Just one day after Christmas, Matchday 18 of the Serie A TIM is set to take place. For Simone Inzaghi and Lazio, they will be traveling to the region of Emilia-Romagna to take on Filippo Inzaghi and Bologna – a clash in which many Calcio fans have deemed as the ‘Inzaghi Bowl’ with the two Italian brothers facing each other for the first time in a managerial mind game.
Lazio comes into this match currently sitting in fourth position in the table with 28 points; Inter sits above them in third with 33 points and below them are an abundance of clubs from Milan in fifth, to Rome in tenth, who are waiting for their chance to pounce and move up the table. They have scored 25 goals and conceded 20, with a total record of 8W-4D-5L so far this season; in their last three matches in the championship, the Biancoceleste have a record of 1W-1D-1L. Filippo Inzaghi will have to remain cautious as the Roman club’s last match against Cagliari, in which they won 3-1, was the match that snapped a seven-match winless streak in all competitions.
Bologna comes into this match currently sitting in the last relegation spot: 18th of the 20 Serie A TIM clubs. Above them lie Udinese, SPAL, Empoli, and Cagliari who remain reachable, whilst below them are only Frosinone and Chievo. They have scored 13 goals and conceded 24, leaving them with a -11 goal differential. They have a total record of 2W-7D-8L so far this season and in their last three matches have lost against Empoli and drew against Milan and Parma.
An older-aged squad, Bologna have a team composed of experience. Mattia Destro, Diego Falcinelli, Blerim Dzemaili, Andrea Poli, Rodrigo Palacio, Sebastien De Maio, Danilo – these are all footballers who have spent most of their career in the top flight of Italian football. Most would usually choose one of the aforementioned players in relation to an individual to watch, however, our ‘One-to-Watch’ this week is a new face to the league: Federico Santander. The Paraguayan is the leading scorer for Filippo Inzaghi with four goals and has also provided two assists in his first year in Italy. At 27 years of age, the striker is a big body who can cause trouble in the box if a chance is given to him; Lazio’s three defenders will have to be sure to remain sharp in the air and in their marking to prevent the striker from adding to his goal tally.
BOLOGNA (3-5-2): Skorupski; Calabresi, Danilo, Helander; Mattiello, Poli, Nagy, Svanberg, Mbaye; Santander, Palacio.
LAZIO (3-5-1-1): Strakosha; Wallace, Acerbi, Radu; Marusic, Parolo, Leiva, Milinkovic, Lulic; Luis Alberto; Immobile.