Lazio manager Edoardo Reja is predicting an intense affair when his side faces Bologna on Sunday.
The Serie A’s fourth-placed side travel to take on the league’s 15th side at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, and Reja said he wants his side to be switched on for the entire 90 minutes if Lazio are to get the three points necessary to stay in touch with league leaders AC Milan.
“We’re heading in the right direction. Bologna play very well and they’re well structured on the pitch. If you don’t have high intensity and high rhythm you risk too much against them. Therefore we should face Bologna giving our all for the whole 90 minutes,” he said.
Reja hinted some of his starting 11 may be rested to avoid potential injuries from too much game time.
“Of course I should take into consideration the players who have played 90 minutes in the previous matches,” he said.
“For example, as far as the forward department is concerned, (Sergio) Floccari has been substituted in two matches in order not to make him too tired, whereas (Mauro) Zarate has played 90 minutes in three consecutive matches. He has also had a slight muscle strain to his adductor.”
“Because of that he is a bit tired, so I should deeply evaluate the time played by each player recently. If I have to line up a fit team and play an intense match, then I need players whose conditions are at 100 percent at least for an hour or so.”
Reja said Brazilian midfielder Hernanes is Lazio’s thermometer, and his performances can lift the team when they are below par.
“I’ve been talking to him and he is starting to believe that he can still improve very much. As you have seen in previous matches, when he plays good, the whole team does the same,” Reja said of Hernanes.
“Thanks to his technical and tactical skills he can definitely make the difference for Lazio. He has been able to do it in previous matches, he can finish, create chances and also support the defence because he provides good cover when Ledesma changes his position.”