June 23, 2020 / 4:22 PM / 2 months ago

Lazio facing trip into the unknown

ROME (Reuters) - Serie A title challengers Lazio will be facing a trip into the unknown when they finally resume their season with a visit to fourth-placed Atalanta on Wednesday, coach Simone Inzaghi has said.

Second-placed Lazio, four points behind leaders Juventus with a game in hand, were enjoying a 21-match unbeaten run when Serie A was suspended by COVID-19 in March and Inzaghi did not know how the team would react after their long layoff.

“We had a lot of confidence as a team but then we had to stop for a long time,” he said on Tuesday. “It’s going to be a very unusual end to the championship and nobody really knows what’s waiting for us. It’s something new and we have to be ready for it.

“There will be problems that will affect not only Lazio but all the teams.”

The match brings together Serie A’s two top-scoring sides — Atalanta have blasted 74 goals in 26 games and Lazio 60.

Juventus and third-placed Inter Milan both restarted the season with Coppa Italia matches but Lazio had already been knocked out of the tournament. Atalanta have also played already, beating Sassuolo 4-1 in an outstanding league game on Sunday.

“Unfortunately we didn’t manage to play more than one friendly. The others luckily had the Coppa Italia to get into the right spirit again,” said Inzaghi.

The 44-year-old, who is attempting to lead Lazio to their first Serie A title for 20 years, said that football had taken a back seat during the break.

“It’s been a very difficult time for everyone,” he said. “All Italians have had a hard time. Having my parents in Piacenza, one of the hardest hit cities, I was very apprehensive. There were more important things in football”.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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