The suspended Antonio Candreva joins the list of Lazio absentees, alongside first choice right back Abdoulay Konko and star striker Miroslav Klose. Vladimir Petkovic probably has two options to replace Candreva – either Stefano Mauri comes in as a direct replacement on the right of midfield, or Alvaro Gonzalez moves wide from a central role and Lazio play two forwards. Given Sergio Floccari’s difficulty in replacing Klose in attack by himself pairing him with Louis Saha may be a good option, but Petkovic has favoured a midfield five this season to accommodate Hernanes, so may go for the conservative option.
Fiorentina may also be considering a tactical switch. Having deployed a 3-5-2 system all season, Vincenzo Montella has used a 4-3-3 variation for the previous two games. The reasons for the change are unclear and the results were mixed – Fiorentina lost the first game but beat Chievo in the second, and in both games Montella made second half substitutes that allowed a move back to a 3-5-2 shape. There is the possibility that he may persist with this tactic, but against as strong an opponent as Lazio, especially one that is currently under-strength, it is more likely that Fiorentina will return to what they know. This is likely to result in Luca Toni dropping out of the forward line and fit again Facundo Roncaglia competing with Nenad Tomovic for the third centre back position.
Both clubs have enjoyed promising seasons, but have also stuttered of late. Lazio have won only once in Serie A in seven games, whereas Fiorentina have lacked consistency since the new year… (Read more)