Lazio-Inter Preview: Reja handed tough tie on return to Biancocelesti hotseat

New Lazio coach Edy Reja will oversee his first game back in charge when Inter travel to the Stadio Olimpico on Monday.

The 68-year-old was announced as Vladimir Petkovic’s replacement on Saturday and will be looking to turn around the club’s fortunes after a disappointing run of form that has seen the Biancocelesti win only twice in their last 12 Serie A games.

Reja had an eventful two-year spell as Lazio coach between 2010 and 2012, when he guided the club to a fourth-placed finish and into the Europa League.

Inter arrive in the capital on the back of victory over city rivals AC Milan prior to the mid-season break and Walter Mazzarri’s side have only lost once in their last 10 league matches.

That win at San Siro moved Inter into fifth, but the side’s recent record against Lazio suggests they face a tough start to 2014. Lazio, who are 10th, have won the last three meetings between the two teams and four of the last six.

Lazio have also not had any problems finding the net on a regular basis this season, scoring in 13 of their 17 Serie A matches. However, along with Verona, they have conceded the most goals of any of the top 10 sides in the league with 26.

That record does not bode well ahead of the visit of the top-flight’s second-highest scorers in Inter, who have plundered 37 goals this season.

Inter midfielder Ricky Alvarez returns from suspension for the match and Diego Milito may also be fit following his thigh problems, but Inter will be without Saphir Taider, Cristian Chivu (both thigh) and the suspended Hugo Campagnaro.

Lazio have injury concerns over Stefan Radu ahead of the clash. The Romanian defender missed training with a muscle problem, but the club are still hopeful he will be able to play some part.

Biancocelesti captain Stefano Mauri is suspended for the clash.

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