Serie A tip preview: Lazio looking to open up top four race with win against Milan

With Napoli favourites to win Serie A, Tipstrr football expert Sergiu Baltuta assesses the form of Lazio and Milan, who meet on Tuesday in a vital clash in the race for the remaining top four places.

Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri demanded that his team become more clinical in their game management after twice squandering a half-time advantage to lose 1-2 against Lecce and then draw 2-2 with Empoli.

His players duly responded with more disciplined defensive displays in successive wins against Sassuolo (2-0 in Serie A) and Bologna (1-0 in Coppa Italia).

What has been even more impressive is that they managed those wins without their star player Ciro Immobile, who was injured just 15 minutes into the Sassuolo game.

Lazio are now in a position that a victory will move them to third place in Serie A, only one point behind Milan and above Inter and Roma on goal difference .

To do so, they will need to improve their recent form at Stadio Olimpico, where their last four home games have produced just narrow one win against Monza (1-0), along with draws against Udinese (0-0) and Empoli (2-2), plus a disappointing 1-3 reversal against Salernitana.

Second-placed Milan have won only one game since the international break, and, now 12 points adrift of Napoli, albeit with a game in hand, defeat in Rome would see their hopes of defending their title all but over.

Their only success came against Salernitana in the first game of 2023, and they are a long way away from the form that they showed on their travels last season.

They have suffered only one defeat, 1-2 at Torino, but four away draws have done them no favours, with only their hard-earned point at Atalanta counting as a positive in that respect.

Their only away wins have come against teams from the bottom half of the table, while in six of their nine away games this season there have been at least three goals scored.

Milan do have the psychological advantage of having won their last three games against Lazio, two in Serie A and one in Coppa Italia.

Last season, Stefano Pioli's team won 2-0 at home and 2-1 away, while it's worth pointing out that six of their last seven games have produced three or more goals and there have been no draws in their last nine encounters.

With a draw seemingly of little use to either team, it would appear that we can expect that goal-scoring trend to continue, as both team look to pick up three vital points.

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