As Inter travel south to Calabria to face last season’s tormentors Crotone, all hopes will be pinned on securing a fourth straight win to continue the bright start to the season. Match on Saturday at 15:00 CET.
With three wins from three, Inter go to Crotone looking for blood to avenge last season’s surprise defeat to the then newly promoted underdogs. Spaletti’s vision seems to become clearer with each game; Inter’s infamous mid-match mental holidays are becoming less frequent and the side is more ready to snap out of them.
Expect the attacking quartet of Ivan Perisic, Joao Mario and Antonio Candreva in support of the platinum blond Mauro Icardi to remain unchanged. The only real question mark in terms of starting eleven will probably be regarding who of Matias Vecino or Roberto Gagliardini will start alongside Borja Valero in the center of the pitch.
Despite Crotone having only gotten one point and not managing to score a single goal so far this season, they have only conceded a one goal in their previous two matches and their defensive discipline will be in full force this Saturday. Coach Davide Nicola has proven himself a great motivator and tactician when engineering his side’s escape from relegation last season.
It doesn’t appear that Dalbert’s groinal discomfort from last week’s match has carried forward this week and so he will be expected to start ahead of Yuto Nagatomo in the left-back position. Yet again, Spaletti only has Joao Cancelo’s injury to deal with when selecting his squad.
Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; Dalbert, Miranda, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio; Vecino, Valero; Perisic, Joao Mario, Candreva; Icardi (C)
Last Season: Crotone 2-1 Inter
Last 10 Head to Head: This match will be the third ever encounter between both sides, with either side picking up a win each in the previous two matches.
Keep an Eye on
Ivan Perisic: Since the start of the season and his recent signing of his contract renewal keeping him with the Nerazzurri until 2022, Perisic has been a man on fire. After his wonder goal SPAL last week all eyes will be in Ivan the terrible and whether he can replicate the form of the first three matches.
Referee: Luca Banti
Assistants: Dobozs, Giallatini
Fourth Official: Pezzuto
Additional Assistants: Damato, Marini
Prediction & Authors Note
Prediction & scorers: Crotone 0-2 Inter with Icardi and Perisic scoring.
Author’s Note: While many Interisti will remember last season’s abysmal performance by the Nerazzurri in the corresponding fixture, it is difficult to imagine the same set of extraordinary circumstances being repeated. That does not mean that the game will be a walk-over, Inter will be made to work for the three points, but I believe they will return to Milano with their perfect record intact.