Across all major Leagues in the world from the PSL, EPL, Botola Ligue, La Liga and FAZ MTN Super League, undoubtedly the clash of the weekend is SS Lazio against Inter Milan tonight (21:45 SA time).
After the long years of Juventus domination and runaway championships, the tussle for the Scudetto (Serie A) this season has seen the new pretenders in Lazio and Inter.
Juventus lead the standings with 57 points from Inter (54) and Lazio (53).
This Sunday clash will follow immediately after the midweek Copa Italia clash and thus the stakes will be high in this crunch encounter.
The FARPost Technical Study Group will dissect the statistical angle, tactical implications and the role of the main players in this epic match.
1. Form status
Inter have won 16, lost 1 and drawn 6, under the guidance of Antonio Conte. In contrast, Lazio under Simone Inzaghi have accumulated 53 points, won 16, lost 2 and drawn 5.
In the last 5 matches the 2 teams have shown different form, Inter have won 2 and drawn 3, whilst Lazio have won 3 and drawn 2.
Thus, the form book paints a picture of a well balanced and juicy encounter ahead.
2. Tactical implications
Inter are a tactical machinery capable of changing their attacking approach from a rigid 1-4-3-3 to a magical 1-3-5-2 that is spearheaded by Romelu Lukaku and the young energetic Lautaro Martinez.
This Conte’ Inter mixes structure, tactical possession game and technical finishing that has seen the team score 48 goals and only concede 20.
Lazio must be praised for swimming with the sharks and surpassing Napoli who for the last 3 seasons have been consistently in the title mix. Inzaghi has transformed the teams style and implemented a resolute but flexible system that includes a 1-3-1-4-2 and 1-3-5-2 attacking operations that systematically relies on the lethal attacker Ciro Immobile and charismatic midfield genius Luis Alberto.
Lazio have been free scoring and delivering a massive 53 goals, conceding 20, hence their threat going forward cannot be undermined leading to this match.
3. The Key players
3.1 Lukaku and Martinez
The key players for lethal Inter side this season has arguably been the striking partnership of Romelu Lukaku and Martinez.
Lukaku has scored 17 goals and amassed 3 assists in 23 matches. His performance against cross city rivals AC Milan last week were he netted a brace crystallized his form since moving from Manchester United.
Martinez has been superb too, scoring goals and forming a potent attacking combination with Lukaku. Playing as a utility No10 and moving across the attacking 3rd lines in open play and transition moments created by his brother Lukaku, he has delivered 12 goals, 3 assists in 20 matches.
The 2 players ( Lukaku and Martinez) have scored 29 goals amongst themselves and coupled with their telepathic understanding, technical proficiency and free scoring ability they will be central in Conte’s tactical plan.
3.2 Immobile and Alberto
Immobile is without doubt the best forward in the world today and certainly the form player in Serie A. The free scoring Italian posses power, immense mobility, subtle and brutal physicality and an amazing appeal to score goals.
With 25 goals and 6 assists from 23 matches played, Immobile has set the bar very high and his goals have revitalized the Lazio campaign in this league where Juventus have been ever dominant.
As for Alberto, the Spanish maestro has been tactically magnificent for Lazio, scoring 2 goals with 12 assists in 23 matches.
But it is Alberto’s tactical positioning, versatility, decisive movements and midfield control that highlights his main contribution to the team success.
In the changing and dynamic Inzaghi tactical approach, Alberto is versatile and can play as a 2nd striker or as an advanced player in the midfield triangle.
The pundits have billed it as the Conte v Inzaghi and the Lukaku v Immobile challenge but nevertheless the 3 points and the stiff movement to dislodge Juventus as the champions of Italy will be at stake.
FARPost cannot wait for the match to start and for all the influential players to set the Scudetto 2019/2020 alight.
By FARPost Reporters