With defending champions Juventus heavily-favored to win their match against 19th-place Brescia earlier on Sunday, Serie A leaders Inter Milan and third-place SS Lazio — who are separated by just one point on the table — face what is likely their most important league clash so far in the 2019/2020 season — especially for the Rome side, who host the game and could potentially end the day atop the table.
Both clubs are enjoying strong seasons, with Inter challenging for their first scudetto since 2010 under new manager Antonio Conte — the same manager who guided Juventus to the first three titles of their current eight-championship run. However, after a disappointing eighth-place finish last season, Lazio also now find themselves in the heat of a title race thanks to a club-record 18-match Serie A unbeaten streak, according to Reuters.
Led by Serie A goal-scoring leader Ciro Immobile — who has tallied 25 in 23 games — the Biancocelesti now sit with 53 points, just one off the pace shared by Inter and Juve, though the Milan side occupy the top spot due to a seven-goal gap in the differential. But Conte still sees both clubs as "outsiders" in the title hunt.
"This is certainly a difficult game," Conte said on Saturday, as quoted by Reuters.
"Lazio are a consolidated reality in Italian football."
With little separating the two clubs on the table — and Lazio with a league-best +33 goal differential, and a second-best 53 goals — what are the odds on the hosts unseating the league leaders? According to moneyline odds published by Sports Betting Dime, that honor goes to the club from the Italian capital, who have been assigned a line of +138. In other words, a wager of $100 pays off $138, plus the original $100, in the event of a Lazio victory.
Inter Milan, despite leading the league, enter as slight underdogs at +181, while odds that the clubs end the game on level terms are set at +240.
On the other hand, according to Sempre Inter, history would appear to favor the visitors, who have won on all three of their most recent visits to Stadio Olimpico. In last season's corresponding fixture, Inter walked away with a convincing 3-0 win.
In the last 10 league encounters between the two sides, Inter have taken the victory six times, to just three for Lazio, with one match drawn. SS Lazio have not won an Italian league title in two decades, and have claimed the scudetto just twice in the club's 120-year history.
Kickoff in the Lazio-Inter match is set for 8:45 p.m. on Sunday night, Central European Time in Rome. In the United States, where the ESPN+ streaming service provides the only means to watch the match live, start time converts to 2:45 p.m. Sunday, 11:45 a.m. PST.