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In-form Lazio rev up bid for Europe qualification, want 4th straight win at Fiorentina’s expense


If there’s one word best to describe Lazio’s current run in the Serie A, it would be “hot.’’

You may or may not agree but with the way Simone Inzaghi’s men are performing, they are simply in top form.

Lazio are on a three-match winning streak and on course towards their target of European qualification.

They want to add up to that victory run on Sunday when they travel to Stadio Artemio Franchi to face Fiorentina.

In their latest match, I Biancocelesti battered Sampdoria 7-3 and nudged to within eight points of third-running Roma, and seven behind fourth placers Napoli.

Lazio surged ahead in the second minute at Stadio Olimpico when forward Balde Keita darted to the Sampdoria box and slammed a shot past goalkeeper Christian Puggioni to tally his sixth goal in three games.

After Milan Skriniar of the visiting team was banished, striker Ciro Immobile scored the accompanying penalty shot and Lazio continued to press their attack.

More goals came from Immobile, Wesley Hoedt, Felipe Anderson, Stefan de Vrij and Stefan Lulic as Lazio stomed to a 7-1 lead, with Karol Linetty netting for Sampdoria.

Veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella knocked in two late goals for the final scoreline.

Inzaghi was overjoyed by the win and said he is now looking for a rosy future, meaning good results for the team in the upcoming Coppa Italia final against Juventus.

He also boasted that their approach showed that the team is strong, a kind of mentality that would fire his players up in the coming days.

Against Fiorentina, Lazio should be favoured to collect all three points.

In their last visit at Franchi Stadium, Lazio downed the hosts 3-1 with Keita, Sergej Milinkovic and Felipe Anderson scoring, while Facundo Roncaglia, now playing for Celta de Vigo, netted the lone goal for the hosts.

Lazio had three other wins over Fiorentina in their last five Serie A encounters and one of them was also posted at the home of the latter.

If Paulo Sossa’s men would get some source of motivation, that would be their lone win when they tripped Lazio 4-2 at Stadio Olimpico last May 16.

Prior to their victory over Sampdoria, Lazio walloped visiting Palermo 6-2, and then humbled hosts Roma 3-1.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina forged a 2-2 draw against hosts Sassuolo in their last game after previously winning at home 5-4 over Internazionale and then losing an away game to Palermo 2-0.

Lazio may have the upper hand in this fixture but can they find Fiorentina as easy preys?