With Serie A kicking off this weekend, Football Italia looks at the crucial fixtures for the top sides, Lazio looking to build on a strong 2016-17.
Having started the campaign in chaos after Marcelo Bielsa’s non-arrival, the decision to appoint Simone Inzaghi as Coach on a permanent basis paid huge dividends for the Aquile.
The former striker took a young side to fifth-place in Serie A, securing Europa League qualification, as well as the Coppa Italia final.
Having beaten Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana, there’s optimism surrounding the Biancocelesti, and we’ve taken a look at five of their key fixtures.
Lazio-Milan [Week 3]
Inzaghi’s side finished seven points clear of Milan last season, but the Rossoneri have spent big this summer.
Vincenzo Montella takes his side to the Olimpico in Week 3, and this will be a good opportunity for Lazio to judge whether or not they’ve progressed over the summer or merely stood still.
The top four is a realistic aim for the Aquile, but they’ll fear both Milan clubs have surpassed them with their summer transfer campaigns.
Juventus-Lazio [Week 8]
Lazio have a dreadful record against Juve, but may have started to turn the tide with their dramatic Supercoppa victory.
The Biancocelesti haven’t beaten the Old Lady in Serie A since December 2003, and were beaten by the Bianconeri in last season’s Coppa Italia final
A trip to Turin is difficult for any team, but for a club as big as Lazio their record against Juve is simply not good enough.
Inzaghi and his men will be hoping to finally break the hoodoo in Week 8.
Roma-Lazio [Week 13]
The Derby della Capitale will always be the most meaningful fixture of the season for both sets of fans, and the two capital clubs meet for the first time in November.
After a run of four derby defeats, Lazio defeated their city rivals in the Coppa Italia semi-finals a 3-1 win in April dealt a huge blow to Roma’s Scudetto hopes.
Acquaintances will be renewed in Week 13, and the removal of barriers at the Olimpico should see the full Derby della Capitale spectacle on display once more.
Napoli-Lazio [Week 24]
Napoli are another team against whom the Biancocelesti have a pretty dismal record in recent times.
Their last four meetings with the Partenopei have brought defeats of 5-0, 2-0 and 3-0, with a 1-1 draw at the San Paolo in November last year.
In his short coaching career, Inzaghi has proven himself capable of coming up with a plan to upset even the best sides, and getting one over on Maurizio Sarri would be yet another feather in his cap.
Lazio-Inter [Week 38]
Lazio are partly responsible for one of the most dramatic final days in Serie A history, beating Inter 4-2 in 2002 to hand Juventus the Scudetto.
The fixture is repeated in Week 38 of this season, and it could prove to be another momentous day at the Olimpico.
Both sides are aiming for the Champions League this season, while holding out hope of a Scudetto challenge.
Either way, they look set to be direct rivals in the coming campaign and their meeting on the final day has the potential for serious drama.