The Aquile have lost two games on the trot while the Neapolitans are in third place in the table...
Has The Bubble Burst?
Lazio suffered a crushing 2-0 defeat to Roma in the Rome derby last weekend in what was the Aquile’s first major test in Serie A this season. The defeat clipped their wings, which were burned on Wednesday evening when they went down 1-0 to relegation-contenders Cesena on the road.
Back-to-back defeats in the league have dragged Lazio from pole position to second spot in the standings, a point behind leaders Milan. Most observers didn’t give Edy Reja’s side much of a chance to win the Scudetto this season anyway, and two losses in as many matches have raised questions with suggestions that their bubble has finally burst reaching the surface.
Nevertheless, Reja is one of the most intelligent tacticians in Italy and he will attempt to sort out his team ahead of the clash with Napoli on Sunday. Playmaker Hernanes, who was rested for the match against Cesena, is back in the squad and Reja will hope that the Brazilian can inspire the team.
It’s The Lavezzi Show
Napoli are steadily climbing up the ladder in Serie A and are currently third in the table with 21 points from 11 matches, a point ahead of Italian and European champions Inter and just two behind leaders Milan.
Napoli have won their last three matches in a row in the league and, encouragingly, have not conceded any goal. In midweek it was star striker Ezequiel Lavezzi once again who inspired the Partenopei to victory as he scored an injury time winner against Cagliari in Sardinia. It was the Argentine’s third goal in four matches in all competitions.
Even more encouraging for Napoli is the fact that they have not lost even once away from Naples in the league this term, having won four of their six away matches. Having conceded just four times and scored ten on the road, Walter Mazzarri’s side will be relishing the chance to take advantage of a demoralised Lazio team in Rome.
Meghni and Quadri are out injured for the Aquile, who will have Hernanes back for this match. The Brazilian playmaker will be one of three attack-minded midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 formation that will have Floccari as the lone striker upfront.
Lucarelli, Aronica, Dossena and Campagnaro are out injured for the Azzurri while Gargano is suspended. Mazzarri is likely to opt for a 3-4-2-1 formation that will have Lavezzi as the lone marksman with Hamsik and Cavani playing just behind him.