The derby of the round in Italian Serie A will be played at Giuseppe Meazza, where defending champions Inter play host to high-flying Lazio.
Having lost to Milan and Parma in their last two away games, the Neroazzurri have dropped out from the title race, but they cannot afford to lose to Lazio as that would put their Champions League berth in serious doubt.
Inter are now three points clear of Lazio and four points clear of fifth-placed Udinese, but the hosts are aware a victory in this match would virtually ensure them third place in the standings.
The Coppa Italia victory over Roma, courtesy of Dejan Stankovic’s amazing goal, helped lift the players’ spirits, and the Serbian international is now 3.75 (11/4) with Paddy Power to score against his former club.
Samuel Eto’o is slowly recovering from a sprained ankle, but he should start on the bench, with Diego Milito and Giampaolo Pazzini set to form the attacking partnership. Ivan Cordoba is the only unavailable player at the moment.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-1-2): Cesar – Maicon, Rannochia, Lucio, Nagatomo – Stankovic, Cambiasso, Zanetti – Sneijder – Milito, Pazzini.
Lazio are set to battle with Udinese for the final Champions League berth and it is now clear that the race will go to the wire.
The Biancocelesti kept the one-point advantage over the Friulani following impressive victories over Parma and Catania, but it is the match against Inter that will be the real test for Edy Reja’s side.
The experienced coach faces serious selection problems before the trip to Meazza, with Beppe Sculli, Stefan Radu and Modibo Diakite all sidelined with injuries, while Matuzalem’s suspension is only making things worse.
However, Christian Brocchi has resumed full training and he is set to start in midfield alongside Cristian Ledesma.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Muslera – Lichsteiner, Biava, Dias, Garrido – Brocchi, Ledesma – Zarate, Hernanes, Mauri – Floccari.