Genoa Versus Lazio – Sunday, 5 February 2012 – 11:30 GMT (LIVE on ESPN)
The big games keep on coming for Genoa. In their last seven league games, the Grifoni have faced Inter Milan, Palermo and Udinese, as well as Napoli twice. The fact they were victorious in a few, scoring plenty of goals in the process, means their latest big-name opponent – an in-form Lazio who have suddenly emerged as possible Scudetto contenders – must be wary ahead of Sunday’s encounter.
However, this is a fixture which has served Lazio well over the years. The Luigi Ferraris Stadium has been a fortress for Genoa, winning eight of twelve there so far in the league this season – including each of their last three, against Bologna (2-1), Napoli (3-2) and Udinese (3-2) – but the pair’s goalless draw here last season ended a run of three successive away wins in this fixture for Lazio, who’ve not lost an away from home to Genoa for twenty-years.
The visiting Romans are also in rich form themselves, having backed up their 3-0 rout at Chievo last weekend with a very impressive 2-0 victory at home to AC Milan during the week. Thus confidence should be sky-high. Their midweek triumph over the reigning Serie A champs moved Edy Reja’s charges to within five-points of leaders Juventus, so Lazio head into a very difficult fixture knowing they must record their third win on the bounce if they’re to maintain their Scudetto challenge.
A lot similar to last week’s fixture in Genoa, where visiting Napoli needed to win to keep pace with those chasing Champions League football (top-three finish), Lazio go to a ground where only two teams (AC Milan and Inter Milan) have won all season having to win. The aforementioned game ended 3-2, in Genoa’s favour, who have now scored eight in their last three home league matches. Lazio, meanwhile, have five in their last two, home and away.
Another goal-laden contest could be on the cards here, so it could pay to stick with the same bet I made last week – Both Teams to Score is 8/11 with Ladbrokes. I couldn’t rule out another draw, either; BetVictor go 9/4 on the spoils being shared evenly.