Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Empoli vs Lazio - Match Preview
⚽ 3 June 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
Their place in Serie A (SA) for next season may have been secured a few weeks ago, but Empoli manager Paolo Zanetti will still be desperate for his players to finish the season strongly as they aim for a little piece of club history. The Blues will move on to 46 points in SA if they pick up a victory in their final league game, a top-flight total bettered only by the 54 they accumulated back in 2006/07.
Confidence should be high in registering another victory given Empoli are unbeaten in five matches (W3, D2), with all three wins coming on home soil. That run has steered them clear of danger and up the table, but Zanetti may still see his defence as a problem area, as with no clean sheet in eight games aligned with a failure to secure a shutout in eight of their last nine outings at Stadio Carlo Castellani, their defence is notoriously leaky.
History suggests that the record is unlikely to come to an end against visitors Lazio, who have won six of the last eight H2Hs, netting an impressive 16 times in the process! The Biancocelesti should also be full of confidence after Sergej Milinković-Savić’s 89th-minute strike helped them beat Cremonese 3-2 last weekend, a result which means they have been successful in seven of their last 11 league outings (D1, L3).
There’s still plenty to play for on the final weekend of the campaign too, as a victory over Empoli would seal second spot in SA. That would be Lazio’s highest finish in the Italian top-flight since they lifted the title in 1999/2000, and has led manager Maurizio Sarri to hail his players for performing “beyond all expectations” after many pundits predicted they wouldn’t even qualify for Europe at the start of the campaign.
📋 Key battle: Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario has conceded at least once in his last 11 league appearances and has never kept a clean sheet against Lazio (D2, L1). Hoping to prolong his misery, Lazio forward Mattia Zaccagni has won seven of the last nine games in which he has scored (D1, L1), including match-winning strikes in the last two.
⚡ Hot stat: A league-low four of Lazio’s 18 away games have seen both teams score.
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