For Inter Milan, the path is somewhat clear. Win out and increase chances for a Champions League position. Drop points and it will be the Europa League.
Of course, winning out won’t guarantee a Champions League spot for Inter as they travel to take on Udinese Sunday at the Stadio Fruili in Udine.
Last week, Inter nearly was able to keep pace with Lazio and Roma, but two goals in five minutes by Juventus against a 10-man Nerazzurri side pushed Inter Milan four points back of both Roma and Lazio with three matches remaining.
So, Inter has to win out and hope for either or both Roma and Lazio to stumble heading into the final week when they travel to face Lazio.
But, first things first and that is Udinese.
The Zebrette have failed to collect three points in each of their last 13 matches. Their last win was a 1-0 win away to Genoa back in January. Since then, Udinese has managed just two ties – a 1-1 draw with AC Milan and last week’s 3-3 tie with already-relegated Benevento.
The Bianconeri Fruiliani have been held scoreless in four of their last 13 and managed no more than two goals with the exception of last week. Currently, Udinese sits 15th in Serie A, tied with Crotone.
Offensively, Udinese has struggled to find the back of the net, scoring just 46 goals in 35 games while its defense has allowed in 59 goals, making them prime pickings for Inter’s offensive attack.
Forward Kevin Lasagna netted a brace against Benevento and has 14 goals on the season for Udinese – including one against the Nerazzurri when they last played in December.
While the Nerazzurri have already secured a Europa League position next season, it’s the Champions League they seek.
Last week, it seemed they may take a step closer to that realty after scoring two unanswered goals in the second half against Juventus, but the Old Lady managed to eek out a 3-2 win, setting Inter’s chances back a peg.
Boss Luciano Spalletti will be without Matias Vecino and Danilo D’Ambrosio who are both suspended and Roberto Gagliardini who is nursing an injury.
That opens the door for either Davide Santon or Dalbert to earn a start against Udinese in a defensive position. Santon struggled against Juventus and is credited with a breakdown in defense that allowed Juventus’ third and final goal last week.
Inter striker Mauro Icardi will be looking for his 28th league goal of the season. He trails Lazio’s Ciro Immobile who has 29 league goals and 41 in all competitions.
On paper, Inter have a clear advantage in both offense and defense. But, as we all know, what shows on paper sometimes doesn’t matter much.
What do you think? Post your comments below!
Date & Time: Sunday, May 6, 2018; 12:30 p.m. CEST (6:30 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast)
Location: Stadio Fruili; Udine, Italy
TV/Streaming: In the United States, the match will be available on beIn SPORTS Connect and on RAI Italia. In the United Kingdom, the game can be seen on BT Sport Live and BT Sport 3.
Click here to find out where you can watch the match around the world.
Inter’s Matchday Squad
Goalkeepers: Handanovic, Padelli, Berni
Defenders: Lisandro Lopez, Joao Cancelo, Ranocchia, Santon, Miranda, Dalbert, Skriniar
Midfielders: Rafinha, Borja Valero, Brozovic
Forwards: Icardi, Karamoh, Eder, Perisic, Candreva, Pinamonti
Unavailable: Gagliardini (hamstring), Vecino (suspended), D’Ambrosio (suspended)
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