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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Two days left and still no match topic??? The most important game of the season is drawing near (actually how many most important games we had this season? Real? Werder? Olympiacos? :) ), but this time it's really the game that could change our season. With Inter putting a lot of committment in the fight for scudetto (good luck!), and probably fielding their reserve team. Aye, reserves... many of them could easily be starters at Lazio. But motivations and grit can work miracles, so here we are. And then, this is an Olympic year, you know? :)

On Sunday Rossi fielded our reserve team, in order to make the starters have some rest, so the line-up against Inter could be:

Ballotta

De Silvestri - Siviglia (Rozenhal) - Radu - Kolarov (Zauri)

Dabo - Ledesma - Behrami (Mutarelli)

Pandev

Bianchi - Rocchi

FORZA LAZIO
 

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So many options for defensive four...I'd choose De Silvestri-Rozenhal-Siviglia-Radu, but I suspect the back four will be quite different. Inter recovered from their slump so this game is one which we are likely to lose. I think our midfield trio will be key, if they can hold enough possession we can get a good result.

FORZA LAZIO!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
According to Gazzetta, Rossi will field:

Ballotta

Behrami-Siviglia-Cribari-Radu

Dabo-Ledesma-Mutarelli

Pandev-Bianchi-Rocchi

Behrami right back, let's cross our fingers... But good to see Mutarelli playing, he's on fire these days.

FORZA LAZIO
 

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Kind of weird to play with fullbacks whose nominal preferred positions are different when we have three "real" fullbacks available. I think Rossi should try some time a formation with Behrami, Dabo, Ledesma and Mutarelli playing in midfield and only Rocchi and Pandev in attack. It would be too Mancinesque to try this in a game as the one tomorrow but in some Serie A game it's worth a try, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's right. Going a bit off topic, by now, coaches' favourite word seems to be «versatility». A central defender shows some skill? Shifted to the midfield... A winger has a wee bit of vision? Moved up on to the hole...

Going back to the topic, sometimes it's really a pity to see Pandev fielded as trequartista, pretty far from the penalty box, a player with his skill and finishing should always play as forward, as it is happening in the last games. And then, with a midfield of Dabo, Ledesma and Mutarelli (three midfielders that can defend and create... maybe Muta a wee bit less :) ), it is possible to field a pure 4-3-3. Especially with a key player like Ledesma who has a great ability at both defending and making the play, and that's why Rossi wanted him so much, maybe even risking something, as we know.
 

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The advantage that we obviously have is that the first leg is an away match, so we'll know exactly what we have to do for the return leg in Rome. Also, with Inter being being chased for the title by that other Roman club, their focus will surely be on the scudetto and not the coppa. So that may also be in our favor. We'll see tonight. :)

Forza Lazio !!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bianchi injured, the line-up is:

Ballotta;

Zauri, Siviglia, Cribari, Radu;

Dabo, Ledesma, Behrami;

Mauri;

Pandev, Rocchi

FORZA LAZIO
 

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We really should have scored at least once by now. Inter 's (reserves) only chance was in the 41st minute. Rocchi and Mauri missing some chances, Pandev and Ledesma are the creative forces in our team thus far. Some nice runs by Radu, although it's weird seeing a left back atacknig more through the center than through the left wing. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good performance so far, our pressing kept Inter harmless for 40 minutes, then maybe our boys got a wee bit tired and the match was more balanced. Rocchi had two good chances, but first Materazzi and then Chivu put theirselves between the ball and the goal. Then a free kick from Ledesma went close to be headed home by Mauri and Radu together (I think they cursed each other at that moment :) ) and a few minutes later Mauri's kick was stopped by Toldo's right foot centimetres from the goal line. Then Lazio lowered the pace, and Inter came up, with the usual Crespo going close to score.

The pitch has to be really bad, because almost evry player has slipped down. Figo got injured and was replaced by Bolzoni, Radu had some problems to deal with the Portuguese.

FORZA LAZIO
 

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I think I saw a big picture of Gabriele Sandri in the Curva Nord. :thumbsup:

At one time I heard "Roma Roma Vaffanculo" - not sure which end was chanting though. :D
 

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It is almost like a home game, even on my cable TV which usualyl almsot drops any noise from the stadium you can hear Jimenez getting booed any time he has the ball and our fans making a lot of noise in general. Or maybe the Inter fans also boo Jimenez. :)
 

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We have a goal disallowed for offside and Inter has one come off the crossbar. 0-0 seems likely at this point, at least nil for us since Manfredini has come on ;)
 

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On the surface a good result...but considering the amount of reserves Inter used and chances we missed, not so good at all. The commentator kept talking about Rocchi slipping when he had a great chance in the second half but I missed it due to to the TV switching to showing Getafe-Valencia. The outcome of the tie depends very much on whether Inter have clinched the scudetto by May 7.
Anyway, I think Pandev was pretty great back to his "old" position as a support striker, now if only Mauri could get back to some form...
 

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0-0 it ended. I would have loved to get an away goal, but hey, away draw against Inter. Gotta be happy about it.
 

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Too bad we couldn't at least score once. I didn't get a clear look on that disallowed goal, due to a rather poor stream. But we did luck out on that header on the bar. Now we have to do it all in the second leg though. But at least we're still in it with a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Fair result, the second half was a bit like the last 5 minutes of the first half. Inter attacked more often but we too had our chances. Mauri's headed home a Ledesma's free kick, but it was offside and then Burdisso's header hit the bar. Pandev had a good combination with Rocchi, but his final assist was not so accurate and Rocchi had to stretch backwards too much to take the ball and slipped down.

We looked solid only in the first 40 minutes of the first half, when the team was very compact and pressed all over the pitch. It was only logic that the boys could not keep this pace for the whole game, especially since our metronome Ledesma looked very tired in the second half.
 

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We could have wished for more but I can't really complain about a draw away to Inter. It's true they used some reserves, but that's still a pretty impressive team they played fielded out there.

It's all in our own hands and our boys have a decent shot at it in Olimpico. I liked the play and the attitude from the team today. They showed they wanted it.
 

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Reserves from which every player makes more than twice the money any of our players beside Rocchi does...
 

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Some nice runs by Radu, although it's weird seeing a left back atacknig more through the center than through the left wing. ;)
:eek:

what happened there? :howler:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Reserves from which every player makes more than twice the money any of our players beside Rocchi does...
As they say "we gave them a run for their money", eh? :) Looking at it the day after, it looks like the classic glass half empty or half full. Newspapers theirselves can't agree on their headlines: "Inter held by Lazio", "Lazio missed a good chance". Looking at the full half, when was the last time we kept clean sheets away? Torino three months ago? And also after the long cold winter, our boys' form in on the up at last, hopefully Behrami's injury is not a serious one.

FORZA LAZIO
 
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