Lazio vs AC Milan: Pioli Against His Successor in Olimpico
AC Milan boss, Stefano Pioli had a good run with Lazio back then in 2014-2016. It was the first time in his career he took the job in an elite team in Serie A. He was not able to win any title with them and eventually dismissed. Yet, his time in Lazio brought fame to his name in Serie A and led him to the position in other big teams like Inter, Fiorentina and now AC Milan. This weekend, he will be facing off his former team under his successor, Simone Inzaghi, which is currently in a title race against Juventus. It is an intriguing reunion for the former Juventus man when they won their first UCL title in 1985.
Ciro Immobile and Co were able to make another comeback win last Tuesday while travelling to Torino. They thumped the host 2-1 after conceding first by Andrea Belotti’s penalty. Once again it was their top scorer Ciro Immobile who equalised before Marco Parolo scored the winning goal. It was the same way to pick up three points as the game before while beating Fiorentina.
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Meanwhile, AC Milan only managed to pick up one point while meeting Spal 2013. They were two goals behind at the first half by Matia Valoti’s and Sergio Floccari’s goal each. Rossonero had to wait for the late goals from Rafael Leao and Francesco Vicari’s own goal at the stoppage time.
Missing players and probable line ups
Simone Inzaghi is one integral part of Lazios revival this season. The brother of the well-known Filippo, has always been opting for 3-5-2 or 3-5-1-1 formation with Ciro Immobile as the main frontman accompanied by Joaquin Correa. There are four names on the injury table, including the key midfielder Lucas Leiva, Luiz Felipe and Senad Lulic. Their position can be taken over by Marco Parolo, Patric and Jony.
Lazio: Thomas Strakosha; Francesco Acerbi, Patric, Stefanu Radu ; Jony, Jordan Lukaku, Marco Parolo, Sergej-Milenkovic Savic, Luis Alberto ; Joaquin Correa, Ciro Immobile.
On the other hand, the former Inter, Fiorentina and Lazio boss Stefano Pioli prefers more offensive approach with 4-3-3 or 4-4-1-1 formation. Ante Rebic is the main man upfront along with the Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu or Lucas Paqueta. Rafael Leao and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be a useful at the second half if they are unable to break the deadlock. However, Matteo Musacchio and Leo Duarte will be on the sideline.
AC Milan: Gianluigi Gunnarumma; Alessio Romagnoli, Davide Calabria, Theo Hernandez, Simon Kjaer; Frank Kessie, Hakan Calhanoglu, Giacomo Bonaventura, Samuel Castillejo; Lucas Paqueta, Ante Rebic.
The record in the head-to-head meetings between them indicates how tight the game will be. Both Lazio and Milan share the same number of win, twice and have a draw result four times in the last eight encounters.
Il Diavolo Rosso today might not be as solid as the one back in mid 2000s or even in 1990s era, but they certainly can not be ruled out as their potential contender, especially considering their form under Simone Inzaghis predecessor, Stefano Pioli. Their result last week while crushing Roma implies Frank Kessie and Cos potential to prevent the host from sealing maximum points. Such is surely the last thing Simone Inzaghis men want. No wonder it is a tricky match but Lazio might still have a slightly better chance to secure another narrow win.
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