Dias, Biava
Konko, Gonzalez, L'sma, Matuzalem, Scaloni

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.

  • Only against Atalanta have Udinese won more Serie A games than against Lazio, but 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.
  • Over these last seven away games, Lazio have failed to keep a single clean sheet.