Thursday Dec 14, 2017  
     
 
  14/03/2013: Preview: Lazio - Stuttgart
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The 2-0 win away to Stuttgart might make this clash feel over and done with already, but with the horrible results in the league in mind Lazio will have to be alert and concentrated to make sure to advance through to the next round.

At Mercedez-Benz Arena the hosts more or less failed to show up, while Lazio made the most out of the opportunities given and in the walked away with a brilliant away result. Each football game has its own life though and nothing should be taken for granted, especially not when facing a Stuttgart side that has been a lot more effective away than at home in this year’s Europa League.

Both teams come from weak results in the league. Lazio lost even further space to third place by going down in a lacklustre performance against Fiorentina and a similar showing will allow Stuttgart to get back into this tie in no time. Not much pointed at the Germans being able to hurt Lazio in the first game, but Okazaki had enough chances to have warned Marchetti and his back line of the potential threat of Stuttgart.

Latest reports on the selection is hinting at Petkovic again resting the regular starters. Just as in the first game the replacements had good games and now that Lazio are heading into the final third of the season with a large number of games played in the last few months, and with at least as many to come in the near future if advancing to the next round, rotation is a must.

Labadia will do all he can to fire up his men and by making reference to the strong away form the team will have no reason to not believe in turning this tie around. Ibisevic, the by far most dangerous attacker who was suspended a week ago, will make his way back and the coach has communicated that he will field the strongest eleven possible.

Worth noting is that when the Norwegian referee Hagen starts the game just after 21.00 CET it will be in an empty Stadio Olimpico. Lazio’s ban of playing without a crowd for two games comes to effect after UEFA ruled against the appeal made by Lotito and the club, meaning the stadium will be completely empty, apart from usual match and team officials. The club and the involved authorities have launched the idea of showing the game on a big screen outside Olimpico, but this will most likely not become a reality until a possible next run – if Lazio would manage to take advantage of the 2-0 advantage.

Possible line-ups:

Lazio: Marchetti, Pereirinha, Biava, Ciani, Radu, Candreva, Onazi, Hernanes, Lulic, Mauri, Kozak.

Stuttgart: Ulreich, Sakai, Tasci, Niedermeier, Boka, Kvist, Harnik, Gentner, Hajnal, Traore, Ibisevic.

Author: Khashayar Kashefi
 
 
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