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Juventus take on upbeat Lazio

DPA
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Play with courageLazio’s Bosnian coach Vladimir Petkovic has insisted that his team needs to give 100 percent if they want to upset Juventus.Photo: afp
Play with courageLazio’s Bosnian coach Vladimir Petkovic has insisted that his team needs to give 100 percent if they want to upset Juventus.Photo: afp

A week after winning a tense city derby, Lazio face another top-billing game on Saturday at Serie A leaders Juventus.

The 3-2 win over Roma lifted the spirits of Lazio after two defeats and one draw, keeping them fifth on 22 points from 12 games.

Vladimir Petkovic, in his first season as Lazio coach, has his Bosnian compatriot Senad Lulic and captain Stefano Mauri suspended, while German veteran striker Miroslav Klose should be back from a bout of flu.

Petkovic said he thinks that the Turin title holders are the favourites to win the league and that they have fully overcome a 3-1 defeat from Inter Milan two weeks ago.

“They are again in top form, particularly at home,” Petkovic said. “We will have to tackle them with courage. We have some chance. We must be perfect and give our 100 per cent if we want to upset them.”

Juve got over the defeat to Inter, the first after 49 unbeaten games, by hammering newcomers Pescara 6-1 after a 4-0 win against Nordsjaelland in the Champions League.

Another big match is set for later Saturday in Naples, where struggling AC Milan play Napoli after a 3-1 home defeat to Fiorentina.

The Rossoneri are close to the lower reaches on 14 points. Napoli are third on 26 points, five behind Juve, and determined to keep first place in their sights.

Their mood is brighter upfront, where Stephan El Shaarawy on Wednesday scored his first goal with the Italian national team in a 2-1 defeat to France.DPA


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