Mark O’Haire’s European Football Tips – Lazio v Inter Milan
Inter Milan’s showdown with Udinese last weekend was the first in Serie A history not to feature a single Italian in either starting XI but the three points picked up in a 3-1 success has kept Roberto Mancini’s men on track in their quest for European football next season.
Lazio v Inter Milan, Sunday 1 May 2016 (19.45), BT Sport Europe
The Nerazzurri head coach has refused to concede a top-three finish despite the side appearing set for fourth and the Udinese victory at least impressed representatives from China’s Suning Commerce Group, who are said to be close to buying a minority stake in the club.
Eder finally grabbed his first goal for the club and the buoyant mood around the San Siro can help lift Inter towards another positive performance this weekend as they travel to the capital with a fully fit squad to select from.
In contrast, Lazio’s injury problems have shown little sign of giving way and although Miroslav Klose is ready to return to the fold, the Biancocelesti are short on numbers and shorn on confidence after slipping to back-to-back defeats.
Last season the Romans impressed on their way to a top-three finish but little has gone Lazio’s way this term. The initial bounce when Simone Inzaghi was parachuted in to takeover from the axed Stefano Pioli has subsided and the capital club look to be sleep walking towards the campaign’s conclusion.
The hosts trail Inter by 16 points in the Serie A standings and have picked up just four wins from their last 14 matches – all against teams currently below them in the table. With their own European ambitions long gone and six defeats in eight when hosting top-six opposition at the Stadio Olimpico, Lazio look vulnerable.
Inter’s habit of frequently throwing away chances to win has cost the visitors on numerous occasions and Mancini’s men have struggled away from home in 2016. But it’s perhaps significant that the only matches they have lost since the start of March are the ones that Geoffrey Kondogbia has missed. He is expected to start on Sunday.
Since arriving at San Siro, Mancini’s led the Nerazzurri to a decent W13-D9-L9 in games as Serie A guests and although four of those nine defeats have arrived in their last eight away outings, Lazio’s tally of four home triumphs in 12 is far from formidable.
The hosts have failed to record maximum points when welcoming Roma, Sassuolo, Napoli, Juventus and Milan during that recent sample and their tale of woe when taking on the league’s elite could easily be extended here and…
so I’m happy to oppose the overrated Biancocelesti and back Inter in the Draw No Bet market at even-money.
Inter Milan draw no bet (Evens)
*Prices correct at time of publication.