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Injuries are no excuse - Pioli

Stefano Pioli insists Lazio are focused on claiming another three points from the trip to one of his former clubs Sassuolo on Sunday, despite a growing injury list.

Stefan de Vrij, Lucas Biglia, Filip Djordjevic and Marco Parolo all sidelined, leaving Danilo Cataldi poised to once again slot into the midfield.  

And Pioli has backed the Italy under-21 international to shine, adding he is set for a bright future at the club.

He told reporters: "I often speak to Cataldi, he's young and sensitive. Being a native Roman, he feels the pressure of certain situations more than other players.

"He is a complete midfielder with technique and timing. He shouldn't be worried, he has time to mature.

"I have four attacking players who can vary position and I like this, as we give few reference points to our opponents."

Pioli has been boosted by news that Miroslav Klose and Alessandro Matri are in line to make a return.

"Klose is doing well and worked with us throughout the break," Pioli continued.

"I don't think he has 90 minutes in his legs, but is ready to play. The same goes for Alessandro Matri.

"We know how important Miro is in his movement, but also in saying the right word at the right time. Having strikers who are the first to move defensively is something very important."

But the 49-year old insists that injuries cannot be used as an excuse for not picking up points, adding: "We are a team and every Sunday I must choose between the players. We know each other, these players have proved themselves and we will do the same tomorrow regardless of absentees.

"Lazio have to make their mark in every match. We worked hard and expect a lot out of this game. It's true Sassuolo are unbeaten at home and beat Napoli this season, but we are Lazio. We have our style of football and play our game.

"What happens in the other matches is of no interest, we have to focus on ourselves."