The Head Referee for this clash will be Daniele Chiffi, the Assistant Referees will be Di Iorio and Muto, the Fourth Official will be Di Martino, and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be Massa with the assistance of Ranghetti.
This will be the first time Lazio and Spezia meet in Serie A. The two sides have previously met just once in May 1941 in the Coppa Italia where the Biancocelesti defeated the Bianconeri 5-2 in the Quarter-Finals of the competition.
As it stands in the top flight of Italian football, the Biancocelesti sit in ninth with a record of 4W-2D-3L (14 points) and the Bianconeri sit in fourteenth with a record of 2W-4D-3L (10 points).
Expected Starting Lineups
Lazio (3-5-2): Strakosha; Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva, Luis Alberto, Marusic; Caicedo, Immobile
- Unavailable: Proto, Lulic, Muriqi
- Disqualified: –
- One Yellow Card Away From Suspension: Lucas Leiva
Spezia (4-3-3): Provedel; Sala, Terzi, Erlic, Bastoni; Estevez, Ricci, Maggiore; Gyasi, Nzola, Farias
- Unavailable: Zoet, Ramos, Mastinu, Bartolomei, Dell’Orco, Galabinov, Sena, Mattiello, Capradossi
- Disqualified: –
- One Yellow Card Away From Suspension: Estevez
Prediction: Spezia 0-2 Lazio
This match takes place after Lazio drew Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund 1-1 at the Signal Iduna Park in Matchday 5 of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League. This match had a slow start yet it was the home side who scored first as Raphael Guerreiro converted a pass from Thorgan Hazard and beat Pepe Reina just before halftime. With just over 20 minutes remaining, their talisman, Ciro Immobile, converted from the spot as just minutes prior Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was fouled on the edge of the box by Nico Schulz. After their goal, Immobile followed with two quality chances on target yet Roman Burki rose to the challenge to deny the Italian. Although it was a strong performance from Lazio, it wasn’t enough to advance them into the round of 16. Their fate will be decided in the final group stage match against Club Brugge, as a tie or win will be enough to warrant them a spot.
In Spezia’s recent match against Cagliari in Serie A, they tied 2-2 and were able to extend their unbeaten streak to three straight games. They have shown great form as they’ve lost once in their past six games in Serie A. At just after the half-hour mark, Spezia opened the score from Emmanuel Gyasi. In the second half, Cagliari finally hit back as they scored twice in a span of six minutes. Joao Pedro tied the game as he had plenty of space and time to fire his shot past goalkeeper, Ivan Provedel. Minutes later, Leonardo Pavoletti scored his first this season to extend their lead. He hadn’t scored since 2018/19 as he missed all of last year except two games due to a significant injury. In injury time, Spezia was awarded a penalty as Robert Piccoli was fouled by Ragnar Klavan. M’Bala Nzola made no mistake as he converted from the spot and scored his third goal this season.
In recent time, Lazio have been in good form as they’ve lost once in their last ten matches in all competitions. Their lead man, Immobile continues to lead the way as he’s scored in seven straight matches in all competitions. Over that span, he has scored a total of eight goals and is showing great form. Aside from Immobile, Wesley Hoedt has been a renewed player under Inzaghi as he’s provided stability in the backend. Joining on loan from English Premier side, Southampton FC, Hoedt has been reliable with his physical play and ability to win key challenges. As for Spezia, they have proven many wrong this season as they have shown to be a difficult team to play against. They have lost just once in their past eight matches in all competitions and are showing great form. If Lazio is to pick up the win, they will need to be focused and not take their opponent lightly. Additionally, they should avoid looking towards their next match against Brugge in the Champions League and concentrate on their fixture against Spezia. They have been able to steal points from Atalanta and Cagliari from a tremendous effort.