Lazio vs Atalanta, Preview: Atalanta look to avoid Capital punishment

Paolo Bruno

Lazio sit on (lucky) 13 games unbeaten in all competitions, as they welcome Atalanta to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday afternoon.

Last weekend's late turnaround to defeat Cagliari, coupled with Juventus' unexpected defeat to struggling Sampdoria, saw the Eagles cut the Bianconeri's lead at the Serie A summit to just five points.

Vladimir Petkovic is refusing to indulge any talk of the Scudetto and is quietly going about his business. With no major injury concerns, the current side more or less picks itself. Nigerian youngster Ogenyi Onazi is away at the African Cup of Nations, while there are no new developments in the Mauro Zarate saga. The wantaway striker will continue to watch the game from home.

Andre Dias should shake off a knock to take his place at the heart of the defence, while Antonio Candreva will battle it out with Senad Lulic for a place on the left flank.

An impressive performance by Sergio Floccari in the 3-0 midweek Coppa Italia victory over Catania has seen him leapfrog Libor Kozak in the first reserve to Miroslav Klose stakes.

Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono signed a contract extension until June 2016 this week. The 50-year-old is in his second spell in charge of the Bergamo outfit and has guided them to 12th, despite beginning the season with a two point penalty due to the match fixing scandal.

However, Colantuono's side will need to pick up more than the four points his side have claimed in their last five games if they want to steer clear of a relegation fight.

Defensive trio Daniele Capelli, Gianpaolo Bellini and Stefano Lucchini all miss the trip through injury and Guido Marilungo looks to be out for the season after suffering a ruptured cruciate ligament.

Guglielmo Stendardo is expected to play against his former club and could form a defensive partnership with Michele Canini, after the now former Genoa player swapped clubs with Thomas Manfredini. Another new face, midfielder Luigi Giorgi arrives on loan from Novara via Palermo, where he spent the first half of the season.

Ezequiel Schelotto is wanted by Inter Milan and isn't expected to play while transfer negotiations take place.

Atalanta only have two away wins to their name this season, but one of those was at the San Siro against AC Milan.

A single Hernanes goal settled a tight first game on the opening day of the season. In addition, Lazio have won the last three Serie A meetings between the two clubs. You have to go back to April 2009 for the last time Atalanta beat Lazio at the Olimpico.

Lazio injuries and suspensions

Out: Ederson (injured), Mauro Zarate (frozen out)

Atalanta injuries and suspensions

Out: Daniele Capelli, Gianpaolo Bellini, Stefano Lucchini, Guido Marilungo (injured)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 13th January 2013 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 4 (Italy)

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