The most in-form team in Italy travels to Milan to face the Nerazzurri in a match that can be very significant for both teams end-of-season fortunes. Match today on Sunday at 20:45 CET.
Inter end their two games a week portion of their season with a crucial match against high-flying Lazio. The Biancocelesti come to Milano looking to extend their winning run to seven straight matches, while the hosts want to keep the pressure on league leaders Milan ahead of the crucial derby next week.
Lazio possess one of the league’s most balanced starting elevens. Simone Inzaghi’s men are very capable at all parts of the field; built on a solid defense that is founded around the unflappable Francesco Acerbi, the Laziali also sport a lethal attack led by the ever threatening Ciro Immobile, but the Roman side’s strongest suit must be their formidable midfield.
Any midfield unit that can combine the central solidity of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto as well as the wide threat of Manuel Lazzari will strike fear in opponents’ hearts. It is remarkable how much tactical similarity exists between the two opponents.
However, when comparing the two sides man for man, it is difficult to build a winning case for the visitors; Inter possess the better squad, both on the field and on the bench.
Inter will probably employ portions of the Atalanta playbook when approaching the match; against La Dea in the Coppa Italia, Lazio struggled with their opponents’ constant pressing and their stretching of the play out to the flanks.
As such, the expected duel between Achraf Hakimi and Adam Marusic on Inter’s right flank might prove critical.
Inter cannot allow their mindset to let them down in this match; they are the better side and make sure they collect maximum points here.
Inter go into the match missing only Arturo Vidal due to a minor knock. Perhaps a more pressing matter is the fact that all of Alessandro Bastoni, Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolo Barella are one yellow card from a match suspension.
With an extremely important derby to follow this match, will Antonio Conte manage his substitutions with the potential suspensions in mind?
Probable Inter line-up (3-5-2): Handanovic (C); Bastoni, De Vrij, Skriniar; Young, Barella, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Hakimi; Lautaro, Lukaku.
Last Season: Inter 1 – 0 Lazio.
Last 10 Head to Head: Inter hold a slight edge over their visitors with five wins to Lazio’s trio of victories.
Keep An Eye On
Nicolo Barella: There is a general consensus among pundits that Barella is this year’s Italian football breakout star. Nico has quickly developed into one of the world’s most promising midfielders.
His cracking goal in Florence last was both beautiful and important in having broken the deadlock. All eyes will be on Barella on Sunday as he tries to boss the midfield.
Referee: Michael Fabbri.
Assistants: Alassio and Valeriani.
Fourth Official: Aureliano.
VAR: Irrati and Ranghetti.
Prediction & Concluding Remarks
Prediction & scorers: Inter 2 – 1 Lazio with Lukaku and Hakimi clinching it.
Concluding remarks: Inter must continue racking up the three points if they want to remain in the title race. While Lazio are on a very impressive run of form, they are a side that can be beaten.
Conte will need to have done his homework, and the players must show desire and fight, unlike their attitude against Juventus in the Coppa Italia midweek.