Sunday, June 16, 2024

Prediction: Inter Milan vs Lazio

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 63/100

Bookmaker: ZetBet

In their last home game of what has been a very successful season, Serie A champions Inter Milan will host Lazio at San Siro on Sunday evening.

And while the match holds no competitive significance for the Nerazzurri and follows their thrashing of Frosinone, the Biancocelesti are still fighting for surety of a European spot for 2024/25 and come into it on the back of a home triumph over Empoli.

Inter Milan

After losing to lowly Sassuolo for the second time this season – their only two defeats of the campaign, Inter returned to their usual ways last weekend by smashing relegation-threatened Frosinone at Stadio Stirpe.

The Nerazzurri’s five goals—including one from Capocannoniere leader Lautaro Martinez—brought their season tally to 101, marking the fifth straight season they have surpassed the 100-mark across all competitions.

With their latest victory, Simone Inzaghi’s side has accumulated 92 points so far. Winning their final two matches would set a new club record, surpassing the 97 points earned in the 2006/07 season.

Inter’s defensive strength has been equally impressive, as they have kept 21 clean sheets in a Serie A season for the first time in their history. One more this week would tie the top-flight record held by their fiercest rivals, AC Milan and Juventus. Both rivals have been left trailing by Inter this season, though the Nerazzurri did not build on last year’s Champions League final appearance, exiting in the first knockout round.

Doing better in the quest for Europe’s top trophy will be one of Inzaghi’s goals for next season. More immediately, Inter host his former club Lazio, whom they defeated 2-0 in December’s reverse fixture and aim to achieve a league double over for the first time in seven years.

Team News

Former Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi is an injury doubt for this clash, but the rest of the squad are fit and available for selection. Along with Lautaro, defenders Alessandro Bastoni and Benjamin Pavard, as well as midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, should return to the starting XI after starting the Frosinone match on the bench.

Having netted 24 times in the league this season, Lautaro could become the third Inter player this century to reach the 25-goal mark, after Mauro Icardi (29 in 2017/18) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (25 in 2008/09).

Lazio

Following four consecutive losses to Inter at San Siro, with an aggregate scoreline of 9-3 in the Milan club’s favor, Lazio may travel to the northern city with some anxiety.

The Biancocelesti have a modest away record this season, so facing the freshly crowned Italian champions on their home turf is bound to be a tough test.

Nonetheless, a run of four wins from the last five outings has kept the capital club in contention for Serie A’s top six. If they can overtake arch-rivals Roma and Atalanta BC win the Europa League, Champions League qualification could be within reach. At the moment, they are in seventh place, four points behind Atalanta and one behind Roma.

More likely, however, is a spot in one of UEFA’s lesser competitions, an achievement that seemed uncertain when Maurizio Sarri left Stadio Olimpico under a cloud.

Since current coach Igor Tudor took charge, Lazio have accumulated a league-leading 16 points from seven matches—level with Inter and Atalanta—and only Bologna have conceded fewer goals.

Tudor’s side kept another clean sheet last time out, as Patric and Matias Vecino scored at the end of each half to secure a 2-0 home win over Empoli. Now, though, they face a much sterner challenge against Inter.

Team News

Tudor faces a dilemma regarding the position between the posts, with first-choice Ivan Provedel fit again and backup man Christos Mandas doing very well in his absence. The same goes for the role of the man leading the attacking line, where the choice lies between Taty Castellanos and Ciro Immobile.

One player who shouldn’t worry about his place in the team is winger Felipe Anderson, who has scored six goals against Inter so far.

Meanwhile, Alessio Romagnoli is suspended, and his spot in the back line should be covered by either Nicolo Casale of Mario Gila.

Conclusion

The Scudetto may be safely in their hands, but Inter are likely to aim for a club-record points tally and shouldn’t lack motivation. On the other hand, Lazio do need the points and will do whatever they can to hurt the Nerazzurri.

Still, an Inter victory seems likely, but Lazio should be able to score as well.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 63/100

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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