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Friday January 3 2020
Lazio's time has come

All the pieces are falling into place and Lazio have never had a better shot at a top four finish, explains Kaustubh Pandey.

Lazio have been Serie A’s best side in recent weeks. While their Europa League campaign was scuppered by throwing away leads to Cluj and Celtic, the Biancocelesti have turned that disappointed into an advantage in domestic competition.

Simone Inzaghi's men have not lost a single league game in over three months and are on a run of eight consecutive Serie A victories. Their last loss came at the hands of Inter back in September, followed by nine wins and two draws. They find themselves third in the table, only six points behind Inter and Juventus, but with a game in hand.

The recent win over Juve in the Supercoppa Italiana only consolidated their hard-earned status after beating Atalanta to the Coppa Italia in May. Lazio are the only team to have beaten Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus and did it twice in under a month. During the decade of Bianconeri domination, nobody else won more silverware than the Aquile.

It is time to believe the hype. Lazio have Luis Alberto with his record number of 11 assists, more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues this season. Ciro Immobile has 17 goals in just 16 Serie A games. They have the indefatigable Francesco Acerbi in defence and a revitalised Sergej Milinkovic-Savic for the midfield.

What makes it better is that the results have been a combination of close-run things and dominating wins. They beat Fiorentina, Cagliari, Milan and Sassuolo because of late goals. They did struggle at some stages of these games, but came out with three points. That is a huge step forward in terms of mentality for this squad. They know how to grind out results and win even if they aren't at their best. It says a lot about the players and how they've come of age under Inzaghi.

Another reason for their run of late wins is strength off the bench, as Felipe Caicedo scored stoppage-time winners against Sassuolo and Cagliari. If Joaquin Correa can just be more clinical in his finishing after out-sprinting opposition defences, they could be truly dangerous.

Lazio have the second-best defence in the division - something that Inzaghi would have always wanted, but rarely got a glimpse of in the past. His pragmatic 3-5-2 shape is reaping dividends, as they continue to look like a well-drilled unit at the back. They present a near-perfect combination of a strong mentality, being rock solid at the back and having enough upfront to score buckets of goals. It is everything Inzaghi ever dreamt of.

Fabio Capello suggested the main problem with Lazio was believing their own abilities. Atalanta made the step up in the Champions League once they started to accept they belonged there and could play their usual brand of high-intensity football. The Biancocelesti may lack experience at the top level, but if La Dea can do it, then so can they. This could even represent the start of a journey towards a future Scudetto challenge.

At a time when Juve are still settling under Sarri, Atalanta are distracted by the Champions League and being spread too thin, while Napoli and Milan have tanked, Lazio have never had a better chance of capturing a top four spot.

Have your say...
Wow , what a team. The great surprise of Europe along with Atalanta, is a pleasure to watch and I wish them the best of luck. Inzaghi and his team play fearless football.
They play to win always on the attack and Immobile is a deadly scorer but best of all is the entire team plays with an intensity and desire that should be admired by all fans of Serie A. Beware Northern giants the Eagle is flying high in Rome.
on the 9th January, 2020 at 8:03pm
as a milanista, i am sad that we did not get simone inzaghi as coach when linked with him previosly. saying that tho, lazio top brass did well to keep him. based on the improvement of the previous few seasons, lazio should get a top 4 finish this time round. however, i believe they should aim higher and highest of all for the scudetto. pre -season i predicted inter would win it but id like lazio to and dont see a reason why they cant
on the 5th January, 2020 at 4:34am
They should try to limit any sales to the summer window not have players committed to rival clubs before the seasons ended.
on the 4th January, 2020 at 9:22pm
I am a LAZIO FAN i hope we can win it this year but not getting too excited lets concentrate on top 4 finish. If we don't win it this year we can try next year but with better squad upgrades and we need a another striker like IMMOBILE if we can do that yes it can make a difference. I still think JUVENTUS will win it as they have better squad options than Inter Milan and Lazio. This lazio squad is not the level of SVEN Time.
on the 4th January, 2020 at 6:32pm
Hopefully Lazio can keep it up and don't drift off like previous seasons.

Luis Alberto is one of my favourite players to watch this season.

Should be an exciting spring.
on the 4th January, 2020 at 5:12pm
sten: know the fact before opening your mouth. lol
on the 4th January, 2020 at 12:07pm
Mussolini would be very proud :)
on the 4th January, 2020 at 9:07am
Great team, building on what we have and adding one or 2 good players every year have created consistency with a more solid bench! We need one more quality CB and one more quality striker to compete for the Scudetto... Izzo & Cutrone would be good investments!
on the 4th January, 2020 at 7:53am
Lazio will be one of TOP teams in Serie A soonest! BTW, they are alraedy one of the best, but soon they will be favourites for scudetto each year!

Forza Lazio! Forza Biancocelesti!
on the 3rd January, 2020 at 4:44pm
Forza Lazio now and forever
on the 3rd January, 2020 at 4:21pm
Top 4? Lazio will win the Scudetto.
on the 3rd January, 2020 at 12:42pm

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