Inter are back in action on Sunday as the Nerazzurri play host to Torino in a lunchtime match that could be seen by a record crowd at the San Siro. With the international break looming, Luciano Spalletti and his players will be eager to keep their early-season momentum going and protect their undefeated status.
With Italy and Croatia, two of the most represented nations in Inter’s squad, involved in the UEFA World Cup Qualifying Playoffs next week, at least five Nerazzurri will be playing meaningful matches over the break. Although qualifying for the World Cup is a dream all footballers share, Inter’s players cannot afford to overlook their match against Torino on Sunday.
The Turin-based club have been a mixed-bag so far this season. They’re currently level with Milan and Fiorentina on 16 points, but are the highest-ranked team in the table with a negative goal differential. Prior to last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Cagliari, Torino were on a five match winless streak. Much of their recent poor form can be attributed to a shaky defense that has been hemorrhaging goals this season, conceding over two per game in their last eight matches.
While Torino’s defense is unimpressive, their attacking options are anything but for an upper mid-table side. While the result of the 2-1 win was no doubt encouraging for Torino, perhaps the most important development from last weekend’s match was the fact that striker Andrea Belotti returned from his injury and played the full 90 minutes. With the ever-dangerous Italian striker back to full-fitness, Inter’s defense may have their hands full, as Torino will be buoyed by the return of their talisman.
Despite this, Inter should be very confident ahead of Sunday’s match. While not always beautiful to watch, the Nerazzurri’s pragmatic, results-oriented approach to this season has paid dividends. Inter and Napoli are the only unbeaten teams left in Italy, and Spalletti has his team frankly overachieving at this point of the campaign. Given that Torino have faltered each time they’ve faced a traditionally difficult opponent (they’ve lost to Juventus, AS Roma, and Fiorentia this season), and they have a harsh tendency of neglecting to play solid defense, Inter have every reason to believe they can earn all three points on Sunday.
On the surface the match is, at the very least, a clash of the two best young strikers in Italy, and is sure to be an interesting game, nonetheless. It’s up to Spalletti and his squad to perform. The good news is that they’ll have close to 70,000 Interisti behind them.
Date and Time: Sunday, November 5, 2017; 12:30 p.m. CEST (6:30 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast)
Location: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
TV/Streaming: In the United States, the game is available on beIN Sports 4, with streaming through beIN Sports Connect and fuboTV. In the UK, the match will be shown on BT Sport 2 with streaming through BT Sport Live. Click here to find out where you can watch the match everywhere else in the world.
Inter Milan Squad
Goalkeepers: Handanovic, Padelli, Berni.
Defenders: Cancelo, Ranocchia, Santon, Miranda, Dalbert, D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Nagatomo.
Midfielders: Gagliardini, Joao Mario, Vecino, Borja Valero, Brozovic.
Forwards: Icardi, Karamoh, Eder, Perisic, Candreva, Pinamonti.
Likely Starting XI:
(4-3-2-1): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Nagatomo; Gagliardini, Vecino; Candreva, Borja Valero, Perisic; Icardi
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