After the disappointing result against SPAL, Inter’s week was capped off with a disappointing end to the Mercato and now the Nerazzurri come back home hoping to reinject some vigor back in their season against Crotone. Match on Saturday at 20:30 CET.
It’s really getting to squeaky bum time for Inter should they want to really push for a Champions League finish. Despite the draw against SPAL last week, their opponents’ results went Inter’s way and the Nerazzurri actually made up ground on both Roma and Lazio.
Luciano Spaletti’s men have been impotent going forward for seven matches in a row and now go into this match missing their biggest threat in attack. Eder will step in for the injured Mauro Icardi, but he will certainly have big shoes to fill. Eder is no prolific goal-scorer, but he most certainly is a more mobile attacker than Mauro. It will be interesting to see whether his higher work rate without the ball will allow both Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva to better express themselves in attack. Both wingers have looked out of energy and out of ideas for a few weeks now, and perhaps the variation in motion brought on by Eder’s presence can shake things up.
Critical will again be the squad’s mental preparation and how the 50+ thousand fans in the stadium support or become frustrated at the team’s performance. If Inter can forget about their torrid run and view this match for the winnable 90 minutes it is, then they can come out as the winners they’re predicted to be. If the nerves creep in and the Nerazzurri lose the stadium, expect things to go from bad to worse fast.
Icardi’s injury is more than just a headache for Spaletti. Icardi usually likes to answer his critics on the pitch especially after a bit of controversy, and the young Argentinean will be unable to do so this week.
Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda (C), Skriniar, Cancelo; Vecino, Valero; Perisic, Rafinha, Candreva; Eder
Last Season: Inter 3 – 0 Crotone
Last 10 Head to Head: This being Crotone’s second season in the Serie A
Keep an Eye on
Mauro Icardi: It’s no secret that Mauro’s off-pitch antics have gotten him in the news once again. The Argentinean captain left the general public largely confused with a cryptic social media post that may have been about his future in black and blue. He then goes on to pick up a muscular knock that rules him out for the match. While his presence will not be available for judgement, his absence certainly will; everyone will be keen on seeing how the squad fares without the help of their potential want-away top scorer.
Referee: Daniele Orsato
Assistants: Marrazzo, Bottegoni
Fourth Official: Giua
Additional Assistants: Abbattista, Vuoto
Prediction & Authors Note
Prediction & scorers: Inter 3-0 Crotone with Perisic, Eder and Candreva picking up all points.
Author’s Note: This can really be a pivotal match for Inter, should they finally pick themselves up and get that elusive win and re-invigorate the San Siro faithful, the result can most certainly create a platform on which Inter can cement their Champions League aspirations. The converse scenario would be too dreary to ponder.