Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi confirmed Pepe Reina starts against Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League. ‘Our target is to advance’.
The Biancocelesti are unbeaten in the Champions League this season and started with a great 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund in the group opener.
But 1-1 draws with Club Brugge and Zenit have followed, as the Aquile have been limited due to COVID-19 problems in recent weeks.
The Italians sit second behind Dortmund in Group F and a win would of course enhance their chances of reaching the knockout stages.
“We know how important it is tomorrow,” Inzaghi said at a press conference. “Advancing from the group is our target.
“Zenit are strong, have quality and have recovered some strong players. We must play a game with character, making the right choices and recover energy after Crotone.”
The Biancocelesti coach said he couldn’t give any updates on who he will have available for the home game against the Russian side.
“I have no official news yet, I’m waiting for the communication from the medical staff,” he said. “I will certainly get Luiz Felipe back, but he has been inactive for 10 days.”
Inzaghi stressed Luis Alberto remains an ‘important player’ for the Aquile and felt the Spanish midfielder ‘responded’ well against Crotone.
“He’s a very important player for us. On Saturday, he responded on the pitch, now we expect confirmation off the pitch.
“I have no doubts. I spoke to the lad and he seemed very serene and motivated.”
Inzaghi added he is getting used to being underestimated at Lazio.
“We are used to it, no one considers us favourites. In recent years, we have grown and won important trophies.
“Now, we are going through difficulties, with a tough schedule and many problems. I would like to recover all the players, because if we are all, we can have our say.
“Tomorrow, we will still have some problems in the middle. Then, if they don’t talk about us, I don’t mind.”
Thomas Strakosha remains the number one choice between the sticks at the Olimpico, but Inzaghi confirmed Reina will be in goal against Zenit.
“This morning he [Strakosha] did some extra work with Graubunden and Zappala. Strakosha is our goalkeeper, but he has been out for a while.
“So, Reina will be in goal tomorrow, then we’ll see on Sunday.”