With the Scudetto out of reach and a ticket to next season’s Champions League already paid for and received, Inter Milan doesn’t has much left to play for in Serie A. The next meaningful match on the calendar is against Getafe in the Europa League Round of 16. Until then, there are four league matches to see how high up the table Inter can go. First up is an in-form Fiorentina at the San Siro on Wednesday.
Tito Kohout gave an incredible in-depth look at La Viola here, which is a must-read if you’re interested. As for this coming match, Fiorentina is now safe from relegation but well separated from European qualification. Nonetheless, Inter’s going to have its hand’s full with Beppe Iachini’s side clicking at the moment. Fiorentina is five games unbeaten, and Patrick Cutrone has a goal in each of his last three. Keeping him and Franck Ribery under-wraps will undoubtedly be a tough task, but it would drastically weaken La Viola’s offense. Federico Chiesa, though, is almost certain to find space on the counter. Not only is Young a good deal slower than Chiesa, but the Englishman enjoys joining the attack too. Inter will have to be careful with possession when Young is up front, or else Chiesa only needs to wait for a chance on the break.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the draw versus Roma, and it’s subsequent consequences (both good and bad) took a bit out of Inter’s sails, and we see a less motivated side step out onto the pitch Wednesday. Finishing as high as possible is still of course important, but motivational speeches don’t have the same ring if you sub “1st” for “2nd”. That, though, is for Conte to figure out.
Predicted Starting XIs
- Fiorentina’s first choice goalkeeper,Bartłomiej Drągowski, is out with a back injury but his replacement has done remarkably well.
- Lukaku is set to make a return to the starting roster after an injury, but it would appear as though Eriksen has lost his spot after one too many mediocres performances.
- It’s probably not a good idea to rush Barella back into action, but on the plus side, Marcelo Brozović will be able to revert to his more natural position after a forgettable jaunt as trequartista vs Roma.
Prediction: Inter Milan 1-2 Fiorentina
With neither side having anything to play for, the lack of pressure could result in either a slow, low intensity, or one a wacky, unpredictable match. But based on how the league has played out since the restart, I’m leaning towards the latter. Inter will take a 1-0 lead through Ashley Young in the 1st half, but Cutrone and Ribery will flip an end-to-end second half into a Fiorentina victory. Fortunately, I’ve yet to guess one of these predictions correctly, so hopefully that remains the case.