November 27, 2012
Lazio v Udinese: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.8||1.5|
|Goals against *||0.8||1.5|
|Last 5 home||W-W-L-W-L||W-W-W-W-D|
|Last 5 away||L-W-D-L-D||W-W-W-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Lazio | Udinese|
|3/16||A: Cagliari||3/17||A: AS Roma|
|3/23||H: AC Milan||3/23||H: Sassuolo|
|3/26||A: Genoa||3/27||A: Internazionale|
|3/30||H: Parma||3/31||H: Catania|
|4/6||H: Sampdoria||4/6||A: Fiorentina|
Udinese's European dream may be over for another year, but head coach Francesco Guidolin is feeling liberated and positive about the future ahead of tomorrow's trip to Lazio.
The Bianconeri will go no further in the Europa League as a result of a decisive 2-0 defeat at Anzhi Makhachkala, while Lazio got the point they needed from Tottenham to book a spot in the last 32.
The early exit will allow Guidolin to focus exclusively on Serie A, though, with the reduced workload helping to ease an injury crisis and boost Udinese's chances of securing a European place for next year.
Guidolin told Gazzetta.it: "We can talk about Europe one last time on the eve of the Liverpool match.
"We can even analyse all 20 European matches that we've played in the last two years if you like. But the league is a more pressing matter.
"The standings do not make happy reading and we should have picked up at least three more points. We have to get ourselves into a good position but we know the pitfalls of a trip to the Olimpico.
"They're a good team but we will do everything possible to bring home a positive result. That is our task for tomorrow.''
Udinese are still struggling for numbers, with senior players Thomas Heurteaux, Mehdi Benatia, Giampiero Pinzi, Andrea Lazzari, Luis Muriel and Dusan Basta all on the treatment table.
But talismanic striker Antonio Di Natale, who has scored 11 goals in all competitions so far, will be available and Lazio boss Vladimir Petkovic is keen to cut off the veteran's threat at the source.
He told Gazzetta.it: "He is one of very few strikers that has been consistently good over the years.
"There are no safety measures to take against Di Natale, so we will take them against those who give him the ball.''
Lazio have not beaten Udinese since December 2010, when a 3-2 win was gifted to the Biancocelesti by Christian Zapata's late own-goal.
"We have to concentrate on ourselves,'' Petkovic added. "It's important that we play a good, solid game and win it.
"Our main objective is to collect as many points as possible at home. We will need to approach the game with clear heads and concentration, but also with hunger.''
Brazilian midfielder Hernanes is struggling for fitness and Abdouley Konko, Cristian Brocchi and Andre Dias are also on the sidelines.