Lazio vs. Chievo preview: Lazio look to pressure Juve with a victory

Dino Panato

After battling back to grab a draw against relegation-threatened Palermo last week, Lazio remain five points off the top of the table and need a victory to put Juventus under pressure.

Although Lazio remain unbeaten in 2013, their last-minute draw against Palermo last week put them back to five points behind league leaders Juventus. For their title ambitions to remain on track, a win against Chievo is required as Juventus play Genoa immediately afterwards, with a win likely for the Bianconeri. Lazio played Juve in the Coppa Italia in midweek and took a well-earned draw away from the Juventus Stadium, setting them in good stead for the return leg however before that, they have to negotiate a potentially tricky tie against Chievo at the Olimpico. In the absence of Miroslav Klose through injury, Sergio Floccari has stepped up with two goals in the last two matches, and with Klose a doubt for this match, Floccari may be called upon again to lead the line.

Chievo have been consistently inconsistent this season, typified by their form since the winter break with a win against Atalanta followed by a big loss against Bologna and a draw against Parma. Whilst their robust style doesn't win over many neutrals, it does allow them to remain in Serie A year after year and they currently sit in 12th, eight points above the relegation zone.

Lazio will be gunning for three points in this encounter and Chievo will just look to try and make it difficult for them, attacking intent certainly not high up their order of priorities for an away clash at the Olimpico. The threat of Floccari and the magnificent Hernanes will likely be countered by a 5-3-2 from Chievo manager Eugenio Corini as he looks to stave off any threat of excitement breaking out.

Chievo may be without Peparim Hetemaj and Boukary Drame due to injury whilst Mamadou Samassa is still away helping the Malian cause at the African Cup of Nations. Miroslav Klose is still a doubt for Lazio along with Abdoulay Konko however Luis Pedro Cavanda has impressed at times whilst deputising for the Frenchman. Lorik Cana picked up a suspension against Juventus in the week so he will miss out.

Lazio Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Ederson (injured) Ogenyi Onazi (African Cup of Nations), Lorik Cana (suspended). In Doubt: Aboulay Konko, Miroslav Klose, Marius Stankevicius

Chievo Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Siquera Luciano, Simone Bentivoglio (injured), Mamadou Samassa (African Cup of Nations). In Doubt: Perparim Hetemaj, Boukary Drame, Nicolas Frey

Match Date/Time: Saturday 26th January 2013, 6pm local time, 12pm E.T.

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy), RAI Internazionale (USA)

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