Lazio vs Inter Milan, Preview: Petkovic vs Stramaccioni

Giuseppe Bellini

Two Serie A coaches in their first full seasons in charge meet on Saturday night at the Stadio Olimpico.

Fourth place Lazio entertain second place Inter Milan, with just four points separating both sides. The Biancocelesti need a win to keep up with the Champions League places, while the Nerazzurri will be looking to stay in touch with league leaders Juventus.

The home side come into the game unbeaten in eight games in all competitions. The visitors have lost their last two games away from the San Siro. They have also lost this fixture for the past two seasons, going down 3-1 on both occasions. However, a comfortable victory over Napoli last weekend will see Andrea Stramaccioni's side arrive in good form.

A man who knows both sides well, Juan Sebastian Veron, will be in attendance as the guest of honour. Lazio's current heir to their former Argentinean playmaker is fellow South American Hernanes. The Prophet has been the subject of recent interest by Saturday's opponents and has six league goals to his name already this season.

Miroslav Klose is back to full fitness after a cameo appearance in Monday's disappointing stalemate at Bologna. The return of both Mauro Zarate and Sergio Floccari will further boost Vladimir Petkovic's attacking options from the bench.

Both Luis Cavanda and Libor Kozak miss out through suspension. Former Lazio duo Dejan Stankovic and Gaby Mudingayi miss the trip through injury and are joined on the sidelines by fellow absentees Cristian Chivu and Joel Obi. There is still no way back for Wesley Sneijder as his contract dispute rumbles on.

Rodrigo Palacio, Antonio Cassano and Diego Milito are expected to lineup in attack for the away side.

Lazio injuries and suspensions
Out: Andre Dias, Cristian Brocchi, Ederson, Tommaso Rocchi (injured), Luis Cavanda, Libor Kozak (suspended)

Inter Milan injuries and suspensions
Out: Dejan Stankovic, Joel Obi, Cristian Chivu, Gaby Mudingayi (injured)

Match Date/Time: Saturday 15th December 2012 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

TV: Premium Calcio, RAI Sport 2, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy) beIN Sport, RAI Internazionale (U.S.), ESPN (U.K.)

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