Tonight at 18.00 CET, Parma head to the San Siro to take on Inter in match day 9 of the 2019/2020 Serie A campaign.
The Gialloblu were on the brink of extinction a few years ago, but after being demoted to Serie D, they reemerged to the top flight of Italian football last season, and now find themselves comfortable there.
Their counterparts, Inter, have only every played their football in the top flight, and will look to keep the pressure on their arch rivals, Juventus, by coming out of this match with all 3 points.
Parma head coach, Roberto D’Aversa, has led his side to 4 wins and have suffered 4 defeats so far, and sit 8th in the league, a position which any Parma fan would sign up to finishing the season at. Inter, however, are sitting in second place, 1 point behind Juventus, and are on near perfect form, with 7 wins and 1 defeat.
This could prove to be a tough match for the Nerazzuri, as Parma have shown they are certainly no pushovers and cannot be underestimated.
Inter have looked good since Conte took charge, playing an aggressive press high up the pitch, together with very quick counter attacks. So far, Inter have scored 18 goals, an average of 2.25 per game and an xG of 1.79 per game.
They also have the lions share of possession for most games too, averaging 55% and 525 successful passes per match to boot. Having said that, Inter’s last match against Sassuolo paints a slightly different picture. They had neither the majority of possession, nor the most passes, but still came out of that match victorious, final result being 3-4 to the visitors.
These numbers flatter Sassuolo slightly as it was only in the latter parts of the game where they got back into it, mainly due to Inter stepping off the gas pedal, after going 4-1 up. Undoubtedly Antonio Conte has taken measures to ensure this does not happen again, and you could expect to see a much more disciplined performance this time, especially considering the fact the Nerazzurri are playing at home.
Parma play a decent brand of football. Plenty of attacking movements and have scored a decent amount of goals so far, (13 total), an average of 1.63 and an xG of 1.46. In their last match Parma came out as 5-1 winners against Genoa, a match that they didn’t particularly dominate, only having had 38% possession, but definitely made the most of their chances and didn’t let Genoa find a way back in once they had scored.
It will be interesting to see how they approach this match, having seen them play very well against Juventus, they could pose Inter a few problems and it is up to Antonio Conte to find a way past them.
Inter’s defense has been nothing short of solid this year, and with a back 3 of Godin-de Vrij-Skriniar, it is little wonder as to why. Of the 8 games played to date in the Serie A, they have conceded 7 goals, 3 of which came in their last outing against Sassuolo.
They Nerazzurri average only 0.86 xG against them, mainly due to their ability to control the game and keep the ball. In last match we saw Inter almost give up a very commanding lead by conceding 2 goals in the space of 10 minutes, which was very uncharacteristic, and one wouldn’t expect to see this happen very often against Conte’s Inter.
Parma’s defense hasn’t exactly been leaking in goals, but is definitely not solid either. They have conceded 11 goals to date, and an xG against of 1.57. This is somewhat to be expected of Parma, being a midtable side, although it is worth pointing out that they only let one goal past them in their season opener against Juventus.
It is unlikely that Parma will cause an upset against Inter, who seem to be going from strength to strength. Conte’s men seem well drilled and know exactly what to do on the pitch and, even with a few rotated players, they should come out of this game with all 3 points in the bag.
Which is exactly what they have to do, if they are to keep the pressure up on Juventus. Last season saw these 2 sides take a win each, both matches ending with a 1-0 scoreline, where Parma won at the San Siro and Inter at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
With some rotation expected for Inter this weekend, it is hard to single out any one player as the one to watch, but, assuming he plays, one can look no further than Lautaro Martinez. This man has been on fire in recent games.
His link up play, ability to hold up the ball and coolness in front of goal, have all improved so much this season and if he continues playing like this then he will arguably soon not only be Inter’s best player, but among the best in the world.
In Parma, look out for former Roma winger Gervinho. This is a player who always seems to play well against Inter, and his lightning quick dribbling makes him a constant thorn in the side of any defender.
Therefore expect Conte to have Skriniar on the right hand side of the back three and Alessandro Bastoni playing to the left, with Diego Godin being rested.