Lazio vs Hellas Verona preview

Posted Monday, May 05, 2014 by PA

A pair of veteran strikers are in the spotlight ahead of Monday's game between Lazio and Hellas Verona in Rome.

Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, 35, will run onto the Stadio Olimpico pitch with an extra bounce in his step after signing a one-year contract extension on Friday.

Hellas Verona's experienced foward Luca Toni, meanwhile, has 19 league goals, and is earning plenty of praise for putting the club within touching distance of a spot in the Europa League.

Klose will be looking to finish the season strong because Lazio also have an opportunity to play European football in the 2014-15.

The German striker has only played in 22 league games but has scored seven times.

"I'm delighted," Klose said. "I am part of an important project.

"I have an important role in this project."

Hellas coach Andrea Mandorlini, meanwhile, would not trade the former Italy international Toni for any player.

"At 36 Toni has so much hanger and dreams of finishing as the leading scorer in Serie A and also playing in the World Cup," Mandorlini said. "He has given me and the squad a present with such an incredible season."

Toni has had his most prolific season in Italy since playing for Fiorentina in the 2005-06 campaign.

Both teams have 52 points and are three points adrift of sixth-place Torino, who won 1-0 at Chievo.

"To play in Europe is a dream and now it is possible," Mandorlini said. "We are really motivated, just as we showed at Catania.

"Now we have a match against a direct rival for Europe and it depends on us."

Hellas, who won promotion to Italy's top flight last summer, beat Catania 4-0 last weekend to record their 16th win of the campaign.

Lazio will be bolstered by the return of defenders Diego Novaretti and Stefan Radu, who missed last weekend's 2-0 triumph at Livorno through suspension.

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