SCOTT PETERSON - Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Michael Bradley and Chievo Verona close out the first half of the season with a visit to the capital to take on 4th place Lazio in the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Over the weekend, Chievo picked up a much needed victory at home to Cagliari Calcio, in a game that saw the Flying Donkey's anemic offense show some signs of life as they found the back of the net twice. It will take some resolute defending, however, if Chievo is to manage to take anything away from their encounter against Lazio.

Lazio, who comes into the match on the heels of a 2-2 tie against second place Udinese, have been scoring goals in droves. Their 24 goals is the third best mark in the Serie A behind Milan and league leaders Juve.

The man of the season for Lazio thus far has been Miroslav Klose. Not only has the German goal-getter been a hit with the notoriously ruthless Lazio faithful, but is the third leading scorer in the entire league with 9 goals. The last time Klose reached a double-digit goal count was in 2009, after an entire Bundesliga campaign with Bayern Munich.

Compounding matters defensively for Chievo head coach Mimmo di Carlo is that starting left fullback Boukary Dramé is doubtful for the match, as is versatile midfielder Rinaldo Cruzado.

Lazio, however, is also banged up a bit, with strikers Tommasso Rocchi and Giuseppe Sculli both picking up leg and foot knocks respectively in their match on the weekend.

Kickoff is set for Wednesday night at 8:45 in Rome.
Tuesday December 20, 2011 5:19 pm
Bradley has consistently played well and the Italian press has given him high marks, generally the highest rating of any Verona player that was on the pitch. About two weeks ago, their brief comment on him was "non si passa" ("you don't get by him [with the ball]"). To step into a starting position in the Serie A is a big achievement and the training he is getting seems to be paying dividends. Let's hope this translates to even better play for the national team.

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