Saturday may be a spooky Halloween in more ways than one for Interisti. After a hard fought 0-0 draw away at Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan return home to host Fabio Liverani’s Parma. With a thigh injury announced on Thursday ruling out perhaps Inter’s most important player so far this season in Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Conte’s side will look very different from the team that started Tuesday’s draw. Nonetheless, Inter will be looking to end a tough month with a solid result.
After a solid midtable finish to last season, Parma have stumbled out of the gates this season. The loss of winger Dejan Kulusevski to Juventus and the sacking of manager Roberto D’Aversa have had a hangover effect into this season, as the Gialloblu sit in 16th place with only four points in their first five Serie A matches this season. A 1-0 victory over Hellas Verona and a 2-2 draw with Serie A newcomers Spezia have been the only points for Parma. Captain Bruno Alves has been missing with COVID-19 as well. Despite the lack of form, Parma still have speed in their wingers Yann Karamoh and Gervinho. Inter have shown that they sometimes lack the ability to cope with pace, especially without their first choice defense, so it would be unwise to count Parma out before the match is played.
On top of the heavy schedule, Romelu Lukaku’s injury and the persistence of Milan Skriniar’s COVID-19 diagnosis mean Antonio Conte still has a lot of decisions to make for a highly rotated squad. The draw with Shakhtar has continued the run of inconsistent results in Italy and Europe for Inter, something not helped by the inconsistent team selection forced upon Conte. With all of the fatigue, injuries, and sickness this Inter squad has dealt with, a home victory against a stumbling Parma team would offer a brief moment of respite before a crucial Champions League trip to face Real Madrid.
2-2 (H) - 26/10/2019
1-2 (A) - 28/6/2020
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter 2-0 Parma
Inter will have to watch out for Gervinho’s pace in behind the high defensive line that has been employed all season, but will be lucky not to have to worry about Yann Karamoh from the start, who is always a threat to score against his former team. After Gervinho, the rest of the Parma team lacks pace and will likely sit deep for most of the match, looking to hit Inter on counter. Inter’s attack will look different without Lukaku, but it will be a chance to see what Andrea Pinamonti can do partnered with Lautaro Martinez. An early Inter goal would go a long way in calming everyone’s nerves on and off the pitch. One can hope, right?