Inter Milan will be keen to get back into the top four when they welcome AC Monza to the Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday night.

Italian giants Inter Milan have seen their form drop off a cliff in Serie A as they prepare to welcome minnows Monza to the Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday night.

Simone Inzaghi’s men have now lost ten of their 29 Serie A games this season. With four of their last six games ending in defeat, it is clear to see that the Nerazzurri are woefully out of form. Salernitana’s stoppage time leveller last week saw AS Roma overtake Inter Milan in the league standings. Inter are now fifth and in very real danger of missing out on next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Thankfully for Inzaghi, the woeful league form has not translated to the continent, with Inter winning their Champions League quarter-final first leg 2-0. He will hope that the players can carry forward the same form into the league and end the miserable run of just one point from four games.

Monza are currently in the 13th spot, a good 13 points off the relegation spots. With nine games to go, they cannot afford to let their guard down and lose the breathing space that was hard-earned.

Raffaele Palladino has done a good job at Monza. They held Inter to a draw in the return leg while also doing the double over Juventus. With Inzaghi and his men playing the role of Jekyll and Hyde, Monza could benefit from adopting a brave approach on Saturday. 

Inter find themselves in a position where they cannot drop any cheap points in Serie A. Despite their good run in Europe, the chances of them going all the way remain minuscule.  A top finish remains the club’s best shot at retaining a spot at Europe’s top table. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Inter Milan

Few things certain in the world are paying taxes, death and Simone Inzaghi deploying Inter Milan in a 3-5-2 formation. The Nerazzurri boss is likely to retain his favourite setup on the night, swapping around personnel where necessary.

Paris Saint-Germain-bound Milan Skriniar is still nursing a back injury while star midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu is yet to recover from an adductor muscle strain. Both players are more or less ruled out for the weekend and will not play any part in the game whatsoever.

Danilo D’Ambrosio is back available following his suspension and should give Inzaghi more options. The Italian has an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from. With an eye on the Champions League quarter-final second leg vs Benfica, it will come as a surprise if Inter fail to ring in the changes.

Andre Onana should hold the fort in goal behind the back three of Danilo D’Ambrosio, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni. Denzel Dumfries and Robin Gosens should start as the wing-backs, providing width on the flanks and also dropping back to form a back five while defending.

Kristjan Asllani will start as the midfield pivot with Nicolo Barella and Henrikh Mkhitaryan flanking him in the central region. Angel Correa is expected to partner with Romelu Lukaku upfront.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Onana; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Asllani, Mkhitaryan, Gosens; Lukaku, Correa

AC Monza

The minnows, bankrolled by Silvio Berlusconi have had their moments this season. The double over Juventus is a particularly impressive set of results while holding Inter to a draw at home is a praiseworthy task.

Given that Inter lack confidence in the league, Palladino should sense blood and adopt a brave approach that will take the game to the home side. An early goal could very well jolt the Nerazzurri and pave the way for them to self-destruct.

Dany Mota will miss the game but Monza will welcome back Gianluca Caprari from suspension. Inter loanee Stefano Sensi is in contention to feature on the night and will be keen to prove a point against his parent side.

A 3-4-2-1 formation should do the job for the visitors with Michele Di Gregorio starting in goal. He should be protected by the backline of Valentin Antov, Pablo Marí and Armando Izzo.

Patrick Ciurria and Carlos Augusto should function as the full-backs also dropping deeper to form a flat-back five if put under pressure. Matteo Pessina and Nicolo Rovella should hold the fort in midfield, going up against the trio of Inter stars.

This should free up Andrea Colpani and Stefano Sensi to fashion opportunities for Andrea Petagna.The duel between the striker and de Vrij should prove to be an interesting matchup. 

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Di Gregorio; Antov, Mari, Izzo; Ciurria, Pessina, Rovella, Augusto; Caprari, Sensi; Petagna

Key Stats

  • Inter Milan and Monza have faced off just once before in the Serie A, a 2-2 draw earlier in the season. The last time Monza played Inter in Milan was in 1990.
  • A loss on the night will see Inter Milan hit 11 losses in 30 Serie A games for just the third time in the three-points-for-a-win era.
  • A defeat on Saturday will see Inter Milan lose three home games in a row. This will be just the fourth time in history that they will have lost three or more home games in a consecutive manner.
  • Monza have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven Serie A games.
  • Inter Milan have hit the woodwork 14 times in Serie A this season, more than any other side currently in the Italian top flight.

Player to Watch

Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian was poor at the weekend against Salernitana but scored when it mattered against Benfica in midweek. With Lautaro Martinez likely to be rested, Lukaku will be the club’s ace striker against Monza.

The former Serie A MVP has had a poor season that was beset by poor form and injuries. It is now or never for him as a pivotal summer approaches. Lukaku has the chance to show he has the same mojo that once made him among the best strikers in Italy. As long as he turns up, Inter will have a good chance of a comfortable win.


Inter Milan 2-1 AC Monza

While Inter Milan have little reason to be optimistic following results of late, the midweek win over Benfica will have boosted morale. More so, with a top-four spot on the line, the players have no other option but to step up their game. The match is unlikely to be one-sided. But Simone Inzaghi and his men should do enough to come away with all three points in the bag. 

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