Lazio ready to pounce as Juventus, Inter Milan clash behind closed doors

MILAN (AFP) – Lazio are ready to pounce to hammer home their Serie A ambitions when they host Bologna tonight before title-rivals Juventus and Inter Milan clash behind closed doors in Turin because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Romans are one point behind leaders Juventus with Inter Milan six points adrift with a game in hand, after last weekend’s match against Sampdoria was postponed because of the virus epidemic in Italy. Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio are on a 20-match unbeaten run in the league as they target their first Scudetto in two decades.

The Serie A calendar has been thrown into turmoil by the spread of coronavirus which has infected 650 people and killed 17 in Italy.

Four matches last weekend were postponed, and five will be played behind closed doors this weekend. In addition to Juventus versus Inter Milan, the others are Udinese against Fiorentina; AC Milan at home to Genoa, Parma against SPAL and Sassuolo at home to Brescia.

Lazio will be able to count on their home crowd at the Stadio Olimpico as they push to pull ahead of the leaders.

But Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side have won four of their last five away matches and will be looking for their first win in Rome in eight years.

Juventus are reeling after their Champions League last 16, first leg defeat in Lyon, and need a result against Inter to keep their bid for a ninth Serie A title firmly on track.

“I am confident, because we are a united group,” said Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

“Let’s focus on ourselves, and do better starting on Sunday with Inter. For the return leg we want to secure a result in front of the fans.”