SS Lazio vs Inter Milan Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Sunday’s Serie A schedule rounds off at Stadio Olimpico with a tasty-looking encounter between title-favourite Inter Milan and mid-table Lazio.

The Nerazzurri missed out on the top spot in their Champions League group after they were held to a scoreless draw against Real Sociedad on Tuesday night. But Inter Milan advanced to the Last 16 regardless, and their league form has been scintillating, with Lazio up next for them.

Juventus are still snapping at their heels, but the Bianconeri could not overtake them at the top of Serie A after playing a 1-1 draw with Genoa on Friday. Meanwhile, Inter have barely put a foot wrong despite being under immense pressure in recent weeks. They left nothing to chance against Udinese last weekend, cruising to a 4-0 win, while they won 3-0 away to defending champions Napoli the weekend before.

While Inter have passed test after test of their title credentials with flying colours, the last six weeks have not been easy for Maurizio Sarri and Lazio, who have only won one of their last five league games, beating lowly Cagliari 1-0 after the latter were reduced to ten men. The other results were a 1-0 loss to Bologna, a lacklustre score draw with city rivals AS Roma, a 2-1 defeat to Salernitana, and a 1-1 stalemate with Hellas Verona.

Despite leading Lazio to second place last season, Maurizio Sarri has struggled to find the same winning formula this time around, and a decline across the board has been the story so far. The aforementioned dire run means the Biancocelesti still sit 10th in the Serie A table after 15 matches, sitting four points behind fourth-place Roma.

Things have been better in the Champions League, however, and Sarri’s side have secured their spot in the knockout stages despite a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid in midweek.

Team News & Tactics

SS Lazio

Lazio will be unable to call upon the services of winger Gustav Isaksen, who is out with a quadriceps injury. Alessio Romagnoli is just returning from a calf issue, so he is unlikely to start against Inter. Mattia Zaccagni and Ciro Immobile are just one booking away from receiving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation.

Juventus loanee Nicolo Rovella could return in the holding midfield role after serving a European suspension, with Matias Vecino making way. But head coach Maurizio Sarri is set to make relatively few changes to the team that kicked off the midweek game in Madrid.

Sarri is likely to deploy his side in the free-flowing 4-3-3 system. Ivan Provedel should start in goal behind the back four of Adam Marusic, Nicolo Casale, Mario Gila, and Elseid Hysaj. Rovella’s return will give Lazio a strong base in midfield, allowing Matteo Guendouzi and Luis Alberto to pull strings and provide pressing intensity further upfield.

The big name missing in midfield is that of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia. The Serbian commander’s exit has proven harder to replace than expected, despite the arrivals of Guenduozi, Daichi Kamada, and Rovella, with those players still adapting to Sarri’s system.

Talisman Ciro Immobile’s legs are finally starting to catch up with him. The Italian striker has scored just four times in Serie A this term. He has even headed to the bench occasionally. But summer arrival Taty Castellanos is also tallying some subpar numbers, with just a goal and two assists to his name so far this term.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Provedel; Marusic, Casale, Gila, Hysaj; Guendouzi, Rovella, Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni

Inter Milan

Inter Milan will once again be without centre-back Stefan de Vrij and wing-back Denzel Dumfries this weekend due to injury, with the former dealing with an adductor problem and the latter out with a muscle issue.

Meanwhile, a setback on an Achilles injury could rule out veteran winger Juan Cuadrado. On the flip side, first-choice defenders Alessandro Bastoni and Benjamin Pavard should be fit for selection, allowing Matteo Darmian to deputise on the visitors’ right flank in Dumfries’s absence.

Simone Inzaghi made his priorities clear with his rotation against Real Sociedad, benching Bastoni, Nicolo Barella, and Lautaro Martinez even with first place at stake. The former Lazio head coach will likely revert to his strongest starting XI here.

Yann Sommer will start in goal behind a back-three of Yann Bisseck, Francesco Acerbi, and Bastoni. Barella and Mkhitaryan will be tasked with making forward forays and connecting the defence to the attack.

Hakan Calhanoglu will function as the defensive midfielder and will be in direct competition with Rovella to set the tone in midfield. How well the trio can function could determine the space the Lazio front three can operate in. Martinez and Marcus Thuram have been lethal as partners-in-crime upfront this season and will look to add to their respective goal tallies on Sunday.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Sommer; Bisseck, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez

Key Stats

  • Inter Milan’s away form has been impressive this term, as they have yet to taste defeat and only drawn once.
  • The visitors’ have won six of their last seven Serie A games.
  • Inter have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven Serie A matches.
  • Lazio are unbeaten in their last four matches at home against Inter Milan in the Serie A.

Player to Watch

Lautaro Martinez

Embed from Getty Images

Lautaro Martinez leads the Serie A Golden Boot race by miles this season, scoring 14 goals already, with the next-best Olivier Giroud netting only eight times. The World Cup winner is showing no signs of stopping and has enjoyed playing against Lazio in recent times, having scored four times in his last five matches, consecutively in the last two. He will be looking to continue his rich vein of goalscoring form on Sunday.


Inter Milan 3-1 Lazio

It has been an underwhelming campaign for Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio so far this season. But they have a commendable record at home, currently riding on a 10-game unbeaten streak across all competitions. Although the hosts will aim to put up quite the fight against the league leaders, they may ultimately be helpless at stopping an Inter machine that can blow any side away on their day.

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