Inter Milan will be keen to retain the fourth spot when they take on Hellas Verona on Wednesday.
Inter Milan travel to Hellas Verona buoyed by their comeback win against top-four rivals SS Lazio at the weekend and will be hopeful of keeping their winning run going.
The late comeback saw Simone Inzaghi’s men move up to the fourth spot, just ahead of arch-rivals AC Milan on goal difference. With both teams also set to go up against each other in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, the neutrals will have much to keep an eye on.
Having also qualified for the Coppa Italia final, Inzaghi and co. have done well over the past week. They will now seek to gain a stranglehold on the final UEFA Champions League spot when they travel to the Marcantonio Bentegodi Stadium tomorrow night.
Verona, to their credit, have done well since the turn of the year, especially at home. Marco Zaffaroni’s side have lost just once of their eight home games in the league since and have picked up 17 points. This has seen them rise to the 18th spot and give them a fighting chance at avoiding relegation.
Inter have shown themselves to have a soft underbelly at times and could find themselves tested on the night. Verona know home games are their best shot at picking up points and are likely to get stuck in.
Despite a recent upturn in form, Inzaghi will be aware that he still has a target on his back. Losing ground to Verona will only add further pressure on him. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.
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#SerieATIM | #VeronaInter: apertura cancelli alle 19#HVFC https://t.co/4fweDqiuBK
— Hellas Verona FC (@HellasVeronaFC) May 2, 2023
Marco Zaffaroni has turned around Verona’s form since taking over in December. While their away form is as shambolic as ever, it is the home results that could prove to be their salvation. They will be expected to once again make life difficult for the visitors on the night.
Verona showed incredible defensive resoluteness to hold free-scoring Napoli to a draw in recent weeks and looks set to frustrate Inter this time around. The return of Marco Faraoni will also give the Verona midfield a boost against an in-form Federico Dimarco.
A 4-4-1-1 formation appears to be the flavour of the day with Lorenzo Montipo starting in goal. The backline should consist of Federico Ceccherini, Giangiacomo Magnani, Isak Hien and Pawel Dawidowicz.
Oliver Abildgaard and Adrien Tameze should be the central midfield pairing. The duo will have their work cut out against Inter’s three-man central midfield. However, the visitors’ fatigue could even the odds if Verona starts off energetically.
Marco Faraoni and Darko Lazovic will provide the width while also aiming to keep the Inter full-backs further away from the goal. Doing so will take away much of the service the Nerazzurri provide to their strikers.
Simone Verdi scored at the weekend and should retain his spot as a striker or number 10. Milan Djuric should start up on top and will be the home side’s biggest attacking threat. Having him run at Stefan de Vrij is an option that Verona should explore.
Doing so should draw Alessando Bastoni and Danilo D’Ambrosio into the central areas, pushing the Inter wing-backs to fall back. This should give the home defence a chance to catch their breath and take the game to their opponents.
Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Montipo; Ceccherini, Magnani, Hien, Dawidowicz; Faraoni, Tameze, Abildgaard, Lazovic; Verdi; Djuric
The win over Lazio at the weekend saw Inter Milan secure consecutive Serie A victories for the first time since February. It did not come cheap with goalscorer Robin Gosens dislocating his shoulder by crashing into the goalpost.
He will now be ruled out for several weeks. Star defender Milan Skriniar continues to be ruled out and is far from making an appearance in Nerazzurri colours. Francesco Acerbi was also found out at the weekend and could make way for Stefan de Vrij in Verona.
Water is wet and Inzaghi will retain his 3-5-2 formation. Andre Onana will continue in goal behind the back three of Danilo D’Ambrosio, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni.
Sfida ai veneti 🤜🤛
Qui la top 5️⃣ delle rete segnate contro il Verona 👇#ForzaInter #VeronaInter
— Inter (@Inter) May 2, 2023
Matteo Darmian and Federico Dimarco will hold the wing-back spots and will have a key role at both ends of the pitch on the night. Marcelo Brozovic will be the midfield pivot with Nicolo Barella and Henrikh Mkhitaryan flanking him in central midfield.
With games coming thick and fast, Inzaghi will be keen to give his players a breather when possible. The likes of Barella and Dimarco could do with just that and a quick start on the night will help them achieve just that.
Inzaghi has also rotated his strikers this season. With all four of them now fit, he is likely to go with Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez. The latter linked up well with Romelu Lukaku against Lazio and the Belgian could be brought on if needed against Verona.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Onana; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Dzeko, Martinez
- Hellas Verona have lost 38 games in Serie A to Inter Milan. This is the most losses they have experienced against another Italian team in the top flight. Hellas Verona have drawn 21 games in Serie A to Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri have only drawn more flight games against Torino.
- A win on the night will see Inter Milan win six Serie A games against Hellas Verona for the first time ever. Hellas Verona have not defeated Inter Milan in Serie A since 1992.
- In the last 11 Serie A trips to Verona, Inter have won eight matches and drawn three.
- Avoiding a defeat on the night will see Hellas Verona go on a five-game unbeaten streak in the Serie A for the first time since 2021.
- Hellas Verona have secured 17 points from their eight Serie A home games this season since the turn of the year. Only AS Roma have a better record at home during the same timeframe.
Player to Watch
The Argentine ace came off the bench to win the game for Inter Milan at the weekend and will be buzzing. His inconsistency has been frustrating at times but there is little doubt that Martinez is Inter’s go-to man when he has his scoring shoes on.
Inter will be tired and will go up against a determined Verona side. As long as Martinez turns up, they should have reasonable confidence in putting the ball in the back of the net.
Hellas Verona 1-2 Inter Milan
Hellas Verona will fight for their lives and give Inter little to no room to breathe. Simone Inzaghi’s side are unlikely to dominate but should have that extra bit about themselves to see the game through. With all their strikers in good nick, it will come as a surprise if they do not outscore Verona.
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