Inter Milan have had quite the week. First came a massive 4-2 victory over Milan, ensuring a season sweep of the Rossoneri for a second year running, and sending Inter into 1st. The Nerazzurri soon returned to earth, however, losing at home to Napoli in the semifinals of the Coppa Italia. And if you thought that was the end of things, well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Instead, Inter meet 3rd place Lazio on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico (7:45 UK, 2:45 ET). The previous meeting came at the Giuseppe Meazza, on September 25th. Inter were 1-0 victors, with Danilo D’Ambrosio notching the game winner in the most recent Serie A loss for Le Aquile. Since then Lazio are 18 games without a loss, and have entered the title contentions. Now a mere point separates these sides, and this is a huge showdown in the three team title race.
Tactically, this match will have two very interesting battles between defense and offense. Both of these teams have conceded the least number of goals in Serie A, at 20. But it would be unwise to put much money on a nil nil or even 1-1 draw. That is because of the fearsome attacks that are boasted by both sides.
First, Lazio are led by Golden Boot leader Ciro Immobile, who has 25 goals in 23 games. He will be expected to link up with either Joaquin Correa or Felipe Caicedo, who have 6 and 8 goals respectively. Behind them is Luis Alberto, and the Spaniard playmaker leads Serie A with 11 assists.
On the other hand is the lethal duo of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez. The two have combined for 28 goals, almost two/thirds on Inter’s total. They can threaten Lazio’s defense in many ways, from running at them on the counter to headers in the box. And although he’s yet to put his mark on the San Siro, Christian Eriksen is capable of incredible things, as we were so close to seeing in the late stages of the Derby.
Referee: The man in the middle for this one is Gianluca Rocchi. Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni is the VAR for this one, but hopefully we don’t see much of him.
Predicted Starting Lineups (Likely very wrong in some cases)
- Stefano Sensi suffered a hairline fracture on his foot, and will not feature in this one, opening the door for Eriksen.
- Bastoni and Martínez return from Serie A suspensions and will be available.
- Lazio’s captain, Senad Lulic, is not expected to play vs Inter, after picking up an ankle injury. Jony will likely replace him in the 11.
This should be a fascinating encounter, and is one of the three remaining matches between Inter, Juventus, and Lazio. This one will no doubt have ramifications as for who gets the Scudetto on their jersey next season, and could be tight, as neither team can afford to lose.