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Serie A Preview: Inter vs Lazio

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The Nerazzurri look to put their disappointing derby defeat behind them when they welcome the capital city club to San Siro…

Claudio Villa

Inter must bounce back from one of its most dismal displays of the season if it hopes to seal a spot in the Europa League.

The Nerazzurri failed to register a single shot on target as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.

There's no time to feel sorry for themselves though as Lazio comes to town in a game rife with Europa League implications.

Inter controls its own destiny and can cement its place in the competition with a victory over Edy Reja's men, but there are a plethora of clubs ready to pounce if the hosts stumble once more.

It's far from a guaranteed result as the Nerazzurri fell to Lazio in their first meeting of the season and have struggled mightily at the Meazza in recent games.

The Beneamata have secured only one win in their last six matches at home, however there should be a carnival-like atmosphere at the old hallowed ground on Saturday.

Javier Zanetti confirmed he will indeed retire at the end of the season and will hopefully appear in his final game at San Siro.

'Pupi' has decided to call it quits on a glittering career, which saw him lift five Scudetti, four Coppa Italias and one Champions League trophy.  

"I hope it can be a big celebration, but first we have to win," Zanetti said, according to the club's official website. "Afterwards I'm sure I'll be very emotional when the moment comes to salute all my fans."

The Curva Nord will be closed unfortunately, but the captain will undoubtedly receive a raucous ovation when he enters the fray.

It will truly be the end of an era and let's hope Inter can find a way to honour him with a vital victory.

Date: Saturday, May 10

Time: 2:45 EST

Venue: Giuseppe Meazza

BATTLE DOSSIER

Inter Probable Formation: 3-5-2:
Handanovic; Ranocchia, Samuel, Rolando; Jonathan, Hernanes, Kuzmanovic, Kovacic, Nagatomo; Palacio, Icardi

Lazio Probable Formation: 3-4-3: Berisha; Biava, Cana, Dias; Gonzalez, Biglia, Ledesma, Pereirinha; Candreva, Mauri, Keita

Unavailable For Duty: Esteban Cambiasso is suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards and will miss what could be his final home game for the Beneamata.

Operation Blitzkrieg Bop: The objective is to defeat the tyrants from the Eternal City and make sure the old warhorses leave the battlefield victorious one last time on home soil.

Enemy Of The State: Antonio Candreva will have his sights set on disrupting the party as Lazio are still alive in the race for a Europa League spot. The former Juve midfielder has scored 12 goals this season and would love nothing more than to add to his tally on Saturday.

Fear Factor: 5: Lazio is as scary as the clueless woman your crazy Zio Mario decides to bring as his date for an Italian wedding as she is forced to endure speeches, toasts and inside jokes made by people she will never see again.

Medal Of Honor: Along with Zanetti, his compatriots Diego Milito and Walter Samuel are also likely making their last bow in front of the Meazza faithful and the senatori will be given a thunderous ovation for all of their efforts over the years. They will be sorely missed.

Likely Outcome: Inter has faltered at home in recent matches, but should be able to turn things around and punch its ticket into the Europa League in what promises to be an emotional day.