Inter’s scudetto hopes have been trampled into oblivion after a shock loss to Bologna, but the season isn’t over yet. This week’s matches across the league will set the tone for the rest of the 2019-20 campaign. Will Inter be fighting for 2nd or instead holding on to 4th as the season speeds toward a conclusion?
A match that will play a starring role in answering that question is Inter Milan’s visit to Hellas Verona this Thursday. Winning this game would see Inter go 1 point behind Lazio, but a tie or loss allows Atalanta to jump into 3rd.
Neither Inter nor Hellas has been at its best since the restart. Both have paid for that in the table. Inter has dropped 11 points behind Juventus in the title hunt. Verona is now six points out of 7th and European qualification, a position it held when the season restarted.
Nonetheless, Ivan Juric’s side has been one of the revelations of the season. After finishing 5th in Serie B and gaining promotion via the playoffs, Verona is now safely in mid table. The Gialloblu isn’t out of the question when it comes to Europa League qualification, either. A surprising 2-0 loss to Brescia in its last outing has seriously dented those hopes, however.
Hellas has the 4th best defense in the league, with a mere 36 goals conceded. Marash Kumballa and Co form a very solid backline that has been the main reason Hellas’s season has gone as well as it has. The Veronese outfit isn’t without attacking quality, though. Inter will have to be careful of Samuel Di Carmine and Matteo Pessina, the whom provide the biggest threat from Hellas. If both of those two are kept under control, then Verona will be hard pressed to find an outlet.
Inter, however, don’t radiate confidence at the moment. The Nerazzurri has played exactly one good game since the restart, and that was against 19th placed Brescia. Other than that, it’s been a lot of mediocre performances, with a mix of results. There is some allowance for optimism, however. Both Marcelo Brozovic and Matias Vecino returned from lengthy absences against Bologna, and can provide some much needed improvement in midfield.
Predicted Starting XIs
- Inter’s backline will be undergoing a full scale revamp. Bastoni and D’Ambrosio are suspended, while Skriniar returns from a three match ban. He and Godin look likely to slot in alongside de Vrij in the back three.
- Lautaro looks in dire need of a benching after quite a few below par showings. Alexis Sanchez, on the other hand, has been in good form of late. Put two and two together, and it only makes sense for the Chilean to get the starting nod.
- Unfortunately, we won’t get a chance to see 18-year-old Inter loanee Eddie Salcedo, who is out injured.
All Time Record
Inter has dominated the all time record against Verona, with 33 wins, 20 draws, and only 4 defeats, the last of which came in 1992.
Prediction: Verona 1-1 Inter
Both of these teams need wins in order to put its season back on track. A close, hard fought game with two second half goals will leave no one satisfied with a 1-1 draw, but it’s a fair result in the end.