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Serie A: Juve’s Rivals Come Face to Face

Lazio vs Inter Milan

There’s a dramatic three-way battle unfolding at the top of Serie A and Juventus’ aim to win a ninth successive Scudetto is under serious threat.

Simone Inzaghi has guided Lazio through a momentous run which has lifted his side to within a point of the Old Lady. Meanwhile, Inter Milan’s challenge is as strong as ever, and they currently lead Serie A on goal difference.

This Sunday Lazio and Inter come face to face at the Stadio Olimpico, in the final match of the weekend, and the winner will take up the challenge to depose I Bianconeri.

 

Talking Points

Unstoppable Immobile

Lazio’s star striker has rarely been out of the Serie A 2020 news and his goals have fired I Biancoceleste right into the Scudetto race.

Ciro Immobile has been in sensational form this season, top-scoring with 25 goals, five ahead if Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo and eight ahead of Inter’s in-form forward Romelu Lukaku. When he scored a hat-trick against Sampdoria recently Immobile said he felt incomplete finishing a game without a goal.

Thankfully for Ciro that doesn’t occur that often. He’s scored the same or more goals than six Serie A teams on his own, and that list includes AC Milan who are also on 25! Immobile is not a one-man team though. Felipe Caicedo scored the only goal in Lazio’s 0-1 win at Parma last week as well as a brace in the 5-1 destruction of SPAL, and he’s a good source of supply to the top scorer, as are creative talents Luis Alberto and Joaquin Correa.

The Lazio boys have quick feet and they have won 13 penalties already this season, so Inter’s Diego Godin and his fellow defenders will need to proceed with caution!

 

Conte’s Premier ambition

Inter head coach Antonio Conte has packed his team with seasoned Premier League battlers. As manager of Chelsea, he had plenty of time to size up the players suitable to the Italian game and now he has five ex-Premier League players. The January signings of Christian Eriksen, Victor Moses and Ashley Young have already been blooded, while top scorer Romelu Lukaku and former Manchester United colleague Alexis Sanchez have been in Italy from the start of the season.

Conte’s title-winning team at Chelsea in 2017 was high pressing and it was defensively solid in a 3-5-2 formation and Inter looks pretty similar this season.

Add to that I Nerazzurri’s lethal cutting edge and you have title contenders. Inter’s second-half display against Milan in last week’s derby was simply sensational. Emerging from half time with a two-goal deficit they set about Milan with the ruthlessness of champions, putting four past their neighbours.

Felipe Caicedo strike help Lazio beat Parma 1-0 in Serie A
                                        Lazio’s Felipe Caicedo celebrates with teammate Senad Lulic after scoring his side’s 2nd goal

History

There’s a remarkable symmetry in the head to heads and recent form of these two Serie A giants. They have met 60 times since 1993, with both sides winning 20, and there have been 20 draws.

The last two meetings, both in Milan, have yielded a 1-0 victory to each side.

And recent form is identical, with both teams winning three, drawing two and losing one in the last six, in all competitions.

 

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