With Inter’s berth in the Coppa Italia final confirmed, the Nerazzurri can put full focus on Serie A for the next week and a half. While that may not sound like much time, in that span Simone Inzaghi’s side will learn a lot about what European competition it will be playing in next fall. Inter’s next three games feature Lazio, Hellas Verona, and AS Roma, two Champions League competitors, and a relegation fighter. A perfect run would be a huge boost in Inter’s chase for a top-four spot, and where better to start than with Inzaghi’s old club?
Lazio is 2nd in Serie A with 61 points, 7 clear of Inter. From February 19th to April 14th it went from a fringe top-four team to runaway second-place leaders, winning 7 of 8 outings including clashes with Napoli, Juventus, and Roma. A loss to Torino last week dragged the Rome club slightly back into the dogfight, but Lazio is still in pole position for a UCL spot in Maurizio Sarri’s second year at the club. Lazio has turned into a defensive stronghold under the Italian manager, conceding a league-best 21 goals in 31 games. The summer additions of Alessio Romagnoli and keeper Ivan Provedel have paid off, and then some. Lazio’s attack remains spearheaded by Ciro Immobile with 12 goals and 5 assists, but this time the supporting cast has become more than just supporting. Felipe Anderson (10g, 5a) and Mattia Zaccagni (10g, 8a) have stepped into bigger roles, while Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (8g, 8a) and Luis Alberto (6g, 5a) remain key cogs in midfield.
These next three games will be defining for Inter’s Serie A season. The Nerazzurri are 6th on 54 points, with Lazio (61 pts), Juventus (59), Milan (56), and Roma (56) all catchable, especially as the latter two play each other this weekend. For that to happen, of course, Inter needs to rack up some wins in Serie A and take some points of its rivals. The past week has been promising with back to back wins (something we haven’t said in a while) over Empoli and Juventus, but now its time for Inter to find some consistency and pick up the wins it so desperately needs.
Inter has a 74W-59D-48L lead in the all-time series, but Lazio took all three points by a scoreline of 3-1 in the reverse fixture.
Predicted Starting XIs
Immobile is questionable after suffering back injuries in a car accident, so Pedro (7g, 3a) is an option to play as a false nine.
Prediction: Inter Milan 2-1 Lazio
Inter’s good form will continue with victory over Lazio thanks to goals from Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku, though a Ciro Immobile strike sandwiched between will make for quite the back-and-forth outing.