Lazio will be keen to cement their hold on the second spot when they welcome minnows Cremonese to Rome on Sunday night.

Lazio welcome relegated Cremonese to the Stadio Olimpico knowing that their spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League is guaranteed.

The 11-point penalty handed to Juventus sees Lazio rise to the second spot and also guarantee themselves a top-four finish. They will now hope to cement the runners-up spot in Serie A with a win over Cremonese on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri deserves much credit for taking Lazio back into Europe’s premier competition for just the second time in the last 14 years. While they might not have won any trophies this season, the style of play has been pleasing to the eye and gives them a solid foundation to build upon for years to come.

The same cannot be said for Cremonese who are set for their sixth relegation in the last eight top-flight campaigns. Davide Ballardini’s men have little but pride to play for in a stadium where victory has proven elusive in the last seven attempts.

Lazio’s form has taken a nosedive in recent weeks but they returned to winning ways last time around against Udinese. Cremonese, on the other hand, were thrashed at home against Bologna and could be in for another hiding.

The home side are heavy favourites for the game and will be expected to firmly put Cremonese in their place.  The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

SS Lazio

Lazio have no injuries to worry about, and Maurizio Sarri is best placed to play his strongest side as the season draws to a close. The Biancocelesti continues to develop under their manager and there will be much anticipation for next season’s UEFA Champions League campaign.

The onus now will be to secure the second spot, behind champions Napoli and hopefully go one better next time around. Favourites against a vastly inferior Cremonese side, Lazio will be keen to give their fans much to cheer about in the last home game of the campaign.

Sarri is likely to retain his 4-3-3 formation which has proven to be freely flexible and adaptable to situations. Ivan Provedel should start in goal, backed up by a back four consisting of Manuel Lazzari, Nicolo Casale, Alessio Romagnoli, and Elseid Hysaj. The second-best defensive unit in the league this season should make life difficult for the Cremonse attackers.

Uruguayan international Matias Vecino is likely to be deployed in central midfield with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto providing support on either side. These two will be crucial in playing the ball forward and fashioning opportunities for Lazio’s forwards.

Lazio’s veteran striker Ciro Immobile will be leading the charge, flanked by Pedro and Mattia Zaccagni. The trio have experience and guile and should give the visitors’ rearguard a difficult time.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Provedel; Lazzari, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Vecino, Alberto; Pedro, Immobile, Zaccagni

SS Lazio vs UC Cremonese Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

US Cremonese

Having once again suffered relegation, Cremonese will be low on morale going into the game. The capitulation against Bologna last time around was a stark reminder of the work needed for the club to gain promotion back to the top flight and the challenge that lay ahead of them.

Travelling to Lazio has never been a cup of tea and Cremonese have just one draw to show for their efforts in the last seven visits. Ballardini is expected to make a slew of changes to the side that surrendered meekly at the weekend in an effort to salvage whatever pride he can.

A 4-4-2 formation appears to be the flavour for the day with the impressive Marco Carnesecchi in goal. The shot-stopper has been a rare positive in an otherwise forgettable season for the visitors. He will be protected by the back four of Leonardo Sernicola, Matteo Bianchetti, Luka Lochoshvili, and Johan Vasquez

Charles Pickel and Emanuele Valeri will provide width on the flanks with Michele Castagnetti and Soualiho Meïte deployed in the central midfield. Frank Tsadjout and David Okereke will form the front two and will hope to catch the Lazio backline sleeping.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Carnesecchi; Sernicola, Bianchetti, Lochoshvilli, Vasquez; Pickel, Castagnetti, Meite, Valeri; Okereke, Tsadjout

SS Lazio vs UC Cremonese Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

Key Stats

  • A win on the night will see Lazio complete the Serie A double over Cremonese for the first time since the 1929/30 season.
  • Lazio have never lost against Cremonese at home in Serie A. They have faced off seven times with Lazio winning six and drawing one.
  • Lazio last lost a home game to a newly promoted side in 2011. Since that loss to Lecce, they have gone 36 games unbeaten.
  • Lazio have now qualified for the UEFA Champions League for just the second time in the last 14 years.
  • Cremonese have lost 20 games in the league this season, the most since the 1929/30 season when they lost 22 games.
  • Cremonese have shipped 35 away goals in the Serie A this season, more than any other side in the Italian top flight.

Player to Watch

Marco Carnesecchi

Embed from Getty Images

The young Italian goalkeeper has been one of the few positives from Cremonese’s otherwise forgetful campaign. His performances have largely kept scorelines respectable and one gets the feeling he is in for another busy day against Lazio.

His performances should matter little given that the visitors are already relegated but an impressive showing will certainly catch the attention of other top-flight sides seeking a new goalkeeper. At 22, there is a long road ahead of him and it won’t come as a surprise should Carnesecchi exit the club in the summer.


SS Lazio 2-0 US Cremonese

Lazio can cement the second spot with a win and are easily the superior side on paper in the tie. Cremonese will largely be stuck on damage limitation, limiting their chances of breaking on the counter. Anything less than a comfortable win for the home side will come as a surprise.

Comments 1

  1. aninekillar says:

    Am sure lazio is gna be hourmed seriously by creminence

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