While Claudio Lotito and Vladimir Petkovic fight it out in the courts, Edy Reja has officially been installed on the Lazio bench for a second stint in charge. He inherits a team hovering just six points above the relegation zone and with a solitary win in eight domestic games. Last season's Coppa Italia triumph seems a distant memory.
Inter arrested a run of four games without a win by defeating city rivals AC Milan 1-0 before the Christmas break. New club President Erick Thohir has promised coach Walter Mazzarri funds to strengthen the squad during the January transfer window, as he looks to solidify the Nerazzurri's position as a top five team. Their form has been very Jekyll and Hyde up to this point. An early 7-0 thrashing of Sassuolo was supposed to set down a marker for the season, but since then, the club has shared six goals with both Torino and Parma and suffered heavy losses to title contenders AS Roma and Napoli. The derby victory couldn't have arrived at a more opportune time.
Coming into this round of games, Inter were second only to Juventus in terms of goals scored. Lazio continue to rely on Miroslav Klose for goals and have sorely missed the German, who's endured an injury hit season so far. His brace against Livorno in the penultimate game before Christmas took him to four for the season. Petkovic's reluctance to deviate from a 4-1-4-1 system made Lazio a predictable opponent and morale took another hit after a crushing 4-1 defeat at Serie A newboys Hellas Verona last time out.
Lazio are sweating on the fitness of Stefan Radu. The defender has missed training with a muscle complaint, but has been included in the squad. Alvaro Gonzalez has also returned to training following a wrist injury. Stefano Mauri remains suspended for his failure to report match fixing allegations.
Ricky Alvarez returns from a ban to boost the visitors, who are without long term injury victims Cristian Chivu and McDonald Mariga. Saphir Taider is out for a fortnight with a left adductor problem and Hugo Campagnaro misses the game through suspension. Wantaway striker Ishak Belfodil has been named in the squad along with flu victim Mauro Icardi, who will be assessed by medical staff before the game. Diego Milito is expected to return to the bench after an injury ravaged 2013.
Lazio completed a league double over Inter last season and have won the last three meetings between the two sides at the Stadio Olimpico.
Lazio injuries and suspensions
Out: Stefan Radu (in doubt) Stefano Mauri (suspended)
Inter Milan injuries and suspensions
Out: Cristian Chivu, McDonald Mariga, Saphir Taider (injured) Hugo Campagnaro (suspended)
Lazio: (4-2-3-1) Marchetti; Konko, Cana, Dias, Radu; Onazi, Biglia; Lulic, Candreva, Hernanes; Klose
Inter Milan: (3-5-1-1) Handanovic; Rolando, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Nagatomo; Kovacic; Palacio
Match Date/Time: Monday 6th January 2014, 6:30 p.m. local, 12:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
TV: Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy) beIN Sport Play, RAI Internazionale (U.S) BT Sport 1 (UK)