Monday Sep 25, 2017  
     
 
  30/04/2011: Lazio in the Psychological Hotseat
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After leading both in Naples and Milan, many fans are still ruing the missed opportunities of recent weeks. Hypothetically, a victory against Juve this Monday could easily have been the clincher of a place in Europe's top competition and the catalyst that saw us hunt Milan down for the Scudetto. The reality, sadly, is altogether different. Lazio must win at the Olimpico to maintain a slender advantage in the fight for fourth.

However, much will be decided before the biancocelesti even take to the field.

Napoli and Inter both play on Saturday evening and while at first glance it may appear as if their fate is of no relevance to our quest, their results will have an important pyschological bearing on the mathematically-minded. If both sides lose, Milan will have their first shot at securing the Scudetto on Sunday at home to Bologna. Three points are expected regardless of what happens elsewhere but if the Scudetto race is kept alive for another week, Milan will get their first shot against none other than AS Roma. With Roma scheduled to play bottom of the table and already relegated Bari on Sunday evening after the aforementioned games have been completed, it would be nice to know prior to our kick-off on Monday that Roma won't be gifted three points two weeks running.

From a laziale perspective, the big game on Sunday afternoon is Fiorentina – Udinese. It is a tough one to call but the stats are interesting. No side has drawn more games in Serie A this season than Fiorentina while Udinese have actually drawn less than anyone else. The game should also be open; based on their stats, the odds that both sides will score on Sunday is 78%. Those of you who intend to check out the opposition should be entertained.

Either way, Lazio will know on Sunday evening what needs to be done to keep a hold of the fourth spot and this should give us a huge psychological boost. Read into the above what you like but what seems clear to me is that Lazio's fate, for one weekend at least, will be completely in our own hands.

(Cathal Mullan)

 
 
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