Inter Milan will be keen to salvage their 2022/23 Serie A campaign when they welcome Fiorentina to the Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday.
Inter Milan have had a season to forget as they prepare to take on Fiorentina when Serie A returns after the international break on Saturday.
The Nerazzurri were best-placed to launch an unlikely title charge against high-flying Napoli. But consecutive losses against Spezia and Juventus have more or less taken them out of the running. Inter have since fallen to the third spot and have a fight on their hands to retain a top-four spot.
Losing any more points will prime them to be overtaken by AS Roma and Atalanta. Simone Inzaghi will need to ensure that the international break helped his side regain their mojo as they welcome a plucky Fiorentina team who can be a handful on their day.
Both teams went into the international break on the back of contrasting fortunes. Inter were looking for time to regroup, while Fiorentina were coming off the back of four straight league wins. La Viola have steadily risen up the standings in recent weeks and could make a late punt for a European spot should they keep it up.
Having lost nine of their opening 27 games so far, this is Inter’s worst run of form at this stage of a league campaign since the 2011/12 season. While history is on their side, the Nerazzurri will hope to buck the trend of recent form to their benefit.
Vincenzo Italiano side’s are unbeaten in their last ten games across all competitions, winning nine of them. This also includes an impressive 2-1 win over defending champions AC Milan. To say that their confidence is high would be an understatement. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.
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.@hakanc10 underwent tests today 👇#ForzaInter
— Inter (@Inter_en) March 30, 2023
Despite the Coppa Italia semi-final coming up, Simone Inzaghi will be keen to start a strong lineup on the night and avoid another unpleasant surprise. Any further dropped points, especially at home could be a massive blow in their pursuit of retaining a top-four finish.
The Nerazzurri will be without Milan Skriniar, who is nursing a back injury, and Danilo D’Ambrosio who is suspended following his sending-off against Juventus. Midfield maestro Hakan Calhanoglu is also a doubt for the game after picking up a knock while on international duty.
It is not all bad news as star striker Romelu Lukaku appears to have regained his footing, impressing with Belgium over the past couple of weeks. Inzaghi will be keen to see him carry over that form to the club colours.
A 3-5-2 formation should be the flavour of the night as Inzaghi reverts to what he knows best. Andre Onana should start in goal behind a back three of Matteo Darmian, Francesco Acerbi and Alessandro Bastoni.
Denzel Dumfries and Robin Gosens should start as the wing-backs and provide the width on the night. The trio of Marcelo Brozovic, Nicolo Barella and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will provide the organisation in the middle of the pitch. With several first-team defenders out, the onus will be on the midfield to shield the defence. With Lukaku in top form, he will be expected to start alongside Lautaro Martinez upfront.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Gosens; Martinez, Lukaku
Vincenzo Italiano and his men have been in fine form of late and are arguably amongst the best teams in the league at this point in time. La Viola have little to fear going into the clash against an out-of-sorts Inter struggling to salvage their league campaign.
Historically, the tie has not been kind to Fiorentina, and they are winless in their last 11 league outings against Inter. The Nerazzurri are far from the force that swept the league two years ago and are very much there for the taking.
A 4-2-3-1 formation appears to be Italiano’s preferred formation, and there is little reason for the Fiorentina manager to alter it. Pietro Terracciano should start in goal behind the back four of Dodo, Nikola Milenkovic, Igor Julio and Cristiano Biraghi.
🥇PLAYER OF THE MONTH🗓️
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Arthur Cabral è il miglior giocatore del mese di Marzo! 💜⚜️#forzaviola #fiorentina #cabral #potm pic.twitter.com/ZRFQ2HcfHU
— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) March 31, 2023
World Cup hero Sofyan Amrabat is a man in demand heading into the summer transfer window. The Moroccan is expected to partner with Giacomo Bonaventura in the double pivot, providing a reliable shield to the backline.
How well the duo perform will determine the impact the trio of Nicolas Gonzalez, Antonin Barak, and Riccardo Saponara have further upfield. Arthur Cabral is expected to displace Christian Kouame from the lineup on Saturday. The Brazilian has been in fine form of late and will be eager to take advantage of Inter’s makeshift defence.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Terracciano; Dodo, Milenkovic, Igor, Biraghi; Amrabat, Bonaventura; Gonzalez, Barak, Saponara; Cabral
- Inter Milan and Fiorentina have drawn 55 of their 169 Serie A meetings. Fiorentina have managed more draws against only AS Roma.
- Inter Milan have not lost to Fiorentina in their last 11 Serie A meetings. A win on the night will be Fiorentina’s first victory over Inter Milan in Serie A since 2017.
- A draw on the night will see Inter Milan enjoy consecutive stalemates for the first time against Fiorentina since 1990-1992.
- Inter Milan have defeated Fiorentina just once in their last eight Serie A games when it was played in the second half of the season.
- A defeat on the night will see Inter Milan lose three straight Serie A games for the first time since 2017.
Player to Watch
The Moroccan international was one of the 2022 FIFA World Cup’s standout players and could be playing his final few games in Fiorentina colours. Solid defensively and excellent in carrying the ball forward, Amrabat will be a key cog in the visitors’ plans of winning the midfield battle.
Facing off against Nicolo Barella will be no mean feat, and shackling the Italian ace will go a long way in disturbing Inter’s rhythm. Amrabat could garner further interest from other clubs in his services should he go on to make a telling difference on the night.
Inter Milan 1-2 Fiorentina
Inter Milan are not just in a poor run of form but are also without some key players in defence. Fiorentina have their tails up and will not be intimidated by the visit to the Giuseppe Meazza. The game is likely to be hard fought, with the visitors pulling the wool over their more illustrious opponents.
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