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3 vs 1
April 7, 2012 8:00 PM BST
Stadio Olimpico — Roma
Referee:‬ P. Mazzoleni‎
Attendance:‬ 32000‎
Goran Pandev 34′
81′ (PG) Cristian Ledesma

Lazio - Napoli Preview: Champions League rivals prepare to do battle in Italian capital

A feisty encounter is on the cards when the two outfits take to the Olimpico on Saturday, as the race for a top-three finish begins to hot up with the end of the season approaching

By Livio Caferoglu

Ezequiel Lavezzi (N), Senad Lulic (L) - Napoli-Lazio - Serie A (Getty Images)
Getty Images


Scaloni, Biava, Diakite, Konko
Ledesma, Cana
Gonzalez, Hernanes, Mauri

De Sanctis
C'pagnaro, Cannavaro, Britos, Aronica
Dzemaili, Inler, Hamsik
Lavezzi, Cavani

A surprise 3-1 reverse to Parma last weekend saw Lazio suffer a third defeat in four Serie A matches, but despite their recent poor form, they still lead the way in race for the last Champions League spot.

However, Edy Reja's job isn't made any easier with the news that first-teamers Cristian Brocchi, Andre Dias, Miroslav Klose, Marius Stankevicius, Matuzalem, Stefan Radu and Senad Lulic will all miss out on the game against Napoli.

As a result, a number of changes are on the horizon for the Romans as Mobido Diakite, Lionel Scaloni, Hernanes and Lorik Cana are likely to deputise for the absentees.

For Napoli, coach Walter Mazzarri will be without injured trio Andrea Dossena, Marco Donadel and Christian Maggio, while Juan Zuniga and Walter Gargano are suspended. As a result, the 50-year-old is being tipped to switch to a 4-3-1-2 formation from his tried-and-trusted 3-5-2.

Miguel Britos, Blerim Dzemaili and Goran Pandev are the players set to be flung into contention, with Hamsik dropping into midfield from his usual attacking role behind the strikers.

  • Lazio have won just one of their last five meetings with Napoli - a 2-0 victory in November 2010.
  • The Biancocelesti have been victorious in five of their last six games on home soil.
  • Tommaso Rocchi has already scored three goals against the Partenopei and could net his 100th Serie A strike on Saturday.
  • Over the last 20 years, Napoli have won just twice at the Olimpico against Lazio.
  • Edinson Cavani has scored four goals versus the Biancocelesti, including one of his three Serie A hat-tricks.
  • Napoli lead in the head-to-head by 38 wins to 34 against Lazio.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Apr 13, 2014 SSC Napoli 4 - Lazio 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Italy - Coppa Italia ‎(ITAC)‎ Jan 29, 2014 SSC Napoli 1 - Lazio 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Dec 2, 2013 Lazio 2 - SSC Napoli 4
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Feb 9, 2013 Lazio 1 - SSC Napoli 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Sep 26, 2012 SSC Napoli 3 - Lazio 0
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Last Five Matches
Apr 13, 2014SSC Napoli 4 - Lazio 2ITA1
Apr 6, 2014Lazio 2 - Sampdoria 0ITA1
Mar 30, 2014Lazio 3 - Parma 2ITA1
Mar 26, 2014Genoa 2 - Lazio 0ITA1
Mar 23, 2014Lazio 1 - AC Milan 1ITA1
Team News
Available Squads
22Federico MarchettiGoalkeeper
20Giuseppe BiavaDefender
21Modibo DiakiteDefender
26Stefan RaduDefender
29Abdoulay KonkoDefender
6Stefano MauriMidfielder
24Cristian LedesmaMidfielder
27Lorik CanaMidfielder
87Antonio CandrevaMidfielder
9Tommaso RocchiStriker
53Albano BizzarriGoalkeeper
4Lionel ScaloniDefender
18Javier GarridoDefender
32Cristian BrocchiMidfielder
15Alvaro GonzalezMidfielder
27Libor KozákStriker
30Emiliano AlfaroStriker
26Morgan De SanctisGoalkeeper
-Salvatore AronicaDefender
14Hugo CampagnaroDefender
-Paolo CannavaroDefender
5Miguel Angel BritosDefender
17Marek HamsikMidfielder
20Blerim DzemailiMidfielder
88Gökhan InlerMidfielder
9Edinson CavaniStriker
21Ezequiel LavezziStriker
19Goran PandevStriker
15Roberto ColomboGoalkeeper
-Gianluca GravaDefender
3Andrea DossenaDefender
21Federico FernándezDefender
-Ignacio FideleffDefender
-Massimiliano AmmendolaMidfielder
-Jacopo DeziMidfielder
-Edu VargasStriker
Players to Watch
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
10 1 1 0
The Brazilian returns to the starting lineup for the visit of the Neapolitans and it will come as a timely boost to the hosts, who lack creativity and imagination in the final third when he is absent. Eight goals and nine assists speak volumes about his impact when in the team, and he could be the key to Lazio unlocking the Napoli defence.
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 21
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
When he doesn't play well, neither does his team and it's as simple as that. For all of Lavezzi's endeavour against Juventus last weekend, he failed to produce a spark against the league leaders, but now has the perfect opportunity to complete his redemption. The hosts' defence is makeshift at best, so the onus will be on the Argentine pocket rocket to deliver the goods.
Both sides are leaking goals at an alarming rate, so an outright winner is too tough to call. However, Napoli's goalscoring potency means they will always have a chance, despite their woeful away form, in stark contrast to Lazio's strong performances on home soil. A high-scoring draw therefore looks to be on the horizon.
Editor's Prediction
Lazio 2
Napoli 2
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
19 0
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
17 5
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Hellas Verona
17 2
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
15 0