It's time for Napoli to head back to Rome for the second time since the death of Ciro Esposito, and the first in the Coppa Italia. Let us hope that this trip ends better than that sad day did. Riposa en pace, Ciro.
Lazio are a team that everyone loves to hate, and not without good reason. But that doesn't mean that they'll be an easy opponent to beat - ever since they lost to Napoli in January, they've been on an impressive run, winning four out of their last six while beating AC Milan twice along the way. Milan were one of the teams Lazio beat to get this far in the Coppa Italia, taking them down 1-0 at the San Siro while down to ten men. Their previous rounds included wins over Torino, Varese, and Bassano Virtus, giving up only one goal between the three matches.
Lazio will be without captain Stefano Mauri for this match after he suffered a dislocated toe in Lazio's last match. Federico Marchetti is a significant doubt with a foot injury of his own, among other varied injury concerns Lazio are dealing with, as well as the suspension of Loik Cana for this match. They'll have a fit and firing Felipe Anderson in this match, though, which they lacked the last time Napoli came to town, as well as the likely availability of Antonio Candreva after the winger missed several matches thanks to a rather ... unfortunate celebration error.
Don't f*** this up
We could put together a bunch of inspirational crap about using a big Coppa performance to steady the ship and improve the side's fortunes and blah blah yadda yadda blah. The fact of the matter is that right now, all that matters is that Napoli need to win, or at least put themselves in to an advantageous position for the second leg of the match. Just flippin' do the job that needs doing. Screw this up, and it hurts the season in a bad way.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Lazio: Berisha; Basta, de Vrij, Novaretti, Braafheid; Onazi, Ledesma, Parolo; Anderson, Klose, Keita
Napoli: Andujar; Mesto, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Lopez, Jorginho; Gabbiadini, Hamsik, Mertens; Higuain
At a glance
Lazio: 4th; 12W 4D 8L; League Form: WWWLLW
Napoli: 3rd; 19 W 7D 6L; League Form: LWLWWW
TV: RAI Uno (Italy), Sky Sport 1/HD (U.K.)
Online: beIN Sport Connect (U.S. and Canada), Sky Go (U.K.)
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