MX23RW : Tuesday, June 15 07:34:05| >> :120:45465:45465:
Feb 14, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at San Siro
Inter MilanInter Milan
3-1
LazioLazio
Lukaku (22' pen., 45'), Martinez (64')
Lukaku (26'), Hakimi (59')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Preview: Inter Milan vs. Lazio - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Lazio, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Currently one of Europe's most in-form sides, Lazio travel to San Siro to meet top-four rivals Inter Milan on Sunday evening.

The Nerazzurri will seek to quickly get over the disappointment of missing out in the Coppa Italia semi-finals during the week, while their resurgent visitors want to claim a seventh consecutive win in the league.


Match preview

Lautaro Martinez in action for Inter Milan on February 5, 2021© Reuters

After suffering cup elimination in midweek at the hands of bitter rivals Juventus - and having slunk out of European competition before Christmas - second-placed Inter now only have eyes for the Scudetto this season.

Head coach Antonio Conte and Juve president Andrea Agnelli grabbed the post-match headlines with a variety of audible insults coming from both sides after the final whistle. The relationship between the pair disintegrated in the summer of 2014 when Conte, who had won three Serie A titles in a row with the Turin giants, tendered his resignation just one day into pre-season.

Tuesday's incident marks the latest in a string of characteristic outbursts recently from the ever passionate coach and only highlights the pressure he is under to stop his club's season from ending trophyless once again.

Nonetheless, the Nerazzurri sit just two points behind Milan coming into this weekend's action, following a 2-0 win in their last league outing, against Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi. A victory which extended their latest undefeated run to five games also saw Inter take their impressive streak of consecutive clean sheets in Serie A to four.

Conte has found a way to give balance to a side that have been out in front as top scorers in the league for several weeks now, by racking up successive shut-outs against Udinese, Juventus, Benevento and now Fiorentina.

Inter have been particularly tough to beat at home this season too, with eight wins and just one loss from their 10 top-flight contests to date. In fact, against Lazio, they are looking to extend a seven-match winning run at San Siro dating back to late October.

Lazio players celebrate Ciro Immobile's goal against Borussia Dortmund in October 2020© Reuters

Another Ciro Immobile goal, assisted by his long-time foil Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, proved to be enough to defeat lowly Cagliari last week, as Lazio continued their surge up the Serie A table.

The European Golden Boot winner has now hit the net in eight of his last ten matches, while Milinkovic-Savic has chipped in with four goals this season - allied to a healthy tally of six assists - and both men have a track record of proving a major threat in important games.

Certainly, the cavernous surrounds of Stadio Giuseppe Meazza - albeit bereft of supporters - would be a suitable setting for Immobile to register his 150th Serie A goal. Currently on 149, the former Borussia Dortmund man could become the fastest to reach such a milestone (in 245 appearances) among players who made their debut in the three-points-for-a-win era.

Even on the rare occasions he has failed to strike gold lately, Lazio have found the net - in a long spell of 17 league games - with the last time they went on a longer such run being back in 1994. The Biancocelesti have also gained the most league points of any team in 2021 and are the only unbeaten side this calendar year.

On the road this season, Simone Inzaghi's side have accumulated six wins and two draws from ten games, so have every reason to travel north in confidence. As a result of their sparkling form, they are now level on points with Roma and can even close the once yawning gap to Inter down to a manageable four by claiming a win on Sunday.

With just a week to go until they resume Champions League duty with a mouthwatering clash against holders Bayern Munich, things are looking bright for the Biancocelesti once more.

Inter Milan Serie A form: LDWDWW
Inter Milan form (all competitions): DWWLWD

Lazio Serie A form: WWWWWW
Lazio form (all competitions): WWWLWW


Team News

Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte pictured on January 23, 2021© Reuters

Inter coach Antonio Conte has almost a full hand from which to choose ahead of Lazio's arrival in the second city, with only Arturo Vidal - out with a knee injury - unavailable.

Though Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolo Barella are near-certainties to start, there remains some doubt around the other spot in the midfield trio, as Roberto Gagliardini, Christian Eriksen and Stefano Sensi are all in contention for a start in Vidal's absence.

Ivan Perisic and Ashley Young are again in direct competition for a place on the left, with midweek starter Matteo Darmian likely to be demoted to the bench.

Simone Inzaghi, who sets his XI up in a similar fashion to that of Conte's, still has goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha (knee) and defender Luiz Felipe - who recently underwent season-ending ankle surgery - out of action, but could have both Danilo Cataldi and Felipe Caicedo back in the fold this weekend.

Pepe Reina therefore continues in goal, while Patric and Mateo Musacchio must compete for the place traditionally reserved for Luiz Felipe in the Lazio back three.

Both Luis Alberto, recently recovered from appendicitis, and Francesco Acerbi left training early on Wednesday as a precaution but are expected to be fit to start - though midfielder Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro's availability is uncertain - as Inzaghi keeps a largely settled side.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Perisic; Martinez, Lukaku

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Patric, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Marusic; Correa, Immobile


SM words green background

We say: Inter Milan 2-2 Lazio

In a finely-balanced fixture, all possible outcomes could occur - as Inter's bulldozing home form comes up against Lazio's stunning start to 2021.

The visitors' red-hot front line can certainly breach the Nerazzurri's increasingly miserly defence at least once, but Romelu Lukaku is due to get back on the scoresheet after firing a few rare blanks and could rescue a valuable point for the hosts.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420

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