Sunday Jun 24, 2018  
  11/07/2014: Auronzo di Cadore: Preview
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New manager Stefano Pioli has already had a brief look at his boys in Formello, but the hard work begins today in Belluno as S.S. Lazio have taken a squad of 27 to pre-season training in Auronzo di Cadore. The squad is as follows;

Goalkeepers: Federico Marchetti, Etrit Berisha, Thomas Strakosha, Guido Guerrieri

Defenders: Diego Novaretti, Michael Ciani, Abdoulay Konko, Lorenzo Filippini, Vinicus Freitas, Lorik Cana, Josip Elez, Bruno Pereirinha, Luis Pedro Cavanda, Dusan Basta, Stefan Radu, Edson Braafheid

Midfielders: Felipe Anderson, Ederson Campos, Stefano Mauri, Milos Antic, Cristian Ledesma, Chris Oikonomidis, Danilo Cataldi

Forwards: Antonio Rozzi, Emiliano Alfaro, Filip Djordjevic, Keita Balde Diao

There are many noteworthy inclusions and exclusions. Firstly, anyone who has participated in the World Cup will be given individual return dates depending on how far their national side progressed in the competition. Miroslav Klose and Lucas Biglia will most definitely miss training in Auronzo di Cadore, while Ogenyi Onazi is also likely to return later in the campaign as he was assessed yesterday and has an estimated three weeks more recovery time from his ankle injury.

Joseph Minala and Mamadou Tounkara - who were both widely tipped to make the trip - have not been taken. The media have speculated that the former has been left at home for disciplinary reasons, but his agent has rejected those claims. The latter was said to have been looked over due to his unwillingness to sign a new deal, but Lazio's Director of Sport Igli Tare announced yesterday that both Keita and Tounkara have extended to 2018. 

Ederson is a surprise conclusion given that there was a fear that he may miss the entire pre-season. The Brazilian midfielder has been working hard on getting back to full fitness for pre-season and it appears he has achieved his objective. Another surprise inclusion is Edson Braafheid. The Dutch defender, who once had a big reputation and played in the 2010 World Cup final, has been given a trial to prove his worth having spent the 2013-14 season frozen out by his club, Hoffenheim. Speaking of players who were frozen out by their club in 2013-14, Emiliano Alfaro will be given a shot at redemption under Pioli.

Lazio will spend the next 16 days at Auronzo di Cadore before returning to Rome briefly and then setting off for a second pre-season training camp in Germany. A series of friendlies have been announced and they are as follows:

13 July: Lazio v Best 11 of Cadore
16 July: Lazio v - Auronzo di Cadore XI
20 July: Lazio v - Indonesia U-23
23 July: Lazio v Bari
26 July Lazio v Asiago and Perugia
1 August: Lazio v Sporting Club de Portugal
7 August: Lazio v Hamburg
10 August: Lazio v Hannover

The new Serie A season will begin on 23 August.

Author: Cathal Mullan
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