When: Wednesday, December 21th 2:45pm ET/ 8:45pm CET
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy.
We all remember what happened in this match last season. Inter lost to Lazio in the final game of the calendar year, a shock result that saw the wheels fall off the Mancini wagon in the second half of the campaign. The Inter players who took part in that collapse will certainly have that in their minds in the buildup to this fixture, as will Antonio Candreva (the man who scored both of Lazio’s goals) and Stefano Pioli (the man who engineered that Biancocelesti victory). A stronger performance and mentality will be needed this time around.
At least the team is coming into this match in pretty good form. Inter will be seeking a seventh consecutive home win in all competitions as well as a 3 game Serie A winning streak. This will certainly be the toughest game of that Serie A run though, Lazio has been doing well under caretaker-turned sorta permanent coach Simone Inzaghi. The 4th placed side has won 4 of their last 5 matches (only losing to Roma in their Derby match), and Inzaghi has both Ciro Immobile and Felipe Anderson playing well again. They’ve only lost one away from home, though that defeat was at the San Siro against AC Milan.
A win here would be a big result for Pioli and his men, and the result of this match will likely come down to which Inter comes out of the gates. If it is the all guns blazing version of Inter seen against Fiorentina and Milan then the home side could definitely walk away with all three points. If it’s the Inter we watched take on Napoli then it could be a long 90 minutes.
Pioli has a bit of a midfield dilemma going into this match. Gary Medel is still injured, Assane Gnoukouri might not be totally match fit after an ankle injury, Joao Mario is suspended for yellow card accumulation, and Felipe Melo has a two match ban for his sending off against Sassuolo and being “disrespectful” towards the referee (though Inter is appealing that).
The coach hasn’t given any idications of if he’ll stick with the 3 man defense this time but since it’s worked relatively well so far, I don’t see why he’d change it up.
Probable Starting XIs
Inter (3-4-2-1): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo; Candreva, Kondogbia, Brozovic, Ansaldi; Banega, Perisic; Icardi
Lazio (4-3-3): Marchetti; Basta, Wallace, De Vrij, Radu; Parolo, Biglia, Milinkovic; Anderson, Immobile, Keita
How to Watch
TV: Lazio Style Channel, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, PremiumSport HD (Italy); BT Sport ESPN (UK); RAI Internatinal (USA)
Online: SKY Go Italia, Premium Play (Italy); BT Sport Live Streaming (UK); beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA)
(For other countries' streaming and broadcasting options see here)