January 5, 2013
Lazio v Cagliari: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.8||1.0|
|Goals against *||0.8||1.6|
|Last 5 home||W-W-L-W-L||W-L-L-W-W|
|Last 5 away||L-W-D-L-D||D-D-L-D-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Lazio | Cagliari|
|4/27||A: Livorno||4/27||H: Parma|
|5/5||H: Hellas Verona||5/6||A: Napoli|
|5/10||A: Internazionale||5/11||H: Chievo Verona|
|5/18||H: Bologna||5/18||A: Juventus|
Lazio get the first chance to land a telling blow in Serie A in 2013 when they host Cagliari tomorrow night.
Victory would see the Biancoceleste move four points clear of Fiorentina and Inter and cement their positions as the number one challengers to Juventus, who are eight points clear at the top of the league.
However, coach Vladimir Petkovic says the focus is on being Lazio and nothing else.
"We are not the anti-anybody,'' he said at a press conference. "We are Lazio and we will remain that way.
"We believe we can match anybody but we have got to give 100 per cent if we want to remain at these levels.
"I have always tried to transmit my positivity to everybody and I think I've been successful so far.''
However, Petkovic will be preaching caution to his players ahead of a game which, on paper, seems more than manageable against a side who lie just a point above the bottom three.
"They are a team who have shown that they are worth a lot and they have had a good positive run of form,'' he warned.
Exploiting those weaknesses could be a job for Libor Kozak, even if Miroslav Klose is likely to start the game.
Kozak is just one of several players Petkovic is keeping a particularly close eye on in view of the winter transfer market, which is open both for incoming and outgoing moves.
"I will see how things go next week,'' said the former Sion and Lugano coach.
"I am convinced that the players we have are capable of expressing their value and I am talking in particular about Kozak - but not only about him.
"I am convinced we have a decent squad and I hope that we can improve further.''
Cagliari coach Ivo Pulga would prefer to see any Lazio improvements come after tomorrow night's trip to the Stadio Olimpico.
"They are solid, concede very few goals, yet they never really impose themselves on the game but rather let you do the work,'' he said.
"They leave some gaps which we are going to have to exploit. Up front, obviously the biggest threat is Klose, an attacker who punishes any slight mistake, as he showed against Inter.''
The Sardinians made the trip onto the mainland without the injured Mauricio Pinilla and Lorenzo Ariaudo or the suspended Davide Astori and Francesco Pisano.