Lazio vs Cagliari, Preview: Lazio look to maintain their momentum

Paolo Bruno

Lazio may be second, but all is not well in Rome.

Tommaso Rocchi has decided that the Inter bench is more comfortable than the one inside the Olimpcio, while Mauro Zarate has declared war on the club for pricing him out of a move. Maurito's self-imposed ban looks set to continue at a time when his skills would be much better served taking some of the load off Miroslav Klose's back in front of goal.

A busy month is expected in the Eternal City as the Biancocelesti look to move on unwanted squad players and shore up a frontline which was heavily reliant on the veteran German during the first half of the season.

Vladimir Petkovic will look to keep his focus on the pitch and on Lazio's impressive league form, which currently stands at seven games unbeaten.

With Juventus not playing until Sunday, a victory for the Eagles will see them cut the Bianconeri's lead to five points, and pull four points clear from joint third placed Fiorentina and Inter.

Life is far from rosy in the Cagliari garden. Poor form coupled with financial troubles has left the Sardinian outfit languishing just a point above the relegation places.

Cagliari are winless in eight matches and have picked up just two points in those games. They travel to the Olimpico on the back of five straight defeats and have suffered 4-1 reverses in trips to Fiorentina, Udinese and Parma, since Ivo Pulga and Diego Lopez took over the reins from Massimo Ficcadenti.

In comparison, Lazio have been formidable at home, winning seven of their nine games thus far. They did the league double over their visitors last season and have won six of the last ten league meetings, compared to Cagliari's two.

Much sought after Cagliari defender Davide Astori sits out a suspension after his dismissal against Juventus. Astori and Radja Nainggolan are two of the potential stars which may need to be sold during the January window in order to boost the coffers.

Ederson's muscular problems in his left leg will sideline the Brazilian until the middle of January.

Lazio injuries and suspensions

Out: Ederson (injured), Mauro Zarate (self-suspended)

Cagliari injuries and suspensions

Out: Davide Astori, Francesco Pisano (suspended)

Match Date/Time: Saturday 5th January 2013 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy) beIN Sport, RAI Internazionale (U.S.)

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