Lazio are in the hunt to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time this season in Serie A when they host a struggling Torino side in the mid-week fixture. Simone Inzaghi’s men have lacked consistency but have displayed moments of brilliance in the early season, but undermining Torino’s threat could be their undoing once again. The visitors toiling at the bottom half of the table and will be desperate for a win to get back in contention for a European spot.
Story Behind The Game
Lazio have lacked consistency so far this season, but an impressive win over Fiorentina away from home solidified their ambitions for a top-four spot this season. They’ve only lost once in their last five Serie A games, with their creative attacking line inspired by Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic doing wonders in winning them points.
Torino have hit a concrete wall after somewhat of a decent start to the season and are now winless in their last four games. Even captain Andrea Bellotti hasn’t been able to inspire them to much success recently, as they’re struggling to score goals and kill off games. Perhaps getting something out from the Stadio Olimpico can change their fortunes.
The meetings between these two sides have been quite neck-and-neck recently, with both sides having won two games apiece in their last five meetings. Only one game has been drawn in those games, but the Turin side has an advantage over the Eagles having defeated them 3-1 towards the end of last season.
Inzaghi must be relishing the opportunity to face a misfiring Torino side especially after watching his side regain their confidence with an important win at Fiorentina. Being just two points behind fourth-placed Napoli in the table, a dominant win would be making a strong statement from the Eagles. Ciro Immobile is scoring crucial goals to force the issue with them, while Luis Alberto and Milinkovic-Savic’s brilliance in the final third should be enough to save their shaky defence’s blushes and blow away the under-pressure Torino side.
Torino are definitely the underdogs heading into the game, but they have enough firepower in their arsenal to cause problems. Granted, they would’ve liked to visit the Stadio Olimpico with better momentum, but they’ll give their absolute everything to upset the hosts on Wednesday night. The Turin side will be praying for their captain to put in another goal-scoring clinic in order to get them back firing on all cylinders.
Lazio doesn’t really have any major injury worries, with back-up goalkeeper Silvio Proto and midfield Ricardo Krishna being on the treatment table. Apart from that, Inzaghi has a fully fit squad to choose from.
Torino are suffering from a few injury problems, with winger Alex Berenguer and defender Kevin Bonizafi having picked up injuries recently and being ruled out from the trip to the capital.
Lazio XI: Strakosha, Radu, Patric, Acerbi, Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas, Alberto, Lulic, Immobile, Correa.
Torino XI: Sirigu, Izzo, N’Koulou, Djdji, De Silvestri, Baselli, Rincon, Aina, Falque, Zaza, Belotti.
Ciro Immobile vs Nicolas N’Koulou
Ciro Immobile is once again the goal-scoring machine for Lazio, having contributed in 14 goals out of their 18 scored in the Serie A this season. He scored the winner against Fiorentina recently and looks almost unstoppable in the final third. Immobile’s movement and finishing ability is almost unmatched in the league as he stands atop the goal-scorers chart.
But he won’t have it easy against the dominant Nicolas N’Koulou, who has been Torino’s rock in defence. The Cameroonian’s held down their defensive line valiantly, sniffing out and clearing danger whenever required to. He’ll stick very close to Immobile in an attempt to nullify his threat, but will have to be extremely clever to stop the Italian in what should be a fascinating battle.
Iago Falque vs Senad Lulic
Iago Falque hasn’t really had the best of times in a struggling start to the season with Torino, having been unable to assist nor score any goals so far. But there’s little doubting the Spaniard’s ability in the final third, as he can churn out chances out of nothing with his stark creativity. Falque’s dribbling ability, stellar movement and playmaking skills will cause concern for Lazio.
Captain Senad Lulic will have a big job on his hands to keep the Spaniard quiet, but considering he was substituted in the last game after a somewhat disappointing showing, he also needs to back his ability up with a stellar performance. Lulic must amplify his defensive solidity to keep track of Falque’s movement and will need to maintain utmost concentration to make sure he doesn’t get any space to trouble them in the final third.