'Ronaldo can change a game at any time' – Lazio boss Inzaghi wary of threat posed by Juve 'champion'

December 22, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

The Italian says concentration will be key for his side as they aim to keep the Portuguese quiet and defeat Juventus for a second time this season

Simone Inzaghi has acknowledged the threat Cristiano Ronaldo will pose Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana final, and insisted that his team needs to be “perfect” if they are to overcome familiar foes Juventus.

The meeting between the reigning Serie A champions and the holders of the Coppa Italia takes place in Riyadh on Sunday, with the top-flight rivals doing battle in the one-off contest for a fourth time in seven years.

Lazio won the previous Supercoppa clash in 2017, while they are also the only opponents to defeat Maurizio Sarri’s team this season, overturning a first-half deficit to prevail 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico at the start of the month.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored Juve’s only goal in their latest clash against Lazio, with the Portugal forward’s strike part of a productive December in terms of goals.

The 34-year-old was on target twice last weekend against Udinese before producing a sensational headed finish in the midweek win over Sampdoria, with that result putting them three points clear of Inter at the top of the Serie A table.

“He is a champion who can change the game at any time,” Inzaghi said of Ronaldo at a press conference on Saturday.

“We have to be on guard, knowing that, on paper, Juve have greater potential. However, all that matters is what happens on the pitch.”

Inzaghi is well aware of the size of the task for his players at the King Saud University Stadium, with it his belief that Juve will be a tougher nut to crack this time around with silverware on the line.

“We are facing a team that has a great amount of capacity, intensity, and quality. I have told my team that we must remain concentrated,” he added.

“It won’t be like a league game. You play for a trophy in one night. You can’t make any mistakes because you have two teams that can hurt each other at any time.

“Juventus have great qualities. We will have to be very focused. In the league game, we conceded just the one goal.

“There is obviously no certainty of winning. We have confidence in our work. We face a team that has won the last eight league titles, so we will need the perfect game.”

Lazio will be buoyed for the showpiece after winning six of the last seven matches across all competitions, with a 2-1 win at Cagliari on Monday marking their latest triumph.

Inzaghi’s men, who have risen to third in the Serie A standings at the halfway stage of the 2019-20 season, will take in a much-needed rest after their latest outing as the winter break comes into effect in Italy.

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