Preview: Inter vs. Chievo – The Bid for Top Spot Gets Serious

December 2, 2017 11:00
( 53 ) Comment

Having taken care of business at Sardinia against Cagliari last week, Inter have the oppurtunity to go top of the table all by themselves with a home win against Chievo. Kick-off on Sunday at 15:00CET.

Despite having come back with all three points from their trip to the South last week, it is undeniable that Cagliari had Luciano Spaletti’s men in a world of trouble in the first 30 minutes and save for some Samir Handanovic and Mauro Icardi heroics, the final result might have been different.

It also a fact that Inter struggle to break down well organized defenively resilient sides. And few sides are as defensively gritty as Rolando Maran’s Chievo. The Flying Donkeys from Verona have established themselves as a perennial top flight presence based on a no nonsense defense first style. Matias Vecino and Roberto Gagliardini’s absence might be a blessing in disguise since Spaletti might be thus forced to play the more creative Joao Mario and Marcelo Brozovic in their stead, allowing more room for the side to express itself in Chievo’s final third.

It is also important to remember that Chievo are a side very capable of snatching a goal on the counter-attack. In the on-loan Roberto Inglese, they possess a promising an in form striker who can more than trouble stand-in central defender and walking calamity Andrea Ranocchia. Ranocchia and Skriniar will be without the usual midfield defensive cover and as such, the full backs will probably be instructed to stay back. It is not beyond the realm of possibility to imagine Danilo D’Ambrosio playing as a hybrid central defender in a faux back three.

While it’s become a bit of a cliche to refer to each match as a season defining encounter, but recent history has taught us that the post treble Inter always crumbles when the stakes are high. If the Nerazzurri are able to overcome their nerves, self destructive tendencies and key personnel absences then Spaletti’s mental work will have far exceeded the highest expectations.

Team News

Dominating the news out of the Inter camp is the potential recovery of Matias Vecino from his injury, however even if the Uruguayan midfielder is available for selection, it will be unlikely to see him in the starting lineup. Missing the match due to yellow card accumulation will be midfielder Roberto Gagliardini and defender Joao Miranda.

Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; Nagatomo, Ranocchia, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio; Valero, Brozovic; Perisic, Joao Mario, Candreva; Icardi  (C)


Last Season: Inter 3 – 1 Chievo

Last 10 Head to Head: In the last ten games Inter possess a far superior record to that of Chievo’s with the Nerazzurri winning six matches to Chievo’s two wins. Chievo have not won at the San Siro since 2001.

Keep an Eye on

Andrea Ranocchia:  The error prone defender has a once-in-a-blue-moon chance under Spaletti to stake his claim as a reliable central defensive backup to the Miranda-Skriniar duo. It will be interesting to see if he will finally rise to the occasion or continue his career long string of underachievements and disappointments.


Refereree: Gianpaolo Calvarese

Assistants: Carbone, Bindoni

 Fourth Official: Piccinini

Additional Assistants: Guida, Ranghetti

Prediction & Authors Note

Prediction & scorers: Inter 1 – 1 Chievo with a Perisic goal for Inter.

Author’s Note: While the brilliant mental work Spaletti has done on the squad so far has been undeniable, I believe that the mental and moral “heaviness” of this match is still a bit much for the collective psyche of players to bear at this moment.

By Mohamed Nassar
  • grilliant

    Gonna watch benevento – milan, hoping puscas will score and get the first win for benevento this season just to piss off some milan fans tomorrow

    • Stefano

      It’s fun to watch Benevento’s fans enthusiasm after 14 games 14 losses ,worst negative record ever.
      They are still more enthused than ever.
      Gotta love them.

  • harendro
    • Stefano

      I have been watching the training sessions matches videos these days and I can bet it’s going to be JM and Valero side by side ,in front of the defense, with Brozo trequartista.

      Also,small detail ,but everybody has it wrong:
      Spalletti these days always tested Ranocchia centre right ,where Skriniar used to be ,while Skriniar goes centre left,in Miranda ‘s place.

      JM-Valero duo side y side as holding midfieledrs was already tested versus Shalke04 in the summer and actually worked really well, our play flew really well in that summer friendly game.

  • Stefano

    I am going to watch Benevento Milan.
    Not that my hope level on Benevento it’s too high but.. who knows?
    Milan is giving us so much pleasure this season.

    • Aaron

      That’s a great game to watch …I can’t wait to see how gattuso sets them up.

      • Funny thing how Milan let’s all there icons take the first team with no real experience. They are bound to fail and be remembered for it. Even as a caretaker untill the summer, I think Rhino will suffer the same fate as Seedorf, Leo and Inzaghi.
        Things are going horrible for our “cousins”. At least Montella had some experience.

        • Stefano

          well ..I don’t think it’s probably going to happen ..BUT if they concede Benevento their first points it’s the last nail in the coffin of their season..

          • Well, I guess that was it then. Sad really.. Do you happen to know anything about the FFP? Will Milan be forced into a firesale if they don’t reach CL?

          • Stefano

            They are in the deepest , deepest shiite.
            Even some representatives of the italian parlament started an official inquiry to investigate on the unusual and not so credible details of the AC.Milan sale.
            Many things are coming out, starting from the most obvious question:
            ” Who the hell is Milan owner? Nobody even knows him in China, he produces and owns nothing! How can this be?”
            …money laundering BIG TIME.
            Bottom line.

          • Auch! So just to get an idea: could the sale mean a forced relagation if Berlusconi made some bad deal well-knowing about it?

