Lazio welcome Serie A leaders Juventus on Monday evening and Vladimir Petkovic warns “nobody is unbeatable.”
Both these teams went out of Europe this week and will be eager to put that heartache behind them. Kick-off is at the Stadio Olimpico at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“It’s true the Bianconeri are close to the Scudetto, but there is no such thing as an impossible game. Nobody is unbeatable, not even Juventus,” said the Coach.
So far this season they have crossed paths three times between Serie A and Coppa Italia, but Lazio have remained unbeaten.
“We already put Juve under pressure and knocked them out of the Coppa Italia semi-final. We must never let up the intensity for the full 90 minutes and ensure we don’t let them play at their best.
“Even 100 per cent is not enough against Juventus, so we have to give 150 per cent. I really admire Antonio Conte, as he is one of the best Italian Coaches with such grit and determination.”
Lazio went out of the Europa League on Thursday night with a 1-1 draw against Fenerbahce, but the game was played behind closed doors due to a two-match UEFA ban.
“It’s true we couldn’t play at our best without the fans there, as we lacked that push to get us beyond our limits. I hope to see a huge crowd again, just as there was in the Derby.”
The Biancocelesti are currently in fifth place and continue to hope they can snatch third from Milan.
“We believe we can reach the Champions League places,” assured Petkovic. “Tomorrow will be a decisive game, as if we win that then the fixture list is looking more comfortable for us. The fact we’re out of Europe means we can work all week and finally see the best Lazio again.
“This is not the time to analyse what went wrong this season. At the end of the campaign we’ll look each other in the eyes and understand what happened.”
Lazio are without the suspended Giuseppe Biava, Stefan Radu and Senad Lulic, while Bruno Pereirinha, Abdoullay Konko, Andre Dias and Cristian Brocchi are injured.
“I won’t have many choices at my disposal, but all those who step on to the field will give their all. Stefano Mauri is ready to play, even if he hasn’t got 90 minutes in his legs. Miroslav Klose has recovered and needs to prove he can make the difference.”