Rome - Struggling Lazio's chances of finishing third in Serie A this season took another turn for the worse on Monday in a demoralising 1-0 home defeat by Genoa who ended a seven-match run without a win.
Lazio's eighth successive league loss to Genoa left the Roman side in sixth place in the standings on 34 points, eight adrift of third-placed Napoli.
Lazio hosted Napoli on Jan. 18 ahead of them in the table by one point and looking to consolidate third place.
The home side created more scoring chances but were sunk by Gonzalo Higuain's goal and Napoli have since won three in a row to sit only four points behind second-placed AS Roma and seven ahead of Fiorentina and Sampdoria.
Lazio have managed just three points in the same period and are rapidly losing ground.
The two Coppa Italia matches they played in January have sapped Sergio Pioli's side of energy and they appear incapable of coping with more than one game a week,
Winning the Cup, however, may be their best chance of a European spot next season, even though Lazio face Juventus in the semi-finals.
Lazio must play Sunday's game at Udinese without their captain Stefano Mauri due to suspension as well as central defender Lorik Cana and goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, who was sent off in the first half against Genoa.
Lazio were quiet during the January transfer window, adding just two squad players in Mauricio and Brayan Perea.
Napoli signed Manolo Gabbiadini and Croatia international Ivan Strinic who have both played key roles in the team's surge up the table.