Serie A: Lazio to face AC Milan without its two main strikers

Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo are suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards and their absence could expose Lazio's lack of depth in attack.

Lazio head coach Simone Inzaghi (L) will not have the services of striker Ciro Immobile for the Serie A clash against AC Milan.   -  Getty Images

Lazio's Serie A title hopes face a severe challenge when it hosts AC Milan on Saturday without either of its two main strikers while leader Juventus must deal with the dreaded early kickoff slot against neighbour Torino.

Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo, who between them have provided 37 of second-placed Lazio's 66 Serie A goals this season, are suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards and their absence could expose their team's lack of depth.

Immobile, Serie A's leading scorer with 29 goals, has been everpresent in the Italian top-division since March last year when he was suspended against Parma. Lazio, with 68 points from 29 games, is four behind Juventus with nine matches each to play.

Two of Lazio's other strikers, Bobby Adekanye and Raul Moro, are both injured, leaving Joaquin Correa, who has scored seven league goals this season, as the only recognised centre forward available.

Lazio also has injury worries elsewhere with Senad Lulic out for the rest of the season and Lucas Leiva suffering the after-effects of a knee operation.

READ | Ciro Immobile penalty sparks Lazio comeback win over Fiorentina

Adam Marusic and Danilo Cataldi have also been on the treatment table although Lazio is hopeful that at least one of them will be ready for Saturday.

Lazio's injury problems have in turn meant more playing time for the rest of the squad which, with the combination of heat and a hectic schedule, means it risks running out of gas.

Lazio had to come from behind to win its last two games 2-1 against Fiorentina and Torino and made heavy weather of both matches -- a far cry from the flowing football it produced before the coronavirus stoppage.

At least Lazio will have the benefit of the cooler 21:45 kickoff slot on Saturday, unlike Juventus which will have to face Torino at 17:15 when high temperatures are likely to make it a real struggle for both teams. Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri was not looking forward to it.

“A derby is a derby, and if you play it at five o'clock in the afternoon in July, that makes it an even riskier game for us,” he said after Tuesday's 3-1 win over Genoa.

“It seems to be an extreme time to play -- there was controversy over the 21:45 start time but that is the only time in Italy when you can play football in July and August.”

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