Inter and Lazio go head-to-head this evening, so Christian Vieri gives his verdict on his two former clubs, including the Romelu Lukaku-Ciro Immobile battle. “It’s the best title race in 10-15 years.”
It kicks off at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“Juventus have been dominating for over eight years and President Andrea Agnelli has reinforced the team every season,” Vieri told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“They have their own stadium, a star like Cristiano Ronaldo and fantastic organisation. However, Inter have bridged the gap so quickly and deserve praise. Antonio Conte and Beppe Marotta have been phenomenal, although I’d also give credit to Luciano Spalletti for getting them back into the Champions League.”
Lazio spent significantly less than either club, yet sit only one point behind them in the title race.
“It’s the best title race in 10-15 years and I think it’s going to be a battle right to the final round. Lazio surprised me, as it was unthinkable to see them challenging for the Scudetto. Igli Tare and Simone Inzaghi have done an extraordinary job, they have six-seven top club players, an excellent first choice XI and some very good alternatives too.
“As soon as Immobile touches the ball, it seems to go into the net, while he has support from Joaquin Correa, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Luis Alberto, Lucas Leiva, Francesco Acerbi and also a hard-working striker like Felipe Caicedo.
“I don’t think Lazio are going beyond their limits, because they are organised and credible. Don’t underestimate the importance of being out of Cup competitions, as they can focus on one game every seven days. It’s a huge opportunity for Inzaghi.”
Immobile is the Capocannoniere, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lukaku, so who does Vieri see winning out?
“Ronaldo is on a different level. He’s a beast, forever hungry for more success, matched with incredible quality. Lukaku is a pure centre-forward, devastating, physically strong, with a surprisingly delicate left foot. He works hard, holds up the ball, helps his teammates. Conte has helped Lukaku reach his physical peak.
“The pairing of Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez guarantees Inter both a present and future as a top club. They’re among the best three-four partnerships in the world, so considering their age and prospects, only PSG can compete with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar or Mauro Icardi.
“Immobile gives opposition defenders headaches, as he never stops moving and is incredibly difficult to mark. He’s more of an atypical striker, but is still lethal in front of goal, even with all that work. I respect him, he never stops working.”
Vieri is also impressed by Christian Eriksen’s arrival at San Siro from Tottenham Hotspur.
“Inter want to win straight away, but with Eriksen, they also build for the future. He has so much quality, can cover all the midfield roles and the fact he chose the Nerazzurri confirms the club has grown on an international level.
“He just needs to start training the way Conte wants, which means I can guarantee he’ll go to bed very early for a while!”
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