          • Stefano

            Who knows.
            Suspicions on this transaction are many.
            But so are Berlusconi deep friends in high places.
            He is still very powerful and well protected.

          • Okay, thanks for the insight 🙂

          • Stefano

            There is a NYT article on yong yong Li , the new Milan owner .
            About his almost non existent sulphur mine which he doesn’t actually own apparently, the offices with nothing inside except worms in the trash cans, his father and brother in jail and his past legal problems for scamming clients…
            About the nothing but fiscal heavens for money laundering used for the AC Milan sale. .
            That’s AC Milan new “owner”!!
            ( not really, he is just a cover, obviously)

          • Stefano

            It got to the point now where I actually feel compassion and respect for poor Gattuso .

        • grilliant

          Brocchi too, it’s like they never learn

          • Stefano

            Well..they had the Capello experience.
            They just threw him into the bench to coach with little to nothing experience and he was great right away.
            He was the exception thou.

          • grilliant

            Agree, Capello was something else.

          • Stefano

            Seedorf was …kind of interesting, different.
            he had an interesting coaching style ,lots of courage.

      • Stefano

        Gattuso has already played twice versus Benevento, when he was coaching Pisa in serie B last season:
        Pisa 0- Benevento 1.
        Benevento 2- Pisa 0.
        Just saying..

    • grilliant

      Didn’t see your post, i just said the same thing. Hope milan lose for some laugh

  • JAY

    we shall wreck them and clinch the top spot

  • Stefano

    ( ok ..honestly ..I would not play Ranocchia..but then ..I’m not Spalletti and I trust him and if rano plays there must be a good reason for it ,so I will support him )

    • JAY

      what better reason than there is no one available

      • Stefano

        I would find someone else, but that’s me.

        • I want to trust Mister as well, but Rano will always play under heavy pressuere from the fans, who are watching his every move. Even though he might do good in training, I think he is to fragile in front of the crowd. But hey, like you said: who are we to jugde, it’s Spaletti who sees him every day.
          Personally, I would opt for D’ambro in the defense. He posses will and determination and plays with higher confidence the Rano will ever do again. IMO.
          With the changes, the pressure of the potential top spot and the rotation in the squad, I just hope we will bring in the 3 points. I hope Brozo and Icardi will both score like last week, maybe with Candreva from the distance if Chievo park the bus.

          • Stefano

            Yes , that’s I am also afraid of…

          • Yes, they have to guide their anger in some direction, I guess. A shame though. When people don’t support all the team. Like when those nicknames come in to play on this forum in regards to Rano, Naga and D’ambro. Anyway, that’s an other debate. Let’s go get a win!

          • Stefano

            Yes ..BUT ..there seem to be a little bit more positivity and less anger in San Siro this year.

          • Stefano

            Yeah it’s about Candreva time.

  • Stefano

    Spalletti also confirmed :
    “Vecino is 100% recovered and COULD play “

    • JAY

      he loves vecino so much, that’s his naingolan

      • Interfan99

        the closest midfielder we have to nainggolan is brozovic i think

        • JAY

          Doesn’t travel much

  • Stefano

    It’s official :
    Ranocchia will play for sure , Spalletti just said so .
    So,at this point:
    Go Ranocchia !!!!

    Play so well that I will have to come here and write in capital letters :
    You are a good man, that much I know, so I will support you with all my heart.
    And if you do play well ,I swear I will come here and write :
    ” I WAS WRONG”.
    I can’t wait to do that.

    • John

      Really? Worst comes worst, D’Ambrosio can play CB too, and we have plenty of fullbacks to fill his usual RB position.

      • Stefano

        Well that’s what I would have done first.
        But I will just have to just trust Spall.

        • John

          Good point. Yeah, hopefully Spalletti’s selection will work out. It usually does.

  • Asyrof Syarif

    It’ll be a tough game as always but we’ll get a narrow win. Icardi could scores a hattrick, but chievo will get a pair.

    • JAY

      nah, they wont come to san siro to attack, dont know about that many goals being scored

      • Asyrof Syarif

        I hope im wrong. But we have tendencies to struggle….

  • gs.psry

    Don’t ruin the only chance you will get Rano! Please

  • TQ

    Nagatomo and Rano as starters… reminds me of the dark times. Panic here we come!

  • Matija Mateo Kosanovic

    any link on today primavera Inter vs. Juve 15:00?

    • JAY

      what happened with the result?

      • ADRIANO158

        Zaniolo scored if I remember correctly

    • Stefano

      “Inter tie with Juve and loses the lead of the table” ..
      something that my sound strangely familiar ,coming next week…

      I liked Colidio a lot.
      And Zaniolo, I have always liked him a lot .

      • Matija Mateo Kosanovic

        yeah, plenty of talents down there, but as I see Vechi , likes Tim cup and ycl, onl on those occassions he takes Pinamonti and Karamoah, but plenty of talents, that’s why I’m chasing to watch anything, but seems like I can’t find link, like, never so far this season

  • ezekiel

    our opportunity to lead the table have come.. let’s hope we won’t waste this opportunity..^^

  • Satria

    The time we have a chance to take a lead on the table, we have to depend on rano in defence lollll

    • JAY

      yap, and one pest can ruin the whole bag of rice

    • Stefano

      It’s mind boggling to me.
      But Spallo sees them in training ,he knows his stuff .. so let’s just cross our fingers I guess ..and support him once more.

  • tarttata tarattata

    expecting a full house tonight