The new format of the Supercoppa is here, and Coppa Italia winners Inter will take on Serie A runner-up Lazio on Friday evening.

A mid-season trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia? Why not. This year, the format of the Supercoppa Italiana has changed and Inter will play a semi-final. A reminder for those who may be unaware or have forgotten, the Supercoppa is now a mid-season ‘mini-tournament’, with two semi-finals and a final a few days later. The Serie A champion faces the Coppa Italia runner-up, and the Coppa Italia champion faces the Serie A runner-up. The winners of those two matches play in the Supercoppa final.

Inter has already faced Lazio this season and for the past few years, the Biancocelesti have given their former player and manager, Simone Inzaghi, some serious issues. This season was different. Inter travelled to Rome just over a month ago and came out unscathed in a 2-0 win over the hosts- with goals from the striker duo, Lautaro Martínez and Marcus Thuram.

From Inter’s perspective, they have come to Riyadh to win- and not saying Lazio hasn’t either. But Simone Inzaghi is among the winningest individuals in the history of the Supercoppa and is looking to extend his strong record. In the pre-match press conference, Inzaghi explained that Inter “has won it the past two years, so we will try to win it again”, continuing to say that the trophy is the “first of three objectives this season.”

Lazio manager, Maurizio Sarri, also voiced his opinion. Sarri stated that despite travelling 6,000 miles, his squad will, “do their best”. Furthermore, the 65-year-old complained that “this tournament is about anything other than sport”, claiming that it is a “take the money and run” situation- considering an increased prize pool of €1.6M for each semi-finalist, €5M for the runner-up and €8M for the winner of the trophy.

Despite the differences in opinions on whether this new Supercoppa format is a positive change or not, there will be three high-quality matches to watch between some of Italy’s top clubs.

According to SkySport, Inter is predicted to line up as follows (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Çalhanoğlu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Lautaro. Sky notes that Pavard is the favourite to start at the moment, but Yann Bisseck can not be ruled out due to the strong performance he had against Lazio previously. Sky also notes that Davide Frattesi is a candidate to start.

According to SkySport, Lazio is predicted to line up as follows (4-3-3): Provodel; Lazzari, Gila, Romagnoli, Marušić; Guendouzi, Rovella, Vecino; Isaksen, Felipe Anderson, Zaccagni. Sky adds that Mattia Zaccagni is in doubt, despite being tipped to start.

Inter-Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana semi-final is set to kick off on Friday, January 19 at 20:00 CET / 14:00 EST.