Pioli demands Lazio reaction

The 1-0 loss at home to Genoa followed their 2-1 defeat at Cesena and dropped Lazio to sixth place in Serie A.

“We took no points against Genoa but we showed great determination in that game,” Pioli told Gazzetta dello Sport. “In terms of willingness and fighting spirit, my team did well.

“It’s never easy to play down to 10 men for an hour after Federico Marchetti was sent off but even so, we hit the post twice and could have equalised.

“Against Genoa, we certainly showed a drastic improvement with respect to our defeat at Cesena.”

Now he is hoping for a similarly determined performance, but with a better result, when they take on Udinese.

“A month ago we also went through a negative spell but we recovered,” he added.

“This defeat will only make us stronger.

“I think positively and I believe my players will react.”

Pioli will have a number of absentees to cope with as the Romans go in search of their fourth win on the road.

Goalkeeper Marchetti will serve a one-match ban this weekend and Etrit Berisha is set to take his place between the posts.

Moreover, defender Lorik Cana and midfielder Stefano Mauri are also suspended this weekend.

Lazio have not won on the road since December 2 and take on an Udinese side that is winless at the Friuli stadium since October 26.

“We are really eager to return to win at home,” Udinese coach Andrea Stramaccioni said. “But we expect a stern test against Lazio.”

Udinese have mustered just one win in 2015, a 2-1 triumph at Empoli last month, and last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Napoli dropped the Bianconeri to 13th place.

Stramaccioni will be forced to make some changes to his starting line-up with defender Giovanni Pasquale and midfielder Panagiotis Kone both suspended.

However, the hosts will be bolstered by the return of team’s top scorer Antonio Di Natale from suspension.

Di Natale will partner French striker Cyril Thereau in Udinese’s attack.