Lazio vs Inter Milan Prediction: Don’t expect a thriller

 | December 16 | 

6 mins read

lazio stadio olimpico scaled

The game of the week from Serie A is once more in that Sunday night TV slot as Lazio take on Inter Milan in a 19:45 kick-off (UK time), live on TNT Sports.

Our Serie A expert Daniele Fisichella has previewed the encounter and picked out two selections for the prime-time clash...

Lazio vs Inter Milan Betting Tips:

  • Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 4/5
  • Back First Goal between 31-60 Minutes @ 9/5

Two disappointing performances saw both Lazio and Inter finishing runners up in their respective Champions League groups.

But whereas for the Laziali qualification to the knockout stages of Europe’s top competitions represent a great achievement, for the Neroazzurri, who may now face one between Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, the 0-0 draw at home on Tuesday looks like a missed opportunity to boost their chances of repeating last season’s exploits.

However Inter, who, unlike Lazio, are still unbeaten in Europe, at the moment are a match to any team on the continent and Inzaghi has decided to rotate his squad in the last two games against Benfica and Real Sociedad to make sure last year’s Champions League finalists continue to stay ahead of Juventus in the Scudetto race.

This game on Sunday will tell if the ‘Demon from Piacenza’ (Inzaghi’s newest nickname) has got it right.

Inter’s Serie A campaign has been nothing short of excellent: they’ve got eight more points in the table compared to last season, the best attack (with 37 goals, fourteen more than Juventus and 21 more than Lazio), and top defence (7 conceded).

Recently financial constraints have forced Inter to look more towards the free agents market, and they’ve discovered themselves as one of the smoothest operators.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu (seven goals this season), who they picked from AC Milan two years ago at the end of his contract and lacklustre experience, is now regarded as one of Europe’s best midfielder.

Marcus Thuram (six goals and six assists in Serie A so far), this summer’s free transfer from Borussia Mönchengladbach, has provided spark to their forward line.

Add to the mix that Yann Sommer, for who they paid only 6.75 millions euros to Bayern, has kept 13 clean sheets in all competitions and it’s clear why this team is considered stronger than last year.

Lazio are in a diametrical opposite situation as they haven’t yet been able to reach last seasons heights, when they finished second in Serie A, two points ahead of their Sunday’s rivals.

With Maurizio Sarri in charge for his third year in a row you’d expect Lazio to continue their development as did Napoli between 2015 and 2018 where Sarri-ball became a trademark.

Three months into the season it is now clear that Lazio overachieved last year, and, after losing their best player, Milinkovic Savic (17 goals involvement in 2022/2023), in the summer, the squad should have been strengthened even further.

Team News:

Defender Alessio Romagnoli could return to the squad after missing the last six games due to a calf injury. However it’s more likely that Patric and Casale will start as centre-backs.

Rovella will replace Vecino, who played against Atletico Madrid, in the middle, whereas Pedro will make way for Felipe Anderson who’ll complete the front three alongside Ciro Immobile and Mattia Zaccagni.

On the Inter camp Serie A’s top goalscorer Lautaro Martinez (14 goals) will retrun to the starting XI after the Champions League game. Nicolo Barella will also replace Davide Frattesi.

With the absence of Denzel Dumfries, the only doubt for Inzaghi is whether to deploy Juan Cuadrado as a right wing-back or move Matteo Darmian in that position with Yann Bisseck (who made his full Serie A debut last Saturday against Udinese) playing as one of the three defenders.

French international Benjamin Pavard might be fit to make the bench, whereas centre-back Stefan De Vrii (a former Lazio player) is still unavailable.

Match Odds

The Serie A leaders are favourite (8/11) to get the three points as they won two of their last three away games (against Atalanta and Napoli).

However Inter are winless away to Lazio since October 2018 (3-0 with a brace from Mauro Icardi), and Maurizio Sarri has never lost a home match against the Neroazzuri (five wins, two draws) in his career.

The draw pays 13/5, the hosts have shared the points twice at home this season (against Monza and Roma), but there’s only been one draw in the last ten matches between these two sides.

The odds for Lazio to win are very high (4/1), last season the Biancocelesti won 3-1, thanks to goals from Felipe Anderson, Luis Alberto and Pedro, on Matchday 3.

Under 2.5 goals @ 4/5

Lazio’s start of the season has been the worse since 2015/2016 mainly due to their struggles to create chances and, as a consequence, score goals.

In Serie A they’re 13th for number of shots taken (171, 11.4 x game on average, worse than Cagliari and Lecce) and in the Champions League group stages ninenteen teams have had more attempts than Sarri’s men.

Yet they haven’t been as solid as last year when they kept 21 Serie A clean sheets, in fact so far they’ve conceded in ten out of 15 league games.

But more worryingly they seem to have lost the ability to control games, by slowing down the tempo or capitalise the opportunities to double their lead.

Despite often scoring first (10 times), Lazio have won just six games and squandered 10 points from a winning position.

Considering the importance of the match, Sarri would probably set up his team to wait for Inter’s moves, in the same way he did in the Champions League game against Feyenoord that his team won by the odd goal.

First goal time: 31-60 minutes @ 9/5

Inter will have to be patient especially at the beginning and make sure to use the extra man in midfield, against the 4-3-3 of Lazio, when they have the opportunity to break.

Having made more players’ rotations in mid-week perhaps gives Inzaghi a slight advantage but Inter will be aware of not exposing themselves to Lazio’s counter attacks.

This will be a fascinating battle between two of Italy’s most successful coaches in recent times.

In fact, Sarri and Inzaghi are in the top five for average points x game in Serie A since 1995, only Conte, Allegri and Ancelotti have done better than them.

Both teams need a win, but nobody will take too many risks.

In the end it will be a good game, but, as most Serie A big matches, probably a slow burner.

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