Italian Serie A – Lazio vs Inter Milan

We could be in for a dramatic evening at the Stadio Olympico in Rome on Sunday night as Lazio host Inter Milan in a straight shoot-out for the final Champions League spot. Lazio currently sit in 4th place, three points ahead of Inter Milan and with a better goal difference, meaning that Inter Milan need to win by four clear goals on Sunday to jump ahead of them in the standings. Whatever happens, this is sure to be a thrilling, tense encounter between two of the greatest Italian sides.

LazioLazio are somewhat stumbling towards Champions League qualification, with the capital city club drawing each of their last two matches against Atalanta and Crotone. Lazio took an early lead in their last game against relegation threatened Crotone, before falling behind in the match 2-1. It took a late goal from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to rescue a point for Lazio and it cannot be overestimated how important that goal was. If Lazio would have lost the game, a victory for Inter on Sunday would have taken them ahead of Lazio, but as it stands, they now need a four goal swing. Serie A’s top scorer, Ciro Immobile is out injured for Lazio and the Italian striker will be a big miss for the side from Rome.

Inter Milan

Inter Milan suffered a hugely damaging loss last time out at home against a Sassuolo side with nothing left to play for. Inter turned in a poor performance in front of their own fans and it took a late goal from Rafinha to give them any hope of getting anything out of the game. Inter Milan did win their last away game 4-0 against Udinese, and a repeat of that score line on Sunday would see them leapfrog Lazio into 4th place. Mauro Icardi currently trails Immobile by a single goal in the race for the Golden Boot and he will be looking to take advantage of his rival’s injury on Sunday to move ahead of him.

Talking Points 

  1. Inter Milan won this fixture 3-1 last season, but need to win by a four goal margin to overtake Lazio in the league standings.
  2. Lazio have conceded just 18 goals in 18 games at home this season, losing only four times.
  3. Inter Milan do have a solid away record though, losing just three times on the road this season.

Prediction

This is a huge game for both of these sides and it is one that may be difficult to decide upon an approach for Lazio. They know that they just need to avoid defeat by four goals or more and they will qualify for the Champions League, therefore you would expect them to line up rather defensively. That is simply not the way this Lazio side play though and when you consider that they are the top scorers in the league as well as having the worst defensive record of any side in the top eight, we could be in for an exciting game. I think Inter Milan will win the game, but I don’t think they’ll be able to win by a large enough margin.

Betting Tips (Coral) 

Lazio start this game as slight favourites at odds of 7/5, whilst an away win for Inter Milan is priced up at 7/4, with the draw available at 13/5. With Inter Milan needing goals, I think we can be sure that there will be plenty of goals in this one. Both teams to score looks like a sure thing at 1/2, whilst Inter Milan to win and BTTS at 10/3 could well be an excellent bet. I’m expecting Inter Milan to try and start fast in the game and so Over 2.5 Goals in the First Half at 5/1 could be a good long odds bet.

Inter Milan to Win and BTTS (YES) – 10/3 (Coral)