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Serie A Week 27 - 9/3/08 (14.00 UK)
Lazio - Livorno

Stadio Olimpico

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Lazio’s meetings with Livorno are always politically charged encounters. Battles between Paolo Di Canio and Cristiano Lucarelli in 2005 were more than just fights on the pitch – they were clashes of culture and ideology.

This year the atmosphere couldn’t be more different. The Biancocelesti haven’t won in three games while Livorno, despite beating Catania at the weekend, are just two points above the drop zone.

Delio Rossi’s side have taken the lead in seven games this season only to lose or draw, costing the Aquilotti a precious 12 points. In October Lazio went ahead against rivals Roma before going down 3-2. In the crucial Champions League tie with Olympiacos, Goran Pandev sent his team into advantage but the Biancoceleste still lost 2-1. Siena and Genoa both came back to steal victories from Lazio.

The last such occasion was at San Siro on Sunday when, after taking the lead through Rolando Bianchi early in the second half, former Laziale Massimo Oddo equalised for Milan in the 66th minute.

To make matters worse for the Rome outfit young left-back Lorenzo De Silvestri will not be available after his sending off against the Rossoneri. Rossi will also be without midfield guardian Gaby Mudingayi, compounding the Laziali’s defensive problems – the two-time Scudetto winners have conceded 33 goals in this campaign and have the fourth worst attack in Serie A.

Livorno recorded their first win in six games against Catania thanks to a glittering second half strike from trequartista Alessandro Diamanti who was playing with Serie D side Fucecchio six years ago, and, justifiably, Giancarlo Camolese was thrilled with the way the Amaranto played.

“After going in front we dominated the game and had tens of shots on goal,” affirmed the former Lazio midfielder turned Coach.

The Labronici have performed as well away as they have at home in 2007-08 picking up three wins on their travels. Striker Francesco Tavano has gone four matches without a goal, but Lazio will have to watch their backs given the 28-year-olds resurgence over the last eight months.

Keep an eye on: Francesco Tavano (Livorno) – Ciccio has scored 10 goals this season and has given the Amaranto hope of remaining in Serie A next year. A late developer like Luca Toni, Lazio should beware of his uncanny ability at netting braces.

Last season: Lazio 1-0 Livorno

Form guide: Lazio (L W L L D) Livorno (D L L L W)

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Lazio (probable): Ballotta; Rozanhal, Siviglia, Cribari, Radu; Ledesma, Behrami, Dabo; Pandev; Bianchi, Rocchi

Livorno (probable): Amelia; Grandoni, Knezevic, Galante; Balleri, Pulzetti, De Vezze, Filippini, Pasquale; Tristan, Tavano

Ref: To follow...

channel4
 

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:hopeful: Come on Lazio ! I expect a close win for us, 1-0 or 2-1.
 

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To make matters worse for the Rome outfit young left-back Lorenzo De Silvestri
Seriously, where do they find these journalists? Or maybe their translator was sleeping when tranlating some Italian preview of the game. :)

We have achieved soem good results at home lately and the crowd should support the team quite fanatically against Livorno of all teams. Hopefully there will be no travelling fans with all such bans this year and hence no fights.

But damn, when is Mutarelli coming back? Thank goodness Dabo seemed in form against Milan or we would be using the likes of Manfredini once more.
 

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Seriously, where do they find these journalists?
On internet forums. :)

They came looking for 'journalists' here as well a few times. But they don't actually pay anything, so nobody was interested. At least not in our forum. I think Lav (of the Milan forum) joined them and ended up writing reports for a while. Seems their writers are randomly assigned a match to report on, which would explain the mistakes they make. If a Milan fans has to write a report on Lazio, they simply don't have enough knowledge of our team to get things right.
 

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Dabo has been doing quite well, the only problem is that he can't play more than 60 minutes yet...
 

