Serie A Preview: Inter - Lazio
The in-form Nerazzurri are looking to keep their hot streak of form going and could leap above the Roman visitors in the league standings with three points at San Siro
By Adam Scime
Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Nagatomo
Zanetti, Poli, Cambiasso, Alvarez
Zauri, Dias, Biava, Radu
Gonzalez, Ledesma, Lulic
After Wesley Sneijder played 80 minutes against Genoa in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday without any physical issues, the Dutchman will likely start in support of a lone forward with the in-form Diego Milito to get the nod ahead of Giampaolo Pazzini in attack, although Ricky Alvarez could make way instead if a 4-3-1-2 formation is utilised by Inter coach Claudio Ranieri.
Thiago Motta is suspended due to a booking in last weekend's Milan derby victory, so Andrea Poli should be given a berth in midfield after scoring his first goal for the club in midweek.
Diego Forlan's time at Inter seems to going from bad to worse as he suffered another thigh injury and could miss several weeks, while veteran Dejan Stankovic is out for a couple of months with an achilles problem and Sulley Muntari is at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana.
For Lazio, influential midfielder Hernanes looks set to start despite picking up a knock in last weekend's 2-0 win over Atalanta and, in spite of a minor injury contracted during training, captain Tommaso Rocchi should be able to start up front with summer signing Miroslav Klose, who has nine goals in 17 matches. Centre-back Andre Dias will face a late fitness test but is expected to be available.
However, Biancocelesti boss Edy Reja is likely to have to do without ex-Inter midfielder Cristian Brocchi, Lorik Cana, and Libor Kozak. Stefano Mauri's return from injury is not expected for at least one more month.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Inter have won six straight matches in Serie A, conceding only one goal during that stretch.
- Striker Mauro Zarate is on loan at Inter from Lazio, and the Nerazzurri have an option to buy the player at the end of the season.
- Diego Milito has scored four times in his last three Serie A matches.
- Lazio have only beaten Inter once in their past 15 attempts in Serie A, defeating the Nerazzurri 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico last season.
- The visitors are one point above Inter in the standings, sitting in fourth place on 33 points, and have picked up more points on the road (17) than at home this season (16).
- Cristian Ledesma and Senad Lulic are the only players to appear in all 18 of Lazio's Serie A matches so far during the 2011-12 campaign.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Internazionale 2-0 Lazio
- 16.28 %
FC Internazionale 3-1 Lazio
- 13.09 %
FC Internazionale 2-1 Lazio
- 12.29 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||May 8, 2013||FC Internazionale 1 - Lazio 3|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Dec 15, 2012||Lazio 1 - FC Internazionale 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||May 13, 2012||Lazio 3 - FC Internazionale 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 22, 2012||FC Internazionale 2 - Lazio 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 23, 2011||FC Internazionale 2 - Lazio 1|
|Dec 4, 2013||FC Internazionale 3 - Trapani 2||ITAC|
|Dec 1, 2013||FC Internazionale 1 - Sampdoria 1||ITA1|
|Nov 24, 2013||Bologna 1 - FC Internazionale 1||ITA1|
|Nov 9, 2013||FC Internazionale 2 - Livorno 0||ITA1|
|Nov 3, 2013||Udinese 0 - FC Internazionale 3||ITA1|
|-||Simone Del Nero||Midfielder|
After missing roughly two months through injury, the former Ajax star returns to a line-up that has fared well without him - there is no doubting his talent, but the playmaker will be keen to make an impression quickly in an attempt to seamlessly slot into a squad that has picked up several positive results on the bounce.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international will be going up against Maicon and Javier Zanetti, two energetic and industrious players, on Inter's right flank. His ability to slow them down and also exploit any space left in behind the Brazilian right-back could prove crucial to Lazio's cause at San Siro.
Having won six league matches in a row, Ranieri's men are looking quite solid, especially in defence and midfield, and, despite Lazio's penchant for doing well on the road this season, they have just two wins in their last five Serie A matches and are lacking consistency of late. The visitors have some weapons of their own but should still succumb as the latest victims of the hosts' victorious run.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed