This afternoon at 3 pm CET Inter head to Lecce in the first return fixture of the Serie A season. Inter are currently in second place, 2 points behind leaders Juventus, and unbeaten in their last 12 games.
Lecce are just above safety in 17th place, 1 point ahead on Genoa in 18th place, and have only managed 1 win in their last 6 league matches, and gathered 1 point from their last 5 matches to boot.
Inter are remaining decent competitors going forward, and have the 3rd most goals in the league with a total of 40, average of 2.11 per game, and the 6th best xG per game with 1.84. The average xG is something that might be worth taking a look at with Inter as is has slowly dropped over the past 3 or 4 match days and might be leading towards a rough patch goals wise.
Inter’s top scorer remains to be Romelu Lukaku, with 14 goals and average a goal every 115 minutes. It is also worth pointing out that Lautaro Martinez is not far behind, having scored 10 goals in the Serie A and averages a goal every 131 minutes.
Lecce are far from inspiring in the attacking area, although by no means the worst. They have scored the 13th most goals in the league with a total of 22, averaging 1.16 per game and an are 10th for xG with an average of 1.32.
Lecce’s top scorer so far is Mancosu, the 31 year old forward has 5 league goals to his name this season and averages a goal every 235 minutes. Surprisingly Lecce have only recorded 5 different goal scorers this season (Mancosu, Lapadula, Babacar, Falco and Farias).
Inter remain the best side defensively this year. They remain the team with least amount of goals conceded with 16, averaging 0.84 per game, and have the 2nd best xG against them this season with an average of 1.04. This has increased slightly since their last match against Atalanta, unsurprisingly.
Lecce’s downfall this year is their defence. They have conceded the most goals in the league (joint with Genoa) with 38 goals, averaging 2 per game, and have the worst xG against them in the league with 2.22 per game. It is clear that this would need a major improvement if they hope to stay in the Serie A next season.
Inter has many players who can make a key difference in the match, but it must be pointed out that Antonio Candreva has been reinvented in Conte’s system this year, and has cemented himself as an important player.
Inter are yet to lose a match with Candreva on the field this season, and a special mention for Candreva’s rocket goal in the first match of the season, against none other than today’s opponents, Lecce. Can he replicate this result and help his team to victory?
Gabriel, Lecce’s goalkeeper has been everpresent this year, and will need to be on top form is he hopes to keep his net empty, especially when facing the likes of in from Lukaku and Lautaro. Gabriel is capable of producing some very good performances and he will need his defence to be tighter than ever in front of their own fans.
Overall it is hard to look past Inter for this win. Especially since the Nerazzuri battered lecce in the reverse fixture 4-0 on opening night. of the past 8 matches between the two sides, Inter have won 6 with 1 draw and 1 win for Lecce, coming back in January 2012, can they repeat this upset today?
It feels like this Inter side is just far too strong and with Lecce being so weak defensively, this should be 3 points to the Nerazzuri.