Inter Milan will be the heavy favourites against Salernitana in the early Serie A kick-off at San Siro this week.

Italian giants Inter Milan will be keen to strengthen their hold on the top spot in Serie A when they take on bottom-placed side Salernitana on Friday night. Simone Inzaghi’s men are enjoying a stellar season and have already secured the Supercoppa Italiana this year. They are currently the favourites for the Scudetto and will also hope to go one step further in the UEFA Champions League.

With the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie against Atletico Madrid set for the 20th, playing the early game this week will give the Nerazzurri an extra day to prepare for the former. Salernitana have struggled to get going this season and are rock bottom with a mere 13 points.

Seven points off safety, the visitors have much to play for. However, it is difficult to see them upset Inter at the Giuseppe Meazza. Inter are by far the best side in the Serie A this season and have also shown their formidable strength on the continental stage.

The game could have been a face-off between the Inzaghi brothers, but Filippo Inzaghi received his marching orders following the 3-1 loss to Empoli last time around. His brother Simone has done a brilliant job at Inter and is once again expected to come out on top on Friday. The Hard Tackle looks closer at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Inter Milan

The Nerazzurri have shown few weaknesses on the domestic front this season. Whilst they did get eliminated in the Coppa Italia, Inter have by far been the standout performers in the Italian top flight this season.

With the UEFA Champions League tie around the corner and the difference in quality over Salernitana, the home side is expected to rotate their playing XI. Several senior stars could be rested or taken off early to conserve their strength.

Francesco Acerbi received a knock last time around and is likely to be rested this Friday. It makes little sense for Inter to risk him given that they have much to play for in the coming weeks. More so, Davide Frattesi and Juan Cuadrado are both still out injured and not in contention to play.

If there is one thing that Simone Inzaghi will retain, it is his 3-5-2 formation. Yann Sommer should start in goal behind the back three of Benjamin Pavard, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni. Denzel Dumfries and Carlos Augusto should get the nod as wing-backs, with Federico Dimarco handed a well-deserved rest.

Hakan Calhanoglu should hold the fort in the middle of the park, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nicolo Barella pushing forward when needed. Lautaro Martinez will lead the line, with Marko Arnautovic alongside him. The former is expected to be taken off for Alexis Sanchez before the hour mark, especially if Inter have the game in the bag.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Augusto; Martinez, Arnautovic

Inter Milan vs US Salernitana 1919: Preview and Prediction.

US Salernitana 1909

The minnows are sinking to lower depths this season and alarm bells will be ringing at the Arechi after they lost the relegation six-pointer to Empoli last weekend. Safety now looks like a difficult prospect as the chasm to the 17th spot keeps widening.

They can expect no charity from Inter as the Nerazzurri aim to secure their first Scudetto in the post-Antonio Conte era. Having parted ways with Filippo Inzaghi, they will now travel to the Giuseppe Meazza sans three key players.

Federico Fazio and Norbert Gymober are both out injured, while Domagoj Bradaric is suspended. An already difficult tie now looks unbridgeable for a side already in distress.

Salernitana are expected to line up in a 3-4-2-1 system that is likely to convert to a 3-5-2 or a 5-3-2 when under pressure. Guillermo Ochoa should start in goal behind the back three of Niccolo Pierozzi, Jerome Boateng and Dylan Bronn.

Alessandro Zanoli will aim to shake off his own goal against Empoli and will start at wing-back, with Marco Pellegrino occupying the other flank. Giulio Maggiore and Toma Basic should start in central midfield, arguably the most difficult positions to go up against Inter on the field. Antonio Candreva and Grigoris Kastanos will occupy the no. 10 role, with Boulaye Dia leading the line.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Ochoa; Pierozzi, Boateng, Bronn; Zanoli, Maggiore, Basic, Pellegrino; Candreva, Kastanos; Dia

Inter Milan vs US Salernitana 1919: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Inter Milan and Salernitana have faced off nine times in Serie A so far, with just one game ending in a draw. The former have won six clashes while the latter has come out on top twice.
  • Salernitana have lost all four of their trips to Inter in Serie A. They have a worse losing record away from home only against Fiorentina in the top flight in Italy (5).
  • Inter Milan have won all seven of their games in 2024. This is the first time they have achieved such a run at the beginning of a calendar year since 1929/30.
  • Inter Milan have won 83% of their league clashes this season, the most of any side in Europe’s big leagues.
  • Inter Milan have more clean sheets (14) than goals conceded in the league (12) this season. They are the only side in Europe’s top five leagues to possess such numbers.

Player to Watch

Marko Arnautovic

Embed from Getty Images

The veteran attacker has struggled to break into the playing XI thanks to the presence of Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram. However, he is expected to be given a run-out against Salernitana and will aim to leave his mark in front of the home crowd.

A return of two goals and three assists in 23 games across all competitions is poor output and Arenautovic will need to start stepping up and proving himself to be a capable option in rotation. He is likely to play the entire 90 minutes against Salernitana, and the pressure will be on him to make the most of it.


Inter Milan 3-0 US Salernitana 1909

Despite perhaps the new-manager bounce Salernitana might possess, Inter Milan are unlikely to go easy. The home side are formidable and are the team to beat in Italy this season. It is difficult to see anything other than a convincing win for Inter Milan on the night.

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