Match Preview: Fiorentina vs Lazio
Lazio prepares to face-off against Stefano Pioli’s Fiorentina in their next match in the Serie A. They play the Viola away from home at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence Wednesday evening in what will be a very important match for i biancocelesti on match-day 33 of 38.
Last Thursday, Inzaghi’s men were unfortunately knocked out of the Europa League by Salzburg which ended an amazing campaign despite Lazio being one of the favorites to win the tournament. After going up 4-2 in the first leg at the Stadio Olimpico, Inzaghi’s side travelled to Austria to hopefully clinch a semi-final spot. However, it was a week of upsets in both the Champions League and Europa League, as Lazio managed to concede 3 goals in 4 minutes against Salzburg, and crash out of the competition.
With redemption a high priority, they then faced Roma in the Derby Della Capitale where they drew 0-0, even after Romanian defender Stefan Radu was sent off after a second yellow card with around 10 minutes left to play. They played a great match with chances to both sides and coach Inzaghi was impressed with the performance.
With one point secured, against their rivals, and Inter drawing against Torino, this left the standings – in terms of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th positions – exactly the same: Roma and Lazio tied for 3rd with 61 points, while Inter sat just below with 60.
However, after the match today which consisted of Inter facing off against Cagliari, Inter won 4-0 which put them ahead of both Roman sides by 2 points (63). Both Lazio and Roma now have pressure to do well and secure victory, or they fall out of that much desired Champions League spot.
These last 6 matches in the Serie A that Lazio have left are very crucial to them, as their Europa League exit means that their only way obtaining Champions League qualification is through the league.
For Fiorentina, they have been in a run of terrific form – as a matter of fact the best form they have had in a very long time: they are now on an 8 match unbeaten streak (W6, D2) after a draw against SPAL 0-0 over the weekend. This fine run of form started after the tragic loss of their Captain Davide Astori – a true inspiration to everyone that he surrounded. Everyone was surprised and deeply saddened when they awoke on the morning of March 4th to find out that the Serie A matches had been cancelled for the weekend – ‘the Fiorentina staff had made the horrific discovery of Astori lying dead in his room in Udine’s Hotel La di Moret’ (Writer: CHLOE BERESFORD). All soccer fans, players, and managers all around Europe took to social media to give their condolences to the Viola and his family and friends. After incredibly emotional scenes in Piazza Santo Spirito for Astori’s funeral, they were faced up against struggling Benevento. Since then, the club has not looked back, showing their dedication and unity towards their late Captain and friend.
The last time the two sides met was in December of 2017 where Lazio knocked Fiorentina out of the Coppa Italia with a 1-0 quarter final victory.
Players to look out for?
- Ciro Immobile (Lazio) has 27 goals to his name this season: 5 of them have come in the last 5 matches for i biancocelesti. He is now a record-breaker for this Roman side, as he passed Signori and Crespo for most league goals from a Lazio player in one season (previous record 26).
- Giovanni Simeone (Fiorentina) is the man in-form for La Viola. He has scored 3 times in his last 4 games, taking him to a tally of 10 goals and 3 assists on the season.
Lazio’s away match versus Fiorentina will be crucial as every point counts in this race for a Champions League spot. There is no doubt it will be difficult as La Viola have been in better form than the last time the two sides met, but we hope this Lazio side is able to overcome their recent dip in form and come out on top.