With both Juventus and Lazio losing their respective matches, a win against dark horse Verona could see the Nerazzurri back in contention, is this the perfect opportunity for another slip-up? Match today Thursday at 21:45 CET.
Inter have managed to squander many points since the restart, but nothing has been as shocking as losing a lead, and ultimately the match, against a ten-man visiting Bologna on Sunday. In his post match interview, Antonio Conte showed signs of real anger at the performance and the players. He will know that this midweek presents his side with a golden opportunity to make amends for the recent disappointments.
However, injuries and suspensions seem to conspire against the manager, who will, yet again, have to field a ramshackle midfield due to the seemingly unending midfield injury saga. Conte knows that Verona will want nothing out of the match except to frustrate the visitors with tough and tight defensive football.
Despite being a bit leaky since the restart, Ivan Juric has built a sturdy and tough team that does not concede many goals. With a defence built around the impressive Marash Kumbulla Hellas are the fourth ranked side in the table in terms of goals conceded.
That said, Verona possess plenty of strength and quality, especially in the midfield; veteran Miguel Veloso is the orchestrator and will probably have either the impressive Sofyan Amrabat or ex-Interista and Inter tormentor Federico Dimarco next to him.
Conte will know that plenty is at stake here, and that the key to victory is balance on the pitch; not only in his squad selection, but also in terms of physical output across the ninety minutes. Inter must be able to stretch the play out wide when attacking, but to address their vulnerability on the break, especially when faced with pacey and technical wide forwards.
With Milan Skriniar finally eligible for selection after serving his three match suspension, Conte now loses Alessandro Bastoni and Danilo D’Ambrosio to a single match suspension and will once again not play with his preferred backline. Expect Diego Godin to fill in for the injured youngster. The recovery room is still full of midfielders with Stefano Sensi, Nicolo Barella and Victor Moses all in treatment for various issues.
Probable Line-up (3-4-1-2): Handanovic (C); Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Vecino, Brozovic, Young; Eriksen; Sanchez, Lukaku
Last Season: Not played, Verona in Serie B
Last 10 Head to Head: Inter hold a remarkably strong record against the Veronese, with eight wins in the last ten matches while not having lost a single encounter.
Keep an Eye on:
Marcelo Brozovic: Verona are a very tough defensive nut to crack, and so it can be expected that Inter’s two centre-forwards will be very closely attended to by the hosts’ backline. If Inter are to get a breakthrough in this match, one might expect to have some direct Brozovic involvement, either in the form of an assist or a shot from outside the box.
Referee: Massimiliano Irrati.
Assistants: Passeri and Lo Cicero.
Fourth Official: Ros.
VAR: Orsato and Cecconi.
Prediction & Concluding Remarks
Prediction & scorers: Verona 0 – 1 Inter with a Brozovic late winner.
Concluding remarks: Many Inter supporters will have little faith going into this match seeing how results have worked in the Nerazzurri’s favour over the entire matchday.
However, expect to see a fighting Inter on the pitch, fired up by Conte and Marotta’s words, ready to bring home the three points in a very ugly and hard fought match.