It’s be a relatively difficult week, if you are a passionate Interisti. Inter Milan has been chided in the media for its fan abuse during a midweek win against Napoli and will now have its next two matches played before an empty Guiseppe Meazza.
Now, the Nerazzurri have an opportunity to close out 2018 on a bit of a higher note as they travel to Stadio Carlo Castellani to take on Empoli.
Empoli sit currently just above the relegation zone while Inter are in third in the league.
Inter Milan news
Inter fans will not be permitted to attend the match in Empoli Saturday (see below) after the actions of fans following the Nerazzurri’s 1-0 win over Napoli midweek.
Radja Nainggolan could be available for Saturday’s match after the club suspended him earlier this week. However, defender Kwadwo Asamoah is back from suspension and should return to the lineup this weekend. That leaves Henrique Dalbert as the lone Inter player out of the match.
Inter’s offense have the potential to fare well against the worst defense in the league. With that in mind, it would not be surprising to see Keita Balde earn a start alongside Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi — the three top scorers for Inter this season. Expect Lautaro Martinez to come off the bench for the Nerazzurri.
One player who will not play for Inter is Marcelo Brozovic, who has been suspended for a match. That opens the door for a return by Matias Vecino to the midfield to work with Joao Mario and Borja Valero.
Projected lineup: Handanovic; Vrsalijko, De Vrij, Skriniar, Asamoah; Mario, Vecino, Valero; Balde, Perisic, Icardi.
Saturday, Empoli will be without the services of Giovanni Di Lorenzo who is sitting out a one-match ban after being booked for a fifth time in a 3-0 loss to Torino.
Additionally, Giuseppe Iachini will not have Rade Krunic as his red card against Torino has forced him out of the lineup for the match. That could be a big miss as Krunic is Empoli’s third-leading scorer behind Francesco Caputo.
Lorenzo Polvani remains injured and is questionable to doubtful for the match.
The loss to Torino was the 10th of the season for Empoli, but all four of their wins have come at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.
They have, however, only won one match in their last five — a 2-1 win against Bologna. The week before they had a 2-2 draw at SPAL, but they have lost their last three consecutive matches.
In response to Wednesday’s actions against Napoli, Inter fans have been banned from the match which is setting the stage for other Serie A clubs to do the same thing for future matches.
Projected lineup: Provedel; Veseli, Silvestre, Maietta; Zajc, Acquah, Bennacer, Traore, Antonelli; La Gumina, Caputo.
Time and Date: 2 p.m. (Milan); 9 a.m. (EST), Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018.
Where: Stadio Carlo Castellani (Empoli)
How to watch: If you are in the United States, you can catch the match on ESPN+. In the United Kingdom, the match will be shown on Eleven Sports. If you are in Italy, the match will be seen on Sky Go Italia, Sky Sport Uno and Sky Calcio 6.
Click here to see where you can watch the match anywhere in the world.
What do you think? Post your comments below!