Supercoppa Italiana Preview: Inter - Lazio

Inter take on Lazio at Beijing's Bird’s Nest stadium in China for the first official encounter of the Italian season...
The Wait Is Over

As the long summer of transfer activity comes to a head, the start of the new season is finally upon us as last season’s Italian champions Inter prepare to face Coppa Italia winners Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana.

Both sides will be desperate to start the new season off with a bang, as they look to get their hands on some silverware and send out a message of intent for the forthcoming Serie A campaign.

Inter Demand The Season’s First Titulo

Jose Mourinho’s Inter will take to the field as firm favourites to lift the Supercoppa given their extensive activity on this summer’s transfer market. Following the high-profile departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it will be interesting to see how Samuel Eto’o and Diego Milito will combine together as they line up for the Nerazzurri’s first real test of character.

With Inter looking to start the season on the right foot, Mourinho’s men will be extremely wary not to underestimate the Biancocelesti given their performances in last season’s Coppa Italia. Taking into account Inter’s recent history in the Supercoppa Italiana, the Nerazzurri haven’t always had a walk in the park despite winning three of the last four editions.

Given Jose Mourinho’s reputation for motivating his sides in every competition, Inter will walk out in front of a packed Bird’s Nest stadium with only a victory on their minds. However, given the multiple air miles they  have racked up during pre-season combined with a distinct lack of training time, it remains to be seen whether their commitment to high-profile friendlies will cost them a little freshness for their first official game of the season.

Eagles Flying Over The Nest

Davide Ballardini’s Lazio will make the trip to Beijing confident of causing an upset as they look to validate their Coppa Italia triumph just three months ago. After paying for Mauro Zarate in full at the beginning of the summer transfer market, it should be interesting to see how ‘El Pibe De Haedo’ shapes up as he looks to repay the faith shown in Claudio Lotito’s €20 million investment.

With players such as Pasquale Foggia and Francelino Matuzalem stating Lazio’s intent to bring home the Cup, it looks very likely that the Biancocelesti will give their more favoured opposition a lot to think about for the duration of the game. Lazio’s run in last season’s Coppa Italia will certainly have given them inspiration in view of the manner in which they dumped out Milan and Juventus on the road to the final.

Despite the recent problems surrounding a contingent of want-away players, Lazio have enjoyed a thorough month of pre-season preparations. With coach Ballardini specifically opting not to put the side through any long-distance friendlies, it will be interesting to discover whether Lazio are in a better physical condition when they take to the field on Saturday.



30 July: Inter 1-0 Monaco (Pirelli Cup)
26 July: Milan 0-2 Inter (World Football Challenge)
21 July: Chelsea 2-0 Inter (World Football Challenge)
19 July: Club America 1-1 Inter (6-5 pens)


26 July: Lazio 13-0 Spal (Pre-season friendly)
18 July: Lazio 1-1 Universitatea Craiova (Pre-season friendly)
13 July: Auronzo Di Cadore 0-10 Lazio (Pre-season friendly)



Jose Mourinho is set to stick with his favoured 4-4-2 diamond formation as Inter shape up with four additions to last season’s spine. Despite the class in every department, the Nerazzurri appear to be lacking a little creativity in midfield. ‘The Special One’ is still waiting on a fantasista but he will have to wait till after the Supercoppa to get his wish.

Probable Starting XI (4-4-2):
Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Chivu, J.Zanetti; Muntari, Cambiasso, T.Motta, Stankovic; Eto’o, Milito


Davide Ballardini looks set to utilise a Mourinho style 4-4-2 diamond formation as he leads Lazio for their first official encounter since the departure of Delio Rossi. Three key absentees are Goran Pandev, Cristian Ledesma and Lorenzo De Silvestri who have all been left in Rome after expressing their desire to leave the club.

Probable Starting XI (4-4-2):
Muslera, Kolarov, Diakite, Siviglia, Lichtsteiner; Brocchi, Dabo, Matuzalem, Mauri; Rocchi, Zarate


Following his recent switch from Barcelona, it will be interesting to see how Samuel Eto’o shapes up in his first official encounter for the Nerazzurri. Given his reputation for scoring when it counts, the Lazio backline will certainly have their work cut out in keeping the Cameroonian quiet for 90 minutes.

Given his history with the Nerazzurri, it will definitely be an emotional game for Julio Cruz when he steps out against his former team-mates in only his first game for the Biancocelesti. With a strong reputation for scoring off the bench in recent years, it would be extremely ironic if ‘El Jardinero’ can make an explosive entry on Saturday and turn the game in favour of his new employers.


Following the Nerazzurri’s wealth of improvements during the transfer window, it is extremely hard to see past anything but an Inter victory. Given the Nerazzurri’s strength in attack it looks an almost impossible task for the Lazio backline to keep Mourinho’s men at bay for the duration of the game.

With Lazio intent on giving a strong account of themselves, Ballardini’s men will be aware they must take the game to the Italian champions and utilise the threat of Mauro Zarate to open the game in their favour. Given the Biancocelesti’s reputation for coming up trumps in one-off knock-out games, it would be foolish to rule out a potential upset.

Inter 2-1 Lazio

Stefano Federici,