Edy Reja concedes tomorrow's Champions League play-off with Udinese “is worth an entire season in 90 minutes.”
Only a point separates these two sides – and Roma – in the battle for fourth place and they go head-to-head at the Stadio Friuli on Sunday afternoon.
“How do we stop Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Di Natale? We could try shooting them,” joked the tactician.
“This game is worth an entire season in 90 minutes, but at the same time the campaign doesn't come to an end after the final whistle.
“A lot will also depend on the Roma-Milan result this evening, which is another crucial encounter. As of right now, we need 69 points to be sure of the Champions League.”
Lazio's position has been considerably weakened by their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Juventus.
“When we resumed training on Tuesday, we were pretty downhearted, but then worked well throughout the week. The squad is sharp and fired up again,” continued Reja.
“We were too anxious against Juve and for this game we need to be particularly balanced. We've got to be intelligent to avoid letting anxiety damage us, which is what happened recently. I hope we won't pick up any more bans tomorrow.”
Stefano Mauri and Cristian Ledesma are suspended, while Giuseppe Biava, Mark Bresciano, Cristian Brocchi, Andre Dias, Libor Kozak and Guglielmo Stendardo are a yellow card away from a ban.
“Giuseppe Sculli is in the squad and he is available,” although still not 100 per cent fit, so Alejandro Gonzalez and Sergio Floccari should again start with Hernanes and Mauro Zarate.
“In attack everyone has to get used to continually changing position to confuse our opponents, that way we can make the most of the space that we create. We've got to be sharper in front of goal.
“Udinese are a very complete team. They created many chances against us at the Olimpico earlier this season and we only beat them with a struggle.
“Sanchez and Di Natale are pretty much unstoppable in the one-on-one, so if we leave ourselves open to the counter-attack, then it'd be a disaster. Udinese always fly out of the blocks, so we've got to be ready from the start.”
Roma and Juventus are also in the race for a Champions League spot, but Reja and Friuli captain Antonio Di Natale agree they haven't done enough.
“A table only counts at the end, but considering what they have done this season, Lazio and Udinese are the real surprise packages,” continued the Lazio Coach.
“There are four teams in the running, but we hope that luck is on our side for once.”
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