Coppa Italia Preview: Klose looking to press Lazio case
Germany's and the World Cup's all-time record goalscorer is out of contract in the Italian capital at the end of this season and has been frustrated by a lack of game time since tasting glory with his national team in Brazil.
Klose spoke out about his desire for more minutes on the pitch earlier this week, but Lazio coach Stefano Pioli maintains there is no rift with the 36-year-old, who was unable to find a winner when introduced as a late substitute in Saturday's goalless Serie A draw at Chievo.
"Miro has always been an asset to the team, for his attitude, his professionalism, his passion and the way he always makes himself available," Pioli said.
"I'm convinced that he will continue to do so. I know the kind of guy Klose is, and he'll never be a problem for the team.
"It's normal that players want to play more, but I'm the coach and I make the choices."
The winner of match at the Stadio Olimpico will face Torino and Poli added: "It’s a competition we're focused on, we have to give our all and try to win.
"We want to get back to winning ways. I don't think we had the wrong approach on Saturday."
Serie B team Varese enter the match amid headlines of a different nature after they were handed a two-point deduction on Monday for irregularities in their tax payments.
Serie A leaders Juventus lie in wait for Verona if they can find a way past Perugia and coach Andrea Mandorlini is keen for the tie to kick-start his team's mis-firing league campaign.
"The Coppa is a way of getting back to winning ways," he told reporters.
"We really care about this match with Perugia. Like them, we too used to visit the Serie A clubs in these early stages a couple of years ago and were able to hurt our opponents. It will be an important test for the whole squad and we want to win."
High-flying in the top-flight, Genoa entertain Empoli, with a last-16 clash against Roma the incentive for both teams, while holders Napoli await the winner of Udinese versus Cesena.
Udinese's 2-0 loss to Milan in Serie A stretched their winless run to five matches, while their weekend conquerers are the prize on offer in Pescara's home tie against Sassuolo.
Atalanta recorded a third goalless draw in four matches against Empoli on Saturday and Stefano Colantuono's men will hope to get back on the goal trail when they host Avellino for the right to play Fiorentina.
Sampdoria are back in action on Thursday following Monday's league meeting with Napoli when they take on Brescia, while Cagliari host Modena earlier on the same day.