After a painful 1-3 loss to AC Milan at home on Sunday night, the classic Italian derby against Roma on November 8 is a must-win situation for Lazio.
Lazio had another mediocre performance in the Serie A and suffered their third defeat in the last four league matches and second in a row.
As a result, the team is currently seventh in the table, five points behind their rivals Roma, just four days before the big Rome derby.
Lazio have one of the worst defences in the league and that’s a problem that needs to be solved immediately. The team has conceded 18 goals, with only Carpi having a worst defensive record thus far (23 goals).
Moreover, the team has suffered many injuries in their offensive line, with strikers Miroslav Klose and Philip Djordjevic being out of shape and not in a good form, and consequently, have been unable to be effective in front of goal having scored only 16 goals so far.
The mediocre performance against Milan in Sunday’s derby ended the winning record at home this season for the Biancocelesti and disappointed the president Claudio Lotito, who described the defeat as “a disgrace”.
The chairman visited the players on Monday’s practice and requested from them to immediately enhance their performance, as the squad will face Roma and Juventus in the next two out of four league games.
“I demand that this attitude changes immediately. You’ve got to show that you’ve got balls. Take the example of smaller clubs who we’ve faced and knew how to do it, showing they’ve got balls and everything. You failed to do that.”
Lotito was irate with the players performance and pointed out to them that they needed to sacrifice for their team-mates and help each other, as they don’t win as individuals but as a team.
Before their clash with Roma, Lazio travel to Norway to face Rosenborg on Thursday, however everybody in the team has his sights set on Sunday’s derby.
“The Europa League is important, and a win at Rosenborg could take us through, but our priority remains the derby,” Lazio coach Stefano Pioli told reporters, as the side wants to extend their record in the Europa League, being unbeaten in the 13 of their last 14 games.
Pioli will continue to be without many players on Thursday’s game, as Stefan de Vrij, Keita, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Wesley Hoedt and Marco Parolo are all likely to be out injured, while Brazilian centre-back Mauricio will be suspended after his red card in the two sides’ last match.
The match against Rosenborg is very important for the Biancocelesti, though, and should not be underestimated, as they can secure qualification to the Europa League knock-out stage with a victory over the Norwegian club.
At the end, Lazio needs to drastically enhance their performance both offensively and defensively, especially in the championship, because all four of their next matches in the Serie A (Roma, Palermo, Empoli and Juventus) will be very crucial for the club’s effort to remain an equal title contender until the end.