As the resolute Nerazzurri prepares to host free scoring Le Aquile at the San Siro early on Saturday evening, we look ahead to three key battles where the game could be won or lost.
Inter have made an impressive start to their league campaign, sitting third in the table with just two defeats, while Lazio are 5th and are the second highest scorers in Serie A – behind defending champions Juventus.
This should be an interesting encounter that will keep those fans watching captivated.
3. Luciano Spalletti vs Simone Inzaghi
It will be exctitng to see both managers do battle on the touchline. Inter’s Spalletti has shown consistently that he is a coach that encourages his sides to play attractive football in the way it was intended, but has the tactical nous to change formation and personnel if things are not working as he had intended.
In Inzaghi, Lazio have a manager that has earned his opportunity after being the club’s youth team coach and learning his trade. Indeed, Inzaghi’s approach is organised, direct, and effective: his ethos very much on the counteract, a direct style with plenty of long balls played quickly forward. This suits his attackers especially Ciro Immobile who has thrived on this type of service.
Contrasting styles of management and ethos, but a battle that will make intriguing viewing.
2. Samir Handanovic vs Ciro Immobile
Lazio’s Ciro Immobile is bound to test the resolute Inter defence; his speed and finishing ability will cause problems especially after scoring 16 league goals so far this season, the Italian international will be brimming with confidence and he thrives on that ball over the top.
Inter’s Slovenian international goalkeeper Samir Handanovic will need to make sure his defence is well organised, disciplined and restricts the striking opportunities of Lazio’s potent attacking threats.
Good starting positions will enable him to snuffle up any misplaced passes behind his defence.
1. Mauro Icardi vs Stefan de Vrij
Lazio’s defenders can expect a testing afternoon at the San Siro on Saturday. Stefan de Vrij will need to marshall the troops and will have the responsibility of marking Inter’s captain and lead striker Mauro Icardi.
The Dutch international will need to be alert from the first whistle monitoring the Argentine’s clever runs and movement. By restricting the space the striker creates for others and reducing Inter’s goal scoring opportunities will be essential for Lazio being able to take something positive from the game.