Bernardeschi vs. Inter, on Saturday the market will be set aside
The next match against Fiorentina will be another important test for Stefano Pioli’s Inter, who are under severe pressure after a series of poor results. The Nerazzurri have not won in Florence for three years, and the Stadio Artemio Franchi is traditionally a tough venue for the Beneamata to visit.
The Viola are not in the best of form either, having lost their last match to relegation-threatened Empoli at home – symptomatic of their season under Paulo Sousa. Even their most feared players have endured difficulties this campaign. In Federico Bernardeschi’s case, he has struggled to continue his fine early-season form due to persistent physical problems which have prevented him from being at his absolute sharpest. However, against Inter, the club who are looking to sign him this summer, he has a shot at redemption.
His unpredictability and speed of movement with the ball at his feet could cause the Nerazzurri defence some problems. The coach may choose to deploy similar tactics to the derby, whereby Ivan Perišić and Yuto Nagatomo doubled up in an attempt to mark Suso. Bernardeschi is a much more dynamic player, who can stand up to the physical side of the game too. Hence it would be a risky move to leave Nagatomo isolated with the Italian international, as physicality is not his strong point. Cristian Ansaldi could prove to be a tougher opponent for the 23-year-old Tuscan.
The Argentine was one of the team’s worst performers on that dismal afternoon in Crotone, which led Pioli to make him sit on the bench against Milan, but could be recalled in Florence. Meanwhile, Perišić will have to deal with Federico Chiesa’s skill and dribbling ability on the opposite side. Pioli is therefore likely to instruct João Mário to provide further defensive support on the flanks.
With their unpredictability on the right wing, Fiorentina were able to defeat Juventus 2-1 in what was one of their best performances of the season. Inter will have to be mindful as they face a tremendously talented player who could well be set to join them in exchange for a very large transfer fee in the not-too-distant future.