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Away form worries Petkovic

Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic has called on his team to improve their away form ahead of their Europa league clash with Stuttgart on Thursday.

Lazio head into the last-16 tie without a win in six away games in all competitions, a run that has seen them slip to fourth in Serie A.

However, an unbeaten record in Europe this season means they will still start favourites in Germany.

“I still have the feeling that Lazio had some difficulties in the past during the away games. This fear has been demonstrated in both the championship and the cup,” Petkovic said.

“The performances at home and away are not always the same but that is not a problem that only affects Lazio.

“The opponent has always some advantages if the side plays in front of a home crowd. But great teams solve these problems and play away as strong as they play at home.

“This step is still missing but that is what I expect from my team.”

Stuttgart have struggled in recent times and sit 11th in the Bundesliga as a result, but Petkovic still sees plenty of strengths to contend with.

“I think VfB Stuttgart is a good team,” he said. “Even though they’ve had some problems in the past.

“This is a compact team that always works very physically against their opponent. We have to assume that VfB Stuttgart will not lose many home games but we must start with the belief which we have since the past games at international level.

“I do not know if the first leg is set up as a fall. Ahead of the second leg we can give the correct answer.”

Thu 7 March, 2013
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