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Thursday, November 22, 2012
Petkovic wary of struggling Spurs

Adam Digby, Italy Correspondent

Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic says Tottenham's result run of bad results "makes them even more dangerous," meaning the Rome club will need their first choice line-up when hosting the Londoners on Thursday evening.

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Lazio currently hold a two-point lead over Spurs in Europa League Group J ahead of their meeting at the Stadio Olimpico where they will be without leading scorer Miroslav Klose. The German striker is carrying an injury he picked up at the weekend against Juventus but Petkovic told a press conference they cannot afford to risk anyone who is less than fully fit.

He said: "Mathematically we are forced to win so that we can definitively secure top spot. We will do everything possible to win so that the first phase is concluded tomorrow."

"In any case, it's not the last game but we will try to win it and this is why I'll field my first-choice line-up. Some players are injured, others are carrying knocks that need to be evaluated so I need players who are 100% fit.

"Tomorrow we've got to give our all and that means peak physical fitness too. Miroslav Klose has had a few problems and it is very important for us to have 11 men on the field who are 100 per cent."

He then went on to discuss the form of Tottenham who, despite having won only two of their last eight games in all competitions, still have the respect of the Bosnian coach.

Petkovic continued: "I don't think Tottenham are over-rated. They are not in a positive moment but this makes them even more dangerous, as they will want to fight back and prove themselves. It'll be a very important game for them."

"I am not worried by Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, I don't choose my line-up based on the opposition. We need to know their strengths and weaknesses but not necessarily change to adapt. It's going to be different to the game in London."

"We will not be making any calculations. We go out there to win and to do so convincingly, both tomorrow and in the last game. Whether we need to or not, we will go to Maribor looking for the victory."




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