Lazio vs Catania Preview

Catania boss Rolando Maran insists their trip to Lazio will not define his club's season, as two candidates for coach of the Serie A season go head to head.

And that's his second...

Should other results go the Sicilians' way, Catania could reach fifth place with victory in Rome as a remarkable domestic campaign enters its final leg.

Lazio's star may have fallen slightly since the autumn days spent pushing Juventus hard for top spot, but Vladimir Petkovic has nevertheless transformed the Biancocelesti into a dynamic side with ambitions of Champions League football.

When pressed about his candidacy for the Panchina d'Oro, though, Maran was modest on his chances of succeeding Juve boss Antonio Conte.

He told La Repubblica: "That's not for me to say. What is for certain is that both Catania and Lazio have performed strongly for most of the season so far.

"Both clubs can be proud of what they have done.

"The trip to Rome will be important, but not essential. The key to doing well is making the most of the favourable situations presented to us in the game.

"We cannot, however, go out on to the pitch and stay passive waiting for something to happen."

Defenders Nicolas Spolli and Alessandro Potenza are suspended in the capital while Ciro Capuano, Fabio Sciacca and Blazej Augustyn are out injured.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose could start on Lazio's bench following a leg injury with captain Stefano Mauri and defender Giuseppe Biava both training hard to get up to speed.

Maran added: "No matter who plays I know the whole team will carry themselves in a dignified manner and I am asking the boys to fight every single day to realise our ambitions through good results.

"We have what it takes to give Lazio, who remain one of the strongest teams in the league, a lot of trouble.

"Klose's absence just means they will start their high quality replacements, and I think Lazio have some of the best strikers around."

Exiled forward Mauro Zarate, however, played his last game for Lazio in November but his lengthy dispute with the club looks set to end with a return to Argentina and Velez Sarsfield.

His brother Rolando told the Corriere dello Sport: "Mauro has a problem with Lazio because when they tried to sell him to a Ukrainian team, he did not accept and so he was left out of the team.

"He then said he wanted to go to England, where a club had made an offer, but again Lazio did not accept.

"Velez? There would be no better club for him - that is our priority."

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