Lazio head coach Vladimir Petkovic has denied his side will be ‘overly defensive’ in their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg away to Juventus.
While Petkovic is concerned about the fitness of Abdoulay Konko, Miroslav Klose, Stefan Radu and Marius Stankevicius, Lazio’s head coach still wants his team to attack Juventus on their home turf and try and build a lead to take back with them to Rome.
Tuesday’s semi-final first leg will be a tough test for Lazio as Juventus have only lost two of their 19 home games across all competitions this season but Petkovic remains optimistic.
“I want my team well organised on the pitch tomorrow and aware of their responsibilities, ready to exploit any chances we have to score and try to play an intelligent, not overly defensive game,” Petkovic said on Monday.
“We will look to secure a positive result and head onto the pitch with victory in mind.”
Petkovic remains confident his players have the quality to defeat Juventus as Lazio managed a 0-0 draw when they travelled to Turin in November, while they sit just five points behind the Serie A leaders ahead of the Coppa Italia clash.
“They are the strongest team in the league (but) we’ve been doing well this season (too) and have performed above expectations,” Petkovic said.
“If we look at what all my players have done up to now then I send my compliments to them but we want, we need and we will do something more.”
A worry for Petkovic will be whether he can pick his best team against Juventus with Konko, Klose, Radu and Stankevicius all facing fitness tests ahead of the trip to Turin.
“I still have various doubts over Konko, Klose, Radu and Stankevicius,” Petkovic said.
“I will see during today’s training session who’s going to be part of the squad and then tomorrow morning I’ll decide who will be ready to play from the start.
“Only those who are 100 percent fit can play tomorrow, while whoever feels even a small amount of pain won’t be ready to play because it will be very cold out there, the opponent is very strong and the stadium will have a hostile atmosphere.”
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