Preview: Inter vs Hellas Verona – Ready, Set, Go for the Final Sprint!

March 30, 2018 18:30
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A roller coaster of a season is in its final stretch with just ten matches left to play, and Inter can lock in their Champions League qualification with a good run of results. Against Hellas Verona will be the first match of the final stretch; Forz Inter. Match on Saturday at 14:00CET

Luciano Spaletti seemed to have finally found Inter’s groove when he was hit with the international break. With an eye on midweek rescheduled Milan derby, Inter will look at this match as a prime opportunity to get three wins in a row prior to meeting up with city rivals Milan. While rediscovering pre-break momentum is never an easy task, the fortuiotous early return of Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic along with the scandalous leaving out of Mauro Icardi meant that Spaletti had a good portion of his core starters available for in break training.
While the prospect of squaring off against the league’s second leakiest defense might seem like a straightforward affair for the hosts, playing against a relegation battling team at this stage of the season will never be an easy feat. Hellas Verona have managed to surprise city rivals Chievo and the resurgent Torino in recent weeks, and unless the entire Inter squad is en garde the could be easily caught off guard.
Spaletti will hope to harness the same determination and intensity shown by his squad in the demolition of Sampdoria, the holding of Napoli and the hard-fought win against Benevento. With Rafinha and Joao Cancelo coming into form and fitness, the over reliance on Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva as the sole creators has abated, which in-turn may have relieved the pressure on both players, allowing the pair to better express themselves on the pitch. In all circumstances, Inter will have to push the guests, relentlessly, from starting whistle to the triple fischi to ensure that both result and performance are worthy of the club’s aspiration at this stage of the season.

Team News

One is always nervous regarding the condition of returning players who have been called up for international duty. Thankfully, all players returned to Appiano injury free allowing the Mister to make his selection based purely on form and tactics. Expect Spaletti to deploy the formation and lineup that has worked well for him in the previous two games. The only other major news out of the Nerazzurri camp is the departure of Suning sporting director Walter Sabatini, and although it might have some deeper ramifications down the line, one can expect this bit of new to bear little impact on tomorrow’s match.

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

Stats

Last Season: Not Played, Verona in B

Last 10 Head to Head: Inter have dominated the two sides’ encounters, and have not lost once to the Veronese in their last ten matches. In fact, Inter have taken all points from Hellas in an eye-watering eight out of said ten encounters.

Keep an Eye on

Mauro Icardi: Can one speak of anyone but Maurito at the moment? With his poker against Sampdoria last week and passing the century scoring mark in a Nerazzurri jersey, the young captain is in fine form. It will be difficult to imagine the weak Veronese defenses can withstand the Icardi onslaught and hopefully the Nerazzurri faithful will be in for another Icardi-fiesta.

Officials

Refereree: Gianluca “The Turd” Rocchi

Assistants: Lo Cicero, Liberti

 Fourth Official: Aureliano

Additional Assistants: Guida, Fourneau

Prediction & Authors Note

Prediction & scorers: Inter 3 – 1 Hellas Verona with Icardi and Perisic on the score-sheet.

Author’s Note: While winning all three points will be the ultimate objective here, the manner in which Inter take to the pitch and conduct the full 90 minutes will be quite important too. In order for Inter to show their rivals (and themselves) that they mean business when it comes to Champions League qualification, they must go for the jugular whenever they step onto the pitch.

By Mohamed Nassar