Long time no see. Itīs been a very long time that I have written a match-preview. I was fed up after the Milan loss, and felt quite pissed off with this season.
But Iīll make a brief comment and write a match-preview of perhaps the most important game in Serie A for us thus far. Unlike the famous May 5th, we arenīt playing this game for winning the Scudetto. Weīre playing it to gain a Champions League spot. What has happened to the Inter weīve seen the last three years or so?
The last time we won against Lazio was in 1998 (unless it was a Coppa Italia game Iīve missed). That should show how much we have struggled against Lazio during the years. Itīs quite weird, because if we consider that the last victory was in the Uefa Cup final, youīd think that that would be a very good motivator. But alas, we have been struggling ever since. There has been some spectacular games against them though, like the 3-3 game from last season. But never a win.
Will the win arrive coming Sunday? The chances are as usual impossible to know when it comes to Inter. We can either the field as the champions we can be, or we can play like a freaking amateur team, and this time we wonīt get a single point if we play like we played against Perugia for example. Thatīs the difference between playing Lazio and a small team. They wonīt hand us a victory, if we donīt do it ourselves. Can we do it ourself? Most likely not, if we look at the results weīve had against big teams this season. Itīs only Juve we have been able to beat (and that twice). So why would we this season stop this ghost Lazio?
Believe it or not, but Lazio are struggling with more injuries and suspensions than we do. This is a list of players that are doubtful and definitely missing this game:
Suspended: Liverani, Negro
Injured: Stam, Couto, Cesar, Gottardi
Thatīs many defenders first and foremost. Jaap Stam still has a chance to make it to this game. Iīm not so sure about Coutoīs fitness, but he walked out of the derby with an injury. A derby where we can consider us lucky (touch wood) because Liverani and Negro both picked up red respective yellow cards, so they are suspended for our game. Especially Liverani is a player who has been very good this year. Negro isnīt really a starter.
If Lazio are without all these, theyīll probably continue freezing out our old Colonnese. He never seems to get a game regardless of how many defenders that are missing. Favalli and Mihajlovic in central defence maybe?
Probably, and then we can count on Zac to screw things up. What does Mihajlovic and Favalli lack completely? Yes, pace! Will Zac play the fastest striker on this planet Obafemi Martins? Probably not! Because a certain Christian Vieri has during this week made a big fuss by refusing the bench, which more or less means that Zac just has to play him against Lazio or all hell will break lose. With Adrianoīs current form, heīs impossible to be benched, which will mean that the youngster Oba Oba will be the one who sits on the bench. Doesnīt necessary have to be a disaster because if Vieri and Adriano arent able to break their defence, we can always put on Martins in second half when their defence is even more slower. However, I strongly think we should utilize Martins weapon in this game. Hopefully heīll have an effective game.
Weird match for Stankovic. The 21st of December he was one of the protagonist for Lazio when they beat us by 2-1. Ten days or so later, heīs an Inter player and now he will face his old team. Itīs a good thing for him psychologically that it will be played at San Siro, even though youīd think that the Lazio fans wouldnīt hate his guts, especially when he refused to leave Lazio without them being paid. I even think he paid an amount to Lazio himself.
As a player he has become much better this month, after struggling real bad when he first came to Inter. Heīs starting to adapt, and this is what many people have missed with this transfer. When next season starts, he is adapted completely, instead of having to adapt when next season starts. Same goes with Adriano.
Inter has most of their players back, although there are still some question marks. The player I would like the most to see back on the field, is Emre. But he lacks match-fitness and I donīt know exactly how his fitness is.
Cristiano Zanetti is doubtful, according to Gazzetta. But I think he will make it. To have the Cristiano-Emre duo in central midfield with Stankovic in front of them, would be a tremendous weapon. We might win the midfield struggle with those players?
But of course, Zac will continue to use Helveg, so there we have already one player who isnīt good enough on this level. Put Zanetti and Kily on the flanks, dammit!
Recoba wonīt make it so him we can rule out. BUT!!!! Mimmo Kallon is back! His suspension is over and he is free to be selected. But seriously, just where will Kallon fit into this team? Zac has said ever since Kallon was found guilty that he lost an important player. Probably a bunch of crap, as Kallon will struggle to even keep a place on the bench. Or Kallon is great again and Cruz would now be the last in the picking line.
Will Inter win? I guess no. Itīs not our season to be able to break the habit of not winning against Lazio.