Inter will be looking to put their recent Serie A struggles behind them as they take on Lazio in the Coppa Italia quarter finals on Thursday evening.
The competition provides Luciano Spalletti's side a chance to win their first silverware since 2011, when they lifted the Coppa Italia after beating Palermo in the final. Inter head into Thursday's encounter on poor form, however, failing to win in their previous two matches without finding the net.
The game will come as a welcome distraction from their Serie A woes against a Lazio side who equally have failed to taste victory in their last two matches, albeit narrow 2-1 defeats to Juventus and Napoli respectively.
Check out 90min's preview of Sunday's game below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 31 January|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 GMT|
|Where Is it Played?||San Siro|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 1|
Luciano Spalletti has a near full-strength team to choose from ahead of the showdown, with the only injuries affecting his side coming in the form of right back Sime Vrsaljko, who is out with a knee problem, and winger Keita Balde, who is in contention but will likely not feature.
The biggest miss for Lazio will be key midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who will be absent due to the yellow card he picked up against Juventus, meaning he is suspended for the tie. Other injuries for Simone Inzaghi's men are midfielder Adam Marusic as well as defenders Patric and Luiz Felipe.
|Inter||Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, de Vrij, Skriniar, Asamoah; Politano, Vecino, Brozovic, Mario, Perisic; Icardi|
|Lazio||Strakosha; Bastos, Wallace, Radu, Lucas; Parolo, Lulic, Berisha; Alberto, Immobile, Correa|
Head to Head Record
The two sides have played against each other 48 times, with Inter coming up on top 18 times as opposed to Lazio's 14 victories, with the remaining 16 matches ending in a draw.
Back in October, Inter produced one of their finest wins this season as goals from Marcelo Brozovic and a brace from Mauro Icardi secured an impressive 3-0 win over Lazio in Rome.
In fact, the last time Inter lost to Lazio in any competition was in the quarter finals of this very competition, exactly two years ago on Thursday. Two red cards were brandished on the day as Lazio secured their passage to the semi finals with a 2-1 win at the San Siro.
Inter have suffered somewhat of a dip in the last couple of weeks. Four wins out of five matches in the league had them pushing for second place in Serie A, however, a disappointing stalemate at home to Sassuolo was followed up by a 1-0 defeat away at Torino, which saw the dismissal of on-loan winger Matteo Politano. This last run of results have seen them fall eight points behind Napoli in Serie A.
Meanwhile, Lazio will be chasing their seventh Coppa Italia trophy after their league form has faltered, dropping them down to eighth in the table. Successive 2-1 defeats to Napoli and Juventus respectively mean they will be eager for a break from the difficulties of domestic life, despite performing valiantly in both those fixtures.
Here's how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:
|Torino 1-0 Inter (27/01)||Lazio 1-2 Juventus (27/01)|
|Inter 0-0 Sassuolo (19/01)||Napoli 2-1 Lazio (20/01)|
|Inter 6-2 Benevento (13/01)||Lazio 4-1 Novara (29/12)|
|Empoli 0-1 Inter (29/12)||Lazio 1-1 Torino (29/12)|
|Inter 1-0 Napoli (26/12)||Bologna 0-2 Lazio (26/12)|
With both sides eager for silverware this term, it could be an exciting encounter. However, with key midfielder Milinkovic-Savic missing for the visitors, this could well be Inter's for the taking.
Prediction: Inter 1-0 Lazio