Inter come back home to an almost packed San Siro to try and keep their record breaking run alive when they take on tricky Torino. Kick-off on Sunday at 12:30CET.
There is no denying the feeling of elation and positivity radiating out of Appiano Gentile at the moment. The Nerazzurri have been on a record breaking start to the season where they have managed to win all their home games so far. Much of this turnaround in results and attitude has been attributed to the “Spaletti Effect” i.e. Luciano Spaletti’s ability to instill in the squad a sense of belief and unity that haven’t been seen any of the under-performing versions of Inter since the treble winning season. The “Spaletti Effect” hasn’t been limited to just the squad, it seems that the Inter faithful have caught the same bug; Inter currently have the 9th highest home attendance record in all of Europe and an incredible 65 thousand plus fans are expected to pack the Meazza on Sunday.
It seems that part of Spaletti’s success so far can be attributed to the fact that he’s kept faith in a core group of players, making sure that their consistent appearances together on the pitch led to the development of genuine understanding and chemistry between the players. Spaletti will be expected to once again field the same starting eleven on Sunday despite Yuto Nagatomo and Danilo D’Ambrosio’s poor performances against Hellas. Inter will hope to start the match aggressively and intensely looking to exploit Toro’s weak defense and putting the game to bed nice and early.
Despite suffering a torrid five-match winless streak, the return of Andrea Belotti inspired Torino to beat Cagliari last week and the team from Turin will look to carry the positive momentum from the victory along with them to the San Siro. Sinisa Mihajlovic will relish the prospect of sticking it to his previous team and will light the fire under his players’ bellies to make sure that they give their all in the match. While the Belotti threat will hopefully be dealt with ably by Joao Miranda and Milan Skriniar, the Inter full-backs will have to be extra alert to the threats posed by wide men Adem Ljajic and Iago Falque.
With the exception of young defender Zinho Vanheusden’s long term layoff, Luciano Spaletti has no injuries or suspensions to deal with when making the squad selection. Having said that, it might be noteworthy to realize that both Miranda and Roberto Gagliardini are one yellow card away from a suspension, and one should see if that has any impact on their normally physical performances.
Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; Nagatomo, Miranda, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio; Gagliardini, Vecino; Perisic, Valero, Candreva; Icardi (C)
Last Season: Inter 2 – 1 Torino
Last 10 Head to Head: While Inter have a bit of an edge over Torino with four wins to Toro’s two, it is important to note that the Granata’s two wins were at the Meazza and have come in two of their last three visits to Milano.
Keep an Eye on
Antonio Candreva: The Italy international winger has more than impressed in the last few matches. He has assisted three times in the last five matches and has taken some decent shots at opponents’ goals, coming close to scoring on more than one occasion. If Candreva can continue to show the same attitude and output, expect his name to appear on the score-sheet sooner than later.
Refereree: Daniele Orsato
Assistants: Di Fiore, Manganelli
Fourth Official: Abbattista
Additional Assistants: Tagliavento, Alassio
Prediction & Authors Note
Prediction & scorers: Inter 4 – 2 Torino with an Icardi brace, Candreva and Vecino finding the net for Inter.
Author’s Note: If the Nerazzurri start the match with the same intensity and organization as that of the Sampdoria game, then the match should be put beyond Torino’s reach within the first half. However expect Torino to be able to claw a goal or two back sometime in the second half. Hopefully by then Inter will have done enough not to suffer a nervy ending to the match.