Inter-Lazio Preview: Defeat could end Nerazzurri's European aspirations
The Biancocelesti are only one spot ahead of Andrea Stramaccioni's men in Serie A, and though a win can take the hosts above the visitors, a loss will be a heavy blow
By Miles Chambers
The pressure continues to mount on Andrea Stramaccioni as the coach attempts to hold together what looks like a crumbling campaign for Inter, who despite flirting with Champions League qualification at the end of 2012, could very easily miss out on Europe altogether without a win on Wednesday against Lazio.
Javier Zanetti's Achilles injury at the end of April sees him remaining on the sidelines for the rest of the season though Tommaso Rocchi and Esteban Cambiasso are likely to return to the starting line-up.
The visitors have a Coppa Italia final on the horizon (May 26) against arch-rivals Roma but will be well aware of the importance of this match in the scheme of things for a Europa League spot next season.
Vladimir Petkovic has no fresh injury worries heading into the San Siro visit and is likely to start with Miroslav Klose leading the line after the veteran striker's masterful performance on Sunday against Bologna.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Inter could end up five points behind their visitors should they lose on Wednesday. Europa League qualification would be very difficult, as at least a sixth-place spot is needed, but possibly fifth due to the Coppa Italia final yet to be played.
- The Nerazzurri have lost four of their last five league matches.
- One more defeat would make 15 for the season, which would be a worst-ever record for the Milan-based club in Serie A.
- Lazio smashed Bologna 6-0 on Sunday, with Miroslav Klose (pictured, right) the star of the show, netting five times. It was his first strikes in 2013 because of his injury-interrupted campaign.
- Both clubs have had a year to rue in Italy to date - they are in the bottom six of Serie A for points picked up since the turn of 2013.
- Vladimir Petkovic's men have not won away from home in the league since December 22, 2012 when they beat Sampdoria 1-0.
- The capital club have not beaten Inter at San Siro since the 1998-99 season, which saw them triumph 5-3.
Top 3 Predictions
Inter 2-0 Lazio
- 15.03 %
Inter 1-2 Lazio
- 14.43 %
Inter 2-1 Lazio
- 10.37 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||09-May-2013||Inter 1 - Lazio 3|
|Serie A (SR-A)||16-Dec-2012||Lazio 1 - Inter 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||14-May-2012||Lazio 3 - Inter 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||23-Jan-2012||Inter 2 - Lazio 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||23-Apr-2011||Inter 2 - Lazio 1|
|09-Dec-2013||Inter 3 - Parma 3||SR-A|
|05-Dec-2013||Inter 3 - Trapani 2||ITAC|
|01-Dec-2013||Inter 1 - Sampdoria 1||SR-A|
|25-Nov-2013||Bologna 1 - Inter 1||SR-A|
|10-Nov-2013||Inter 2 - Livorno 0||SR-A|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed