Bologna vs Inter Milan: Preview and Prediction

Inter Milan will aim to extend their lead at the summit as they take on Bologna, who are eager to assert dominance in that coveted fourth spot.

While Inter Milan are relatively comfortable at the top, Bologna are the surprise package in Serie A this season, sitting in fourth. Unlike their visitors, Thiago Motta’s men are not secure enough in their position on the table, despite holding a four-point lead over fifth-placed AS Roma.

The in-demand Motta will know the pressures of losing the grip on the top-four spot, as Bologna still have to play AS Roma, Juventus and Napoli in the run to the end of the season. Last weekend, Bologna dispatched off another rival in Atalanta, with goals from Joshua Zirkzee and Lewis Ferguson securing the critical three points.

As for the weekend, it will be a dream for the home fans to see their team triumph over visitors and league leaders Inter Milan. While there are chances of that happening, Simone Inzaghi’s men are likely too strong for their liking. But this fixture promises plenty of entertainment, as Motta will want to keep their chances of a fourth-placed finish alive.

Inzaghi has some thinking to do ahead of Inter Milan’s key clash with Bologna away from home. The Serie A leaders are in an excellent position in the context of the season, with the manager probably thinking about exercising his luxury of resting critical stars.

Inter Milan’s unconvincing win over Genoa on Monday night showed some chinks in their otherwise impeccable armour. But Inzaghi’s fringe stars got the job done. Kristjan Asllani and Alexis Sanchez’s goals proved enough to secure the top spot and take further advantage of Juventus’s loss to Napoli to extend Inter’s lead at the top to 15 points.

Now there is a question of whether Inzaghi goes strong at the weekend and then does it again in midweek for their crucial UEFA Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid. Either way, the Italian manager will want an advantageous end to the weekend. And with that, their manager will expect all three points to keep their golden run start to 2024 going.

Team News & Tactics


Thiago Motta will have a near full-strength squad available at his disposal, although Bologna did lose Swedish winger Jesper Karlsson to an ankle injury. He joins long-term absentee Adama Soumaoro in the treatment room.

The Bologna boss might keep faith in his lineup that won against Atalanta the last time out, barring maybe one alteration on the left wing. AC Milan loanee Alexis Saelemaekers might come in for Dan Ndoye, as beyond that, Motta might name a near-identical lineup from last weekend.

The shape will also appear similar, with Remo Freuler sitting at the base of the midfield in the lone role. Giovanni Fabbian and Lewis Ferguson will play slightly ahead in their midfield roles, with Saelemaekers and Riccardo Orsolini operating from the wide areas.

Joshua Zirkzee’s goal last weekend against Atalanta meant the striker became the first Dutch player since Ruud Gullit to score ten or more strikes in Serie A, with the latter achieving the feat in the 1994/95 campaign. He will continue to lead the line and likely improve upon his tally in the league to help Bologna achieve a top-four finish.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Skorupski; Posch, Beukema, Calafiori, Kristiansen; Freuler; Orsolini, Fabbian, Ferguson, Saelemaekers; Zirkzee

Inter Milan

As things stand, Stefano Sensi and Juan Cuadrado are the only absentees for Inter Milan, with Simone Inzaghi likely to have a full complement of players to select from ahead of the trip to Bologna. The league leaders might ring in the changes to protect some critical stars ahead of the midweek Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid.

Kristjan Asllani will have a role to play in the lineup in place of Hakan Calhanoglou, while Carlos Augusto might come in for Federico Dimarco at left-back. Inzaghi may want to maintain momentum in midfield with the continued usage of Nicolo Barella and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The midfield duo’s selection provides Inter Milan with some much-needed balance on the field. Denzel Dumfries might also come in for Darmain at right wing-back, while Inzaghi may not gamble with his defensive back three or the goalkeeping positions.

Inzaghi might continue to select Alexis Sanchez for this crucial away encounter, who could partner with Marko Arnautovic. Marcus Thuram remains available for selection, although the manager might prefer to use him and skipper Lautaro Martinez for the midweek encounter, meaning the duo may get some minutes off the bench.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Asllani, Mkhitaryan, Augusto; Arnautovic, Sanchez

Key Stats

  • Inter have won their last nine matches in Serie A.
  • Inter have been winning half-time and full-time in eight of their last nine matches in Serie A.
  • Bologna have won their last six matches in Serie A.
  • Thiago Motta is unbeaten against Simone Inzaghi’s sides in their last two encounters.
  • Bologna could register their third straight home win in Serie A.

Player to Watch

Alessandro Bastoni

Embed from Getty Images

Bastoni is by far Inter Milan’s most important defender, with the left-sided star set for one of the most important runs of his career. The Italian defender will have a big task to make Inter Milan great this season.

Simone Inzaghi will want the best out of the defender ahead of the crucial season run-in, as fans might see it as a risk to start against Bologna. However, the weekend’s game will be a great warm-up to play against a top side like Thiago Motta’s team and then prepare himself for the enormous task in midweek against Atletico Madrid.


Bologna 1-2 Inter Milan

Inter Milan are in the middle of a golden start to their year, and Simone Inzaghi will want continuation to that going forward. Momentum is a great thing, as Inter now look unstoppable. The game against Genoa might have shown some chunk in their armour, but it showed their resilience and class in that win.

Bologna are in a pressure cooker situation regarding the top-four race, and this game may come at the wrong time for Thiago Motta’s men. Bologna will undoubtedly put up a fight, although Inzaghi’s charges will have a big upper hand in this class and should take three points.

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