Lazio have had an inconsistent start to the season, and haven't yet managed to string two victories together, with wins over Udinese, Chievo and Catania interspersed with morale-crushing losses to Juventus and Roma and an unexpected draw with newcomers Sassuolo, who had been the league's whipping boys up until a mini renaissance saw them get results against Napoli and Lazio. With six matches played, plus a couple of Europa League encounters in between, now is the time to really nail down some consistency and start stringing results together for Lazio. They sit in sixth place but are already eight points from league leaders and city rivals Roma and six from Napoli and Juventus who occupy the other Champions League places at present. For a side who have been so close to the Champions League so often in recent seasons, it has looked so far as if they face more of a fight than ever to make it into Europe's elite competitions with Roma and Inter experiencing a revival in fortunes along with all of the usual suspects. It is therefore high time the Biancocelesti strung some results together and moved up the table.
After a strong first season under Vincenzo Montella and an intelligent summer in the transfer market, Fiorentina were tipped for at least a Champions League place after missing out on the final day last season, and some people were even whispering that they had a chance at the scudetto. A strong start enhanced this however they have faltered in recent weeks, partly due to a worrying series of injuries to their strikers and partly due to the haphazard nature of promoted number one goalkeeper Neto. On the injury front, Mario Gomez limped out of the 1-1 draw with Cagliari with knee ligament damage and Giuseppe Rossi was substituted from the 2-2 draw with Parma after just 36 minutes with a calf problem whilst on the Neto front, his inability to deal with a straightforward ball into the box saw Parma grab an injury time equaliser in their last league match. With Rossi and Gomez leading the line, Fiorentina are amongst the very strongest sides in Serie A however it will be interesting to see how they cope with their absences, although Rossi could potentially return at the weekend.
Lazio have a lengthy list of absentees, not helped by the nine month suspension of club captain Stefano Mauri. Stefan Radu, Miroslav Klose and Abdoulay Konko are amongst the absentees. Aside from Rossi and Gomez, another striker Oleksandr Iakovenko is a doubt with Brazilian Ryder Matos a potential candidate to lead the line. Ahmed Hegazy is a long-term injury and captain Manuel Pasqual is also out.
Lazio injuries and suspensions
Out: Miroslav Klose, Bruno Pereirinha, Abdoulay Konko, Etrit Berisha, Giuseppe Biava, Stefan Radu (injured); Stefano Mauri (suspended). In doubt: Josip Elez, Ederson, Diego Novaretti
Fiorentina injuries and suspensions
Out: Ahmed Hegazy, Mario Gomez, Ante Rebic, Manuel Pasqual. In doubt: Giuseppe Rossi, Oleksandr Iakovenko
Lazio: Marchetti, Cavanda, Ciani, Dias, Lulic, Ledesma, Onazi, Biglia, Candreva, Hernanes, Floccari
Fiorentina: Neto, Tomovic, Rodriguez, Roncaglia, Marcos Alonso, Pizarro, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Valero, Fernandez, Matos
Match date/time: Sunday 6th of October 2013, 20:45 local, 14:45 E.T.
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
TV: Sky Calcio 2, Premium Calcio (Italy)
Online: beIN Sport Play (USA)