Simone Inzaghi admits Lazio’s Europa League chances are “hanging by a thread,” but insists they “deserved six points against Celtic.”
The Biancocelesti are practically out of the Europa League after a dismal run of results, throwing away leads against Cluj and Celtic (twice).
They host CFR Cluj on Thursday evening and are already six points adrift of the Romanians, who are in second place.
“It’s a Europa League game, where our qualification hopes are hanging by a thread,” confessed the coach in his press conference.
“Until we are mathematically ruled out, we’ll do all we can to progress. It’s our own fault we are in this situation, but it’s also due to external factors, as against Celtic when it was 1-1, there was a clear penalty on Ciro Immobile that could’ve changed the match.
“We also know that we really should’ve done better. We’ve been playing excellent football in Serie A and thoroughly deserve to be in third place. We could’ve had a better draw in the Europa League and our performances didn’t match the results.
“Lazio have the quality to go through this group, but it’s looking likely we won’t. We were unable to get incidents to go our way, as a great team should.
“We want to win every game. We deserved six points against Celtic and ended up with zero. Paradoxically, we only won against Rennes after our worst performance.
“I would make the same choices going back, as the players weren’t always ready for three games in a week, so we had to rotate.”
Felipe Caicedo came off the bench to score the winner at Sassuolo on Sunday, but he has a slight ankle problem and will need a fitness test.
“I’ll try to field a competitive team, but also aware that we have another game coming up on Sunday. Marco Parolo and Danilo Cataldi will certainly play, while Manuel Lazzari has to sacrifice himself and push through, seeing as Adam Marusic is suspended,” explained Inzaghi.
“I don’t know if Bobby Adekanye will start or come off the bench, but he will certainly have some playing time. He is young and has a lot of work to do.
“Thomas Strakosha had flu yesterday, but it was already planned that Silvio Proto would be in goal tomorrow, as he is reliable.”