Lazio start tonight’s UEFA Cup semi-final having to overcome a three goal deficit against Porto.
The first game finished 4-1 in Portugal. Claudio Lopez put the Rome side in front but Porto responded with a goal from Maniche, two from Derlei and one from Helder Postiga.
After that first game, Porto boss Jose Mourinho admitted Lazio got off lightly.
“With two strong teams the result is not normally like that,” he said. We were much better than Lazio. This doesn’t mean we are better than them, but we played better and could have scored more goals.”
Porto have only dropped nine points all season and are looking to complete a treble of league, domestic Cup and UEFA Cup. They are on course to complete all three.
Mourinho’s side go into tonight’s game with no injury worries andlook certain to field the same line-up that beat Lazio two weeks ago.
The one thing gives Lazio any hope for tonight’s game isLopez’s away goal. Therefore a 3-0 win will see them proceed to to the final.
It looks likely that Roberto Mancini’s side will go into the game looking for goals and play with three up front: Chiesa, Lopez and Simone Inzaghi.
Lazio however, have a lot of selection problems eith Pancaro, Favalli and Castroman all suspended. Jaap Stam is injured and Corradi is ineligible.
Despite these setbacks, Mancini is confident that his side will produce a good performance.
‘We know we made mistakes,” he says. ‘We just have to avoid them this time.”
“We have to stay calm, but at the same time be aggressive. Looking at my players faces I know they are desperate to recover and they want to turn around the deficit.”
Sinisa Mihajlovic has urged the home fans to get behind their team.
“A recovery is possible, the nature of the occasion could save us.”
“I hope that the Stadio Olimpico is full, because that could give us an incredible charge.”
The winners will play either Boavista or Celtic in the final.
Lazio: Luca Marchegiani; Massimo Oddo, Fernando Couto, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Cesar; Stefano Fiore, Fabio Liverani, Dejan Stankovic; Enrico Chiesa, Simone Inzaghi, Claudio Lopez.
Porto: Vitor Baia; Paulo Ferreira, Jorge Costa, Ricardo Carvalho, Nuno Valente; Tiago Pereira, Deco Souza, Maniche Ribeiro, Dmitri Alenitchev; Helder Postiga, Derlei Silva.