Not since 2011 have Internazionale had their hands on the Coppa Italia trophy. This may only be the quarter final, but this current squad will have their eye on rectifying that statistic.
Lets face it, Serie A is over. Juventus lead second placed Napoli by 11 points, and are a further 18 clear of Inter. Not only unbeaten in the league, the Old Lady have won the Coppa Italia every year since 2015. With the league out of sight, Inter will be desperate to wrestle away some of The Bianconeri’s dominance of Italian football.
Inter are also still competing in Europe, and look to have got a more ‘favourable’ draw as they head to Austria to face Rapid Wien. In order for their season to not be classed as a disaster, they have to win one of these competitions. A lack of silverware is unacceptable for a club of such calibre.
Lazio have been in patchy form and over the course of the season have really struggled against the bigger sides in the division. They let a one goal lead slip at the weekend to fall to a 2-1 home defeat to Juventus, they were comfortably beaten by Inter earlier in the season as previously mentioned, were beaten by Napoli and could only muster a draw against AC Milan. A win in this first leg is crucial, Inter must use the advantage of the San Siro before they travel to Rome. Inter are available at 2.15 to win.
When these two last met in October, The Nerazzurri ran out 3-0 winners. Mauro Icardi scored a brace, he has scored nine times this season but hasn’t been on the scoresheet since December in the league. He is priced at 4.2 to score first, or 1.8 anytime.
Both sides operate with a focal point in their attack, what many would refer to as a ‘proper number nine’. For Inter it is the prior mentioned Argentine: Mauro Icardi.
For Lazio it’s the powerful Italian, Ciro Immobile. Who was on target just 10 days ago and has helped himself to 11 goals in the league this season. Only four of these however have came away from home, but all he needs is one chance to improve on that statistic. If it’s Immobile you fancy to be in the headlines on Thursday night, you can back him at 6.0 to score first or at 2.4 for him to score at any time in the match.
Lazio have managed just 11 goals in their 10 away matches in Serie A this season, in addition to this, Inter have only conceded an impressive four goals on home turf; this is less than any other team in the top flight. Inter haven’t been exceedingly prolific at home, scoring 17 goals in the domestic campaign. It is their ability to hold leads and grind out results that has made them so successful, the partnership of Miranda and former Lazio man Stefan De Vrij has been the foundation of Inter’s victories this season. It is hard to decide how this game will go, for Inter they will want to be taking a lead to the away leg, but a slender lead may not do a lot for them. If they push on further to try and take a more meaningful advantage to Rome, it could open the game up and we may see more goals than the stats would suggest.
Then again, Lazio also have a decision to make on how to approach the game. With Inter having such a strong defensive record, the visitors may decide that sitting back hoping for a draw or maybe a counter attacking win is the best approach. This fixture has a very cagey feel to it. Under 1.5 goals is priced at 3.8 with under 2.5 available at 1.86.
Lazio have won just one of their last four games, and it was in the previous round of the Coppa Italia against Serie C side Novara. Inter have faired slightly better, winning two and drawing one of their last four. Goals have been at a premium for both sides, barring their last appearances in this competition. Lazio ran in four against Novara whilst Inter smashed six past Benevento.
Inter’s strength at home can’t be overlooked, and Lazio’s average performances and poor goalscoring on the road leaves them with a very hard task to get a result in this fixture.
Inter to win to nil @ 3.75
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.86
Icardi to score first @ 4.2