Lazio head into Monday’s fixture at Fiorentina looking to record their fourth successive victory in Serie A, one which would keep them in the top four of the standings.
Meanwhile, Fiorentina have endured a disappointing campaign thus far, only occupying 11th spot after recording two wins from their eight fixtures.
There was a time when Maurizio Sarri was not necessarily flavour of the month at Lazio with the club recording too many draws, but the veteran Italian deserves nothing but praise for the job that he is currently doing at Stadio Olimpico.
As well as suffering just five Serie A defeats since the start of 2022, just one has been recorded during this campaign, a 2-1 reverse at home to unbeaten leaders Napoli.
That is the difference between Lazio being fourth rather than higher up the table, but I Biancocelesti have responded with three successive wins and clean sheets, scoring 10 goals in the process.
Although the level of opposition was not the highest, those results have kept Lazio in the mix for top spot, ready to capitalise if Napoli lose their eight-match undefeated streak in the short term.
While Ciro Immobile has netted just five of Lazio’s 17 goals in the top flight, Sarri will regard that as a plus point with his team not being so reliant on the club legend in the final third.
On the back of last season’s seventh-placed finish, Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Italiano would have had high hopes for a similar campaign having been able to pull off some strong pieces of business in the transfer market.
However, the pressure is on Italiano to turn things around at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Fiorentina down in the mid-table positions and struggling in the final third.
Their two wins in the top flight this season have been against two of the current three occupants in the relegation zone, all but two of their goals for the season coming in those matches.
To their credit, however, I Viola pushed unbeaten joint-leaders Atalanta BC last weekend, only losing 1-0 away from home, while they produced their best performance of the season on Thursday night to see off Hearts by a 3-0 scoreline in the Europa Conference League.
Former Real Madrid man Luka Jovic finally scored his second goal of the season in that fixture, ending a wait which had lasted since August 14.
In usual circumstances, Italiano would go with the team which impressed at Atalanta, but a much-changed side took their opportunity against Hearts.
Depending on whether a risk is taken with the fitness of Nikola Milenkovic, the defence from the domestic fixture could stay the same, but alterations could come further forward with Sofyan Amrabat and Jovic both in line to feature.
Antonin Barak and Jonathan Ikone may be the players to miss out for I Viola.
Sarri will give consideration to selecting the same side which breezed past Spezia by a 4-0 scoreline in their last Serie A fixture.
Despite being in and out of the team this campaign, Luis Alberto has started the last two fixtures and should remain in the midfield three.
Centre-back Nicolo Casale remains absent through injury, but the Italian is currently the only player unavailable for the visitors.
Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Terraccino; Venuti, Martinez, Julio, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Amrabat, Mandragora; Kouame, Jovic, Saponara
Lazio possible starting lineup:
Provedel; Lazzari, Patric, Romagnoli, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Luis Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni