With the enforced six-week World Cup break now upon us, it’s the perfect time to look back at Lazio’s work in the first half of the 2022-23 season, picking out their best three performers. Instead of waiting to bet on the team in the second half of the season after the World Cup, be sure to test your luck with Australian Casino Games.
The Biancocelesti have looked good under Maurizio Sarri this season, showing signs of his signature attacking flair whilst also managing to find some solidity at the back. The biggest issue plaguing the Roman club last season, apart from the perennial annoyance of inconsistency, was a leaky defence, something that new arrivals like Alessio Romagnoli and Ivan Provedel have helped plug.
Lazio carried out an extensive squad rebuild in the summer and picked up eight new players, giving Sarri more suitable options for his electric 4-3-3 system. Initial signs look positive and the team sit 4th in the Serie A table heading into the World Cup break, giving them a strong foundation for the second half of the season.
So, in the first half of the 22-23 campaign, which players impressed most for Lazio?
3 – Ivan ProvedelIt’s hard to believe that Provedel only cost Lazio €2 million in the summer. The Italian was brought in to be the backup to the €10 million Luis Maximiano, but was instantly thrust into action after the Portuguese goalkeeper was sent off just six minutes into his debut.
Since then, Provedel has proven to be an incredibly reliable and calm shot stopper, making vital saves on countless occasions for his side. The 28-year-old averages 2.48 saves per 90 minutes and has a post-shot expected goals minus goals allowed of +1.3, showing his ability to make the difference between the sticks.
2 – Mattia ZaccagniA year after his arrival, Zaccagni has clearly proven why Lazio were so desperate to pick him up from Hellas Verona. The Italian winger has been the perfect option on the left side of Sarri’s front three and he’s regularly proved the difference maker on the pitch, being a positive and progressive forward.
Zaccagni has scored five goals and provided three assists in 13 Serie A games this season, complementing talismanic striker Ciro Immobile perfectly, and his absence in the games against Monza and Juventus was clearly felt, showing his importance to Sarri and the Lazio squad.
1 – Sergej Milinkovic-SavicWhat else is there to say about Milinkovic-Savic? Even with the World Cup approaching and his contract situation in doubt, the Serbian midfielder has continued to be the shining star in the Italian capital, expressing his abilities as one of the best in the world in his position.
Milinkovic-Savic is the beating heart of Sarri’s Lazio and he’s often the key man both offensively and defensively, charging up and down the pitch with an elegance unbefitting on his physique. His flair on the ball often delights and his departure would be a tough wound to recover from.