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Pioli: Lazio to overtake Roma

Stefano Pioli

Stefano Pioli assured Lazio won’t go for just a point against Roma in tomorrow’s Derby. 

Roma have already mathematically qualified for a Champions League spot – at least a preliminary round – while Lazio now need just one point to end Napoli’s hopes.

There's a big difference, as second takes you straight into the group phase, while third place only enters a dangerous preliminary round.

“This game will be fundamental and everything we’ve done this season has been taking us to this point,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“We recovered both physically and psychologically from the Coppa Italia Final and are ready to give our all.”

That 2-1 defeat to Juventus on Wednesday night went to extra time, so the Aquile should in theory be more tired than their city rivals.

“Nothing has changed with Napoli’s result. When you make calculations, you run more risks. We want to win the Derby and overtake Roma in the table.

“The team is highly motivated and the strains of the Coppa Italia are already behind us. Fortunately we are playing tomorrow, as the extra day of rest will help.

“Having lost in extra time against a great team like Juve actually boosted our self-esteem. We know that we can fight it out with anyone.

“We need head and heart in the right place tomorrow. We’ve often managed that this season and I am confident we’ll do it tomorrow too.

“There is no such thing as a perfect performance, so we just have to attack and defend as a team from start to finish. Unity is key.”

Roma were very strong in the first half of the season and have fallen away in 2015, while Lazio surged up the standings. Who deserves second place more?

“At the end of the day whoever finishes second will have deserved it,” shrugged Pioli. “Tables rarely lie after 38 games. We have the opportunity to overtake them and we want to make the most of it.

“Until a few weeks ago people said Napoli were favourites for second place. We were never arrogant or presumptuous this season and we won’t be tomorrow either.

“The Rome Derby is always the Rome Derby. We are prepared, our opponents have strengths and weaknesses that we want to target.

“We have been practising some situations in training to hit their weak spots. We’ve done our homework.”

Stefan Radu is struggling with a calf problem, but Lucas Biglia has recovered in record time.

“Biglia trained with us yesterday and was in good shape. If he confirms that today, then he could play from the start. I will decide tonight.

“For the most part I’ve already decided my line-up, but I will only reveal it to my players tomorrow morning.”

Tags: lazio | roma | Serie A | soccer | Stefano Pioli

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