20 January 2007

more review/preview

Sorry about the complete absence of posts during the week. I've been sick and had a decent load of schoolwork to keep me away from blogging. First on the agenda: the matches.

Lazio 1-1 Siena: Sbagliato

Lazio cracked late in the second half, allowing Siena to pull back even and nearly win at the Olimpico last Sunday. After Rocchi just barely got enough of a header on the ball to put Lazio in the lead, play was still going Lazio's way. Then came a critical turning point. Christian Manfredini had just been put in the match when this transpired:

Cross rasoterra di Makinwa per Manfredini, che tutto solo a tu per tu con Manninger sbaglia la facile deviazione in gol

"Low cross by Makinwa for Manfredini, who was completely by himself, one-on-one with Manninger, but he botched an easy redirect into the goal"
From that point, Siena realized that Lazio didn't have the means to put away the game. They pushed forward for the next fifteen minutes. Their offensive onslaught was too much. The biancocelesti turned away many chances, but couldn't stop them all. Siena earned one too many corners, whic Francesco Cozza was able to head past Angelo Peruzzi. That wasn't the end of Siena's attack. They went for all three points, and during recupero Mario Frick hit the post with a rocketing shot. Lazio were lucky to scrape by with a single point, after such a promising start.

Preview: Lazio - Milan

Lazio (26 pts, 4th place)
Milan (23 pts, 9th place)
20:30 CET / 2:30 PM EDT
Sunday, 21 January
Stadio Olimpico, Roma

US TV: FSC (live)

Lazio begins the giro ritorno much as they began the first half of the season. This time they will play a tough match against AC Milan at home. Their previous meeting went in favor of the rossoneri by a score of 2-1.

Except for the change of location, this match has a very similar feeling to that which surrounded their September tie. Transfer rumors regarding Massimo Oddo still abound. Claudio Lotito has again rejected Milan's latest overtures, so nothing is final. Nonetheless Gazzetta feels comfortable running headlines like "Oddo andrà via dopo Lazio-Milan." Then on Saturday came the most grievous omen: Delio Rossi has chosen to not call up Oddo for the match against Milan. This portends something greater is going on than was in the fall, since on matchday 1 Massimo started in his usual position, despite issues of the mercato.

So, Massimo Oddo may spend his last Sunday at Lazio not even wearing the maglia biancoceleste. How sad and anticlimactic. Naturally we have to wait for the magic word—UFFICIALE—next week. Until then, the rest of the squad, under the leadership of Zauri, must look past this and focus on the game. Christian Ledesma has said that if Lazio plays with the same kind of intensity that they did in the derby, they will succeed. That is certainly possible, considering Milan's latest struggles. They have not fared as well as they would like in Serie A, and despite reaching the semifinal of the Coppa Italia earlier this week, they did so only after a combined A/B squad lost 1-0 (and nearly 2-0) to Serie B bottomfeeders Arezzo.

In short, Lazio has the skills to beat Milan, especially at the Olimpico. The question is whether they will be mentally tough enough.

Probable formation:


Prediction: Lazio 1-1 Milan. But a 2-1 win if only we can keep our cool.

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