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Nov 7, 2021 at 5pm UK
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Gyomber (9'), Obi (55')

Preview: Lazio vs. Salernitana - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Lazio vs. Salernitana - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Lazio and Salernitana, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Still searching for consistency this season, Lazio welcome lowly Salernitana to Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening.

Though Maurizio Sarri's men have been unpredictable in the current campaign, they remain unbeaten at home since the start of the year, so will be strong favourites to dispatch Serie A's 19th-placed side.

Match preview

For the second successive Europa League outing, Lazio were held by Group E rivals Olympique Marseille on Thursday night, leaving their progress to the knockout stages very much in the balance with two games to go.

After the Aquile had fallen behind at the atmospheric Stade Velodrome, winger Felipe Anderson found an equaliser just before the break, and Ciro Immobile later netted their second following a defensive mistake by the hosts.

However, Marseille grabbed a late equaliser through Dimitri Payet, to leave Lazio second in the standings, just a point above their French counterparts.

Those draws with OM sandwiched a mixed run of fortunes in the league for Maurizio Sarri and company, as they lost 4-1 to a Giovanni Simeone-inspired Hellas Verona, before beating Fiorentina and then being denied a win over Atalanta - when Immobile was on target once again - after conceding a stoppage-time goal.

Such inconsistency has characterised Lazio under Sarri's reign, but five wins and three draws from their first 11 games still leaves them sitting sixth ahead of the weekend's action.

Though winless in their last seven away matches all told, the Biancocelesti are one of only two teams in the top five European leagues to have not lost a single home game in 2021 so far, alongside Inter. In fact, having won 15 matches on home turf this year, a 16th on Sunday would seem them match a club record set back in 1950.

However, Lazio have managed to keep just one clean sheet in the league this term. Therefore, a visit from opponents who hit the net at a rate of less than once per game should certainly play into the hands of an attacking home side.

Following their first away win of the season just a few days before, Salernitana approached a Campanian derby against Napoli last weekend with some hope, if not expectation.

In a fixture bringing together Serie A's top side and one sitting 19th in the standings, the league leaders emerged with the points from an engaging tussle at Stadio Arechi - bringing a fourth home defeat from five since their promotion for the Granata.

While few would have backed the Salerno side to end Napoli's unbeaten start, they had previously beaten one of their fellow teams freshly-arrived from Serie B, in a 2-1 victory over Venezia.

Now under the leadership of former Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono, Salernitana face an uphill battle to retain their hard-earned Serie A status next spring - particularly if they cannot resolve their defensive deficiencies sooner rather than later.

The Granata have conceded 11 times already in their first five away games; part of the reason they remain in the relegation zone during their first top-flight campaign for two decades. Therefore, they definitely start as long-shot underdogs at the Olimpico this weekend.

Lazio Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Lazio form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

Salernitana Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Following a trip back from France late on Thursday, the Lazio squad arrived in Rome with a squad at full strength, if perhaps a little fatigued.

Several members of the Europa League XI will make way for the Biancocelesti, as Pepe Reina, Adam Marusic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Danilo Cataldi are poised to return to the starting lineup. Meanwhile, the regular front three - Pedro, Ciro Immobile and Felipe Anderson - should remain unchanged.

The return of summer signing Mattia Zaccagni from a knee injury offers another option for Maurizio Sarri in the creative department, but the former Verona man is most likely to start on the bench.

While Salernitana have faced fears about the availability of captain Franck Ribery - who trained separately from the main group in midweek - the veteran forward should be fit to face Lazio despite a minor knee issue.

Grigoris Kastanos is suspended for his dismissal against Napoli, and Matteo Ruggeri continues to struggle with a hamstring injury. Furthermore, Stefano Colantuono may also be without Luka Bogdan, Leonardo Capezzi and Mamadou Coulibaly on Saturday evening.

As there are also doubts about Cedric Gondo's readiness to start, Federico Bonazzoli should lead the line alongside either Milan Djuric or Simy.

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Hysaj, Felipe, Acerbi, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Pedro

Salernitana possible starting lineup:
Belec; Zortea, Strandberg, Gyomber, Ranieri; Di Tacchio, Obi, Schiavone; Ribery; Djuric, Bonazzoli

We say: Lazio 3-1 Salernitana

Signs of adaptation to the demands of Serie A have started to appear at Salernitana in recent weeks, but their back line looks custom-made to be exploited by a well-oiled Lazio attacking machine.

An experienced front-line triumvirate can help the hosts to a convincing win at the Olimpico - extending their undefeated streak on home soil still further ahead of the international break.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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