Preview: Inter vs Bologna – Is the crisis finally behind us?

Preview: Inter vs Bologna – Is the crisis finally behind us?
February 10, 2018 12:00
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Word from the players out of Appiano is that they’ve put the crisis behind them, and they will be more than eager to demonstrate this as they take on Bologna at home. Match on Sunday at 15:00CET

Few managers like to rain on an Inter parade like Roberto Donadoni does. The ex-Milanista winger has made it a bit of a habbit of drawing out disappointing results for his Nerazzurri opponents. Donadoni will look at Sunday’s game as the perfect oppurtunity to really make a dent in Inter’s season.
Despite Bologna having won just twice in their last eight matches and not having kept a clean sheet since mid-November of last year, they possess a more than capable squad that can more than trouble the mentally fragile Nerazzurri. A strike force that includes ex-Interisti Rodrigo Palacio, Mattia Destro and the highly rated Simone Verdi will always be a handful for any opposing defence.
It is difficult to see what Spaletti can do differently given the squad he currently possesses. There are no players who are forced to play out of they optimal positions and the tactics that worked so well early in the season seem to be falling flat die to the fatigue, hesitation, self doubt of the two payers who were the team’s biggest difference makers in Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva.
Perhaps the introduction of Rafinha as a sort of trequartista can inject that bit of magic that has so eluded the squad. If Inter can pose a credible threat to opposing teams through the middle, their opponents would then be unable to overload their defending on the flanks, giving both Inter wingers some space. That being said, there’s a feeling that Inter’s scoring impotence is more a result of a lack of bodies inside the opposition’s box than an inability to create chances. Neither Brozovic nor Joao Mario have been able to consistently play that role and the hope is that the ex-Barca player can finally be the missing piece of the puzzle.

Team News

Reports suggest that both Mauro Icardi and Rafinha will be selected by Spaletti as starters for the match. This will mean that for the first time in a very long time, Spaletti will have his best starting eleven at his disposal. The announced summer signing of Lauturo Martinez and Stefan de Vrij will also be expected to have positive effect on morale within the squad, and maybe even shake things up a bit with the squad.

Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Skriniar, Cancelo; Valero, Vecino; Perisic, Rafinha, Candreva; Icardi  (C)

Stats

Last Season: Inter 1 – 1 Bologna

Last 10 Head to Head: Draws have been the name of the game between both sides in their last ten league encounters, with five of the ten matches ending with the points shared. Interestingly, Bologna last been Inter almost five years ago in March 2013 at the Meazza.

Keep an Eye on

Rafinha: It seems certain that the attacking midfielder will be given a starting position as trequartista behind Icardi (or Eder). The ex-Barcelona player has had the misfortune of featuring off the bench in Inter’s previous two disappointing matches and he will hope that the couple of weeks he’s had to train with the squad and his involvement from the start of a match will afford him the chance to really make his mark on the performance.

Officials

Refereree: Paolo Valeri

Assistants: Bindoni, Longo

 Fourth Official: Sacchi

Additional Assistants: La Penna, Vivenzi

Prediction & Authors Note

Prediction & scorers: Inter 2 – 1 Bologna Icardi and Perisic on the scoresheet.

Author’s Note: It is clear as day that Inter’s problems are mental, and so no logical comment can be really made on the potential outcome of the match. If the “real” Inter show up, then this can definitely be a straightforward winnable encounters, however, if the stuttering and unsure Inter of the last few games set foot in the Meazza, then all bets are off.

By Mohamed Nassar