Preview – Inter vs SPAL: Finally Back Home

Preview – Inter vs SPAL: Finally Back Home
March 9, 2019 17:00
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SempreInter.com

After having suffered a trio of winless away matches that have seen the Nerazzurri drop to fourth spot, they now return home to San Siro where they look to finally get a win against minnows SPAL. Match on Sunday at 15:00 CET.  

Nerves are understandably on edge at Appiano. The media storm kicked up by ex-captain Mauro Icardi has far from blown over, and the squad continues to suffer from injuries and suspensions right before the critical Derby Della Madonnina. With a three winless streak in the books, where Inter have ceded third place to Milan, the Nerazzurri are desperate to get back into the win column against league stragglers SPAL.

While SPAL will be heavy underdogs coming into the match, one cannot expect the match result to be a forgone conclusion on behalf of the hosts. Not only has coach Leonardo Semplici fashioned a well drilled defensively disciplined side, SPAL also possess one of the league’s most in-form strikers in Andrea Petagna alongside perennial Inter nuisance ex-Milanista Alberto Paloschi both of whom can pressure an attacking Inter. Wide-man Manuel Lazzari has been one of the season’s revelations and will be a constant threat on Inter’s left flank.

Luciano Spaletti will line the side up in the preferred 4-2-3-1 with Joao Mario, Matteo Politano and either Antonio Candreva or Keita Balde behind lone striker Lautaro Martinez. Expect Roberto Gagliardni to slot into the midfield next to Marcelo Brozovic, the Italian midfielder must provide some attacking output beyond his usual connective and defensive play if Inter are to break-down the defensive visitors.

While this match might be more difficult than how it appears on paper, Inter should still be able to take care of business and finally get back to winning ways. Should the hosts manage to do so in the midst of one of their most trying stretches this season, this result will bode very well for their overall fortunes.

Team News

With Icardi still out of the picture and Lautaro Martinez one booking away from a suspension, it is with open arms that Spaletti welcomed the return of Keita Balde to training. That, however, might be the only sliver of goood news out of the Inter camp: Ivan Perisic’s injury in Frankfurt will keep him out of the team selection. Radja Nainggolan is still out with his thigh troubles while Matias Vecino is serving a one match suspension. It is important to remember that along with Lautaro, both Milan Skrinniar and Danilo D’Ambrosio are one booking away from suspension against next week’s derby.

Probable Inter line-up (4-2-3-1): Handanovic (C); Cedric, DiVrij, Skriniar, Dalbert; Gagliadini, Brozovic; Keita, Joao Mario, Politano; Lautaro

Stats

Last Season: Inter 2 – 0 SPAL

Last 10 Head to Head: Since SPAL are on their second season ever in Italy’s top flight, there isn’t much of a head-to-head record of which to speak.

Keep an Eye on

Keita Balde: As Inter’s attacking options continue to take hits by the week. The return to fitness by Keita Balde is a welcome bit of news. If the Senegalese forward can find his pre-injury form quick, then the pressure on Icardi’s tantrum comes under further pressure. More importantly, since Perisic is not available to serve on the left flank, Keita’s services become even more essential.

Officials

Referee: Gianpaolo Calvarese.

Assistants: De Meo and Alassio.

Fourth Official: Piccinini.

VAR Assistants: Di Bello and Vuoto.

Prediction & Concluding Remarks 

Prediction & scorers: Inter 2-0 SPAL with Perisic and Brozovic both scoring.

Concluding remarks: This match is nothing but a forgone conclusion, however, it seems like it could be a pivotal fork in the road for the team’s end of season fortunes. If Inter, despite all the injuries and the Icardi rebellion, still manage to win, the victory might mean more to their morale and attitude than just the three points involved.

By Mohamed Nassar
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