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Livorno v Lazio: Preview

Returning Livorno coach Davide Nicola has not given up hope that his side can avoid the drop heading into Sunday's match at home to Lazio.

Nicola was handed the reins of the Tuscan outfit earlier this week after Domenico Di Carlo was sacked.

The 41-year-old Nicola returns to the club just three months after being dismissed.

Last weekend's 3-0 defeat at AC Milan was Livorno's third successive loss and left the Aramanto in 19th place, three points adrift of safety with four games remaining.

Livorno have taken just one point from their last six league games and Nicola is determined to turn things around, starting on Sunday.

``I see my players eager to do well in our last four league games,'' Nicola said. ``We want to give our all in the next few weeks.

``We are well aware it will require a tremendous effort for us to defend our Serie A status. It will be hard but not impossible.

``We must take it one game at a time and have a positive approach. We must show our true value, starting against Lazio.''

Lazio travel to Tuscany nowhere near full strength.

The Biancoceleste are without suspended defenders Diego Novaretti and Stefan Radu.

To complicate matters for coach Edy Reja, defender Abdoulay Konko and striker Miroslav Klose are still out injured.

Despite those setbacks, the Romans are hopeful of bringing home three points to remain in contention for European football next season.

Last weekend's 3-3 draw against Torino left the Biancoceleste ninth, five points behind Inter Milan in the last Europa League qualifying spot.

``We still hope that we can play in Europe next year,'' Reja said. ``We don't want to give up.

``We are still alive and we will do everything possible to make up for the setback against Torino, even if we should have won that game.''

The home side must do without injured trio Andrea Luci, Federico Ceccherini and Ibrahima Mbaye.

ends

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