In Matchday 11 of the Italian Serie A TIM, Lazio host SPAL at the Stadio Olimpico (Sunday, November 4th, 2018). In what will be a tough and eventful match for either side, both clubs will be pushing for victory; the Biancocelesti hoping to remain in the mix for a top-four (Champions League) spot and Gli Estensi looking to escape the bottom of the table.
An interesting fact to point out before the preview: both sides are the ONLY two sides to have not drawn a match this season. There have been 15 goals in the last 5 meetings between these two sides (July 2016 - July 2018) - there has been only one (0-0) draw at the beginning of last season, with the rest of the points being taken by the Roman club (four victories).
Lazio (4th in the Serie A TIM)
The Biancocelesti are coming into this match off a heart-wrecking 3-0 loss at home to Inter in Matchday 10. A poor performance, Simone Inzaghi's side will be hoping to rebound quickly to get back to winning ways.
In all competitions, however, they are 3W-0D-2L in their last five matches: a 4-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt (Europa League), a 1-0 victory over Fiorentina, a 2-0 victory over Parma, and a 3-1 victory over Marseille (Europa League) are the other four results.
In the Serie A TIM, the club sits tied for 4th spot with 18 points; they have a record of 6W-0D-4L, scoring 13 goals and conceding 12 so far this season.
Injuries: Lucas Leiva (thigh), Milan Badelj (thigh), Riza Durmisi (elbow)
SPAL (14th in the Serie A TIM)
Gli Estensi come into this match after their worst loss of the season so far: a 3-0 home loss to newcomers Frosinone (from the region of Lazio). A poor performance as well from Leonardo Semplici's side, this will not be an easy challenge to come away with three points from. Although their previous trip to the Stadio Olimpico against Roma earlier this term went terrific. you can expect a hungry Laziale side.
In their last five matches, they are 1W-0D-4L: a 2-0 loss to Sassuolo, a 2-1 loss to Sampdoria, a 2-1 loss to Inter, and a 2-0 victory against Roma are the other four results.
Currently, SPAL sits tied for 14th spot with 12 points; they have a record of 4W-0D-6L (the exact opposite of Lazio), scoring 8 goals and conceding 13.
Injuries: Jasmin Kurtic (elbow), Pasquale Schiattarella (yellow cards), Johan Djourou (ankle)
Probable Starting XI: Milinkovic-Savic; Felipe, Vicari, Cionek; Lazzari, Missiroli, Valdifiori, Valoti, Fares; Petagna, Paloschi.
If Lazio continues on this trend of 'winning the matches you are supposed to win and losing the matches you are supposed to lose', they should come away with the three points on Sunday:
To counter the facts above, Lazio in all other matches in the Serie A TIM are 6W-0D-0L, with victories against Frosinone, Empoli, Genoa, Udinese, Fiorentina, Parma. They have scored 11 goals whilst conceding 2 - almost the exact same statistics as above. A tale of two sides, this trend will not last forever.
A 2-1 or 3-1 scoreline at the Stadio Olimpico (in favor of Lazio) seems just considering the circumstances at hand. Yes, Lucas Leiva and Milan Badelj are out injured; yes Ciro Immobile has not scored in his last two matches. However, I expect Danilo Cataldi to sit comfortably in the side and get the job done, while Immobile returning to scoring form. Lazio have not lost to the club in all matches against them and I do not expect that to change this weekend.
SPAL plays the same formation as Lazio; they will have to be wary of the front two. This will keep the likely back three of Luiz Felipe, Francesco Acerbi, and Stefan Radu on their toes all match. In addition, Inzaghi's side will have to be careful not to concede from set pieces.