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Why Serie A elites must take Lazio seriously this season

Inter Milan and Juventus take the centre stage, but Lazio are already knocking on the door
Inter Milan and Juventus take the centre stage, but Lazio are already knocking on the door
Jidonu Mauyon
ANALYST
Modified 25 Feb 2020, 23:48 IST
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Disclaimer: The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Sportskeeda.

Whenever it's time to talk about the most competitive leagues in Europe and the divisions in which the battle for the top crown always goes down to the wire, you'd likely place the Premier League at the top. The battle between Liverpool and Manchester City last season that saw the two sides claim 97 and 98 points respectively, explains it all.

Liverpool have raised the bar this term. None have been able to challenge Jurgen Klopp's high-flying side in the English top-flight, however, the Serie A could give us a close finale, with Juventus facing solid competition for the Scudetto.

The Bianconeri have been the dominant side in the Italian league for the past few years, with a huge gap between them and other teams in the division. They are currently on a run of eight consecutive league triumphs and are showing no signs of slowing down.

With Cristiano Ronaldo running riot in the attack, the team has become stronger than ever, but that isn't enough to scare off competitors. Inter Milan, for example, won't give up without a fight. Plus, they are doing so with great character.

The Nerazzurri snapped up Antonio Conte in the summer, and players like Diego Godin, Matteo Politano, Stefano Sensi, Alexis Sanchez, and Romelu Lukaku also joined to form a formidable team, capable of pulling down strongholds in the Italian top-flight.

Inter are determined to compete for the top prize, as they've been in an intense rivalry with Juventus since the campaigned kicked-off. Conte's men are two victories away from matching the point tally of their counterparts. They've bagged 54 points from 24 games so far - albeit with an outstanding game.

Inter also further strengthened the team by signing the likes of Victor Moses, Ashley Young, and Christian Eriksen during the winter transfer window. They have all eyes on them as we approach the final phase of the campaign. It'll be interesting to see if they could pick up their first league triumph in over eight years.

Meanwhile, as the Scudetto battle between Juve and Inter takes the centre stage, another side is also coming up almost unnoticed and could spring a surprise in the title race this term. What Lazio has done this season deserves a lot of recognition. The Eagles have as much chance as any of the other two title rivals and should be taken seriously.

Simone Inzaghi's men are on a decent run. They defeated Inter 2-1 recently to climb to the second position in the standings, and they are just a point away from matching Juve at the summit of the table.

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Lazio have bagged 59 points from 25 games so far, with the second-highest number of goals scored (58), and a goal difference of 35. They defeated Genoa, Parma, SPAL, and drew with Hellas Verona to make it a record of four victories and a draw in their last five matches - the best by any side within the same time frame.

The Eagles are showing us they have what it takes to go all the way, as the team are firing on all cylinders. Ciro Immobile currently tops the goalscoring chart with 27 goals. The likes of Luis Alberto, Lucas Leiva, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic make it easy to dominate games and also add creativity to the final third. Joaquin Correa and Francesco Ascerbi are also doing a great job, while Felipe Caicedo keeps coming on to score late winners.

They are a match for even the elite sides in the division. They defeated Juve 3-1 in their sole meeting this season and also saw the back of Inter in a 2-1 encounter last weekend.

Fortunately, they don't have the burden of expectation. That means there will be less pressure compared to their title rivals. Lazio is the dark horse in Serie A this season, and they stand a good chance to dethrone Juventus if Inter fails.

Published 25 Feb 2020, 23:48 IST
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