Siena vs Lazio, Preview: Eagles look to break their Tuscan hoodoo

Gabriele Maltinti

The result of this game could have major consequences at both ends of the Serie A table.

Siena will move off the bottom of the table if they draw or win, while a Lazio victory will see them regain third place outright and close the gap on top two Juventus and Napoli.

Lazio have already beaten the Tuscans twice in Rome this season. A 2-1 victory back in Week 6 was followed by a penalty shootout victory in the fifth round of the Coppa Italia. However, their recent record at the Artemio Franchi is less than favourable, with just a single victory in their last eight visits. One of their five losses occurred last season when Siena ran out 4-0 winners.

The Eagles arrested a recent slump in league form with a 1-1 draw with Napoli last weekend. Meanwhile, the Robur have won their last two home games to give themselves a great chance of beating the drop, despite being hit with a six point penalty for their part in the match fixing scandal.

Vladimir Petkovic says his side need to "play at 120% of their potential," to get a result, while opposite number Beppe Iachini stated Siena "can cause (Lazio) problems."

Iachini added: ``We are getting tighter and tighter and the performance levels have always been good even when we've not got the results. I repeat, we are starting to see an organised team that shows great personality in games."

Fit-again Nicola Pozzi will be looking for a first Siena start following his January move from Sampdoria, but Brazilian Angelo looks set to miss out through injury.

Lazio may opt to play a 4-4-2 after both Sergio Floccari and Libor Kozak got on the scoresheet in Thursday's entertaining 3-3 Europa League game at Borussia Monchengladbach. With the return leg looming on Thursday, Petkovic has thrown down the gauntlet to Kozak. The Czech striker has seven European goals to his name, but is yet to register in Serie A this season.

"Libor Kozak needs to do better in Serie A, because you can tell he plays better for us in Europe," he said.

Stefano Mauri hasn't trained all week after going off against Napoli and misses the trip, while Cristian Ledesma sits out a one match suspension. Brazilian Ederson came through the midweek match unscathed and could partner Hernanes in midfield.

Siena injuries and suspensions

Out: Angelo (injured)

Lazio injuries and suspensions

Out: Stefano Mauri, Cristian Brocchi, Miroslav Klose (injured) Cristian Ledesma (suspended)

Match Date/Time: Monday 18th February 2013 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Siena, Italy

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

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