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They came looking for 'journalists' here as well a few times. But they don't actually pay anything, so nobody was interested. At least not in our forum. I think Lav (of the Milan forum) joined them and ended up writing reports for a while. Seems their writers are randomly assigned a match to report on, which would explain the mistakes they make. If a Milan fans has to write a report on Lazio, they simply don't have enough knowledge of our team to get things right.
Wasnt't that goal.com?
 

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I was offered a job writing Goal.com, but I think that has to do with me trying to get a job for a site called yanksabroad where I could do reports at EPL games in the press box for Americans playing in England. They must have gave my info to them.
 

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We are playing with the Pandev-Rocchi-Bianchi trident again, let's hope this time they will connect well for more than five minutes. ;) Behrami as RB...I'd rather play Rozenhal as that would put Manfredini on the bench but let's see how things go.

FORZA LAZIO!
 

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2-0 :) That's a pretty good start for once. Let's see if we can keep it together in the second half.
 

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So far so good. We are two goals to the good and Livorno haven't even had a 20% chance to score.
Radu and Behrami are helping the attack a lot and Dabo is doing so much dirty work in defence. Our second goal was very lucky, I guess Pandev just has a knack of scoring agaisnt livorno with deflections as he did it away this season, too. Now, we must not get complacent, I can just picture a Livorno goal and a panic among our players.
 

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So far so good. We are two goals to the good and Livorno haven't even had a 20% chance to score.
Radu and Behrami are helping the attack a lot and Dabo is doing so much dirty work in defence.
Yes, I'm actually impressed by the young Radu. And Rocchi's scramble for the goal was impressive. He can be quite the predator. Here's to 2 more goals this second half!

Forza Lazio.....
 

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Missed the 1st half, but how we didnt score in the 2nd i will never know. Still, t'was great to watch us playing with such confidence for long periods. Bianchi needs to learn to be a little less selfish.

FORZA LAZIO!
 

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Solid victory. Although it must be said that Livorno didn't really put up much of a fight. But we got the three points and that's what's important at this stage.

Radu played quite a good match and Bianchi is starting to anticipate his fellow players more, so things are finally starting to come together.

This also caught my eye...I mean, it should be pretty easy to get the past results right.
If you read the match report, the not only repeat their 'three winless matches' crap, but have Sereni make a magical appearance in goal for Livorno.

"Amelia punched away a Tommaso Rocchi slalom ... Rocchi beat Sereni eventually on 15 minutes..."

:howler:
 

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Very positive result and performance. We never stopped pressing them - I don't recall us giving zero chances for the opponents to score since forever. Pandev was getting better and better as trequartista and Rocchi's running caused all kinds of trouble for the Livorno defence. And Behrami this year is totally back to his best, he wasn't too good before New Year but now he plays like a man possessed, has stopped the crazy borderline red card tackles and his versatility sure comes in handy. He totally pwned Filipini on our right flank. Only Bianchi can be blamed for being way too selfish but the threat he poses makes Rocchi's task much more easier than when only Pandev and Rocchi are in attack and the trequartista is a ghost (cough, Mauri, cough). Radu seems destined for great things, superb game out of his natural position. Most importantly now we can approach the string of very tough games with the necessary calm and get some points out of them.
 

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I'm very happy with the victory and the performance, but I can't escape the impression that it was only due to this Livorno team being incredibly bad. I don't remember when we last had a game this easy.

Bianchi was indeed very frustrating, especially since it has never been Rocchi's and Pandev's style to hog scoring chances.

+8 now to relegation line. Can't see us screwing this up...
 

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Well, we have lost to some pretty bad teams this season, so the win wasn't just due to Livorno being bad. :) But they were bad, no doubt, bloody Filipini was probably their most creative player. With the way our defence has played in many games this season we could have easily gifted a goal or two even to this Livorno.
 

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Of course it helped a great deal that we got the goals quick...it could have been much more difficult.
 

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Yes, apart from being a pillar of our defence, Radu was centimetres away from scoring his first Serie A goal.
 
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