Udinese vs Lazio preview

February 14, 2015
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Lazio vs UdineseThe difficult fixture list for Udinese continues with the home clash against Lazio, with the Zebrette hoping to kick-start their league campaign.

Meanwhile, the Biancocelesti are in desperate need of a win following back to back losses to Cesena and Genoa.

While Udinese were able to keep selling their best players and still remain competitive in Serie A for a number of years, the team have recently started to struggle.

Their recent purchases haven’t proved as impressive as the ones in the past and for the second year running the Zebrette find themselves in the bottom half of the standings.

The fact that 37-year-old Toto Di Natale remains their best player speaks volumes about the lack of quality in the squad, with all due respect to the truly great footballer.

Udinese finally ended a six-match winless run as they defeated Empoli on the road, before also doing well to hold leaders Juventus to a goalless draw.

However, Napoli proved too much for them at Stadio San Paolo, although the Zebrette are now 3.20 (11/5) to return to winning ways.

Important players Panagiotis Kone and Giovanni Pasquale are banned, whereas Alexis Zapata, Lucas Evangelista, Maurizio Domizzi and Alexandre Geijo are injured.

Probable starting line-up (3-5-2): Karnezis – Heurtaux, Danilo, Piris – Widmer, Guilherme, Allan, Badu, Gabriel Silva – Thereau, Di Natale.

Even if Lazio sat in Champions League positions just few weeks back, the odds are now stacked firmly against Stefano Pioli’s side achieving a top 3 finish.

The Biancocelesti started struggling when strong performances were needed the most, with home loss to top 3 rivals Napoli proving costly.

And while they did well to record back to back wins over AC Milan in Serie A and Coppa Italia, two more disappointing defeats effectively ended their Champions League hopes.

Lazio were not only beaten to relegation-threatened Cesena on the road, but also lost the home clash against Genoa, meaning they have no choice but to try and beat Udinese at Friuli.

That is clearly easier said than done given team’s 3-4-4 away record, but it is important to note that away win pays 2.50 (3/2).

Selection problems continue to mount for Stefano Pioli, with Federico Marchetti, Lorik Cana and Stefano Mauri all banned.

Meanwhile, Senad Lulic, Filip Djordjevic, Bruno Pereirinha, Santiago Gentiletti and Mickael Ciani are out injured while Bryan Perea is doubtful.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Berisha – Basta, de Vrij, Mauricio, Radu – Parolo, Biglia, Cataldi – Candreva, Klose, Anderson.

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