Inter’s winning streak skidded to a halt with the draw against Napoli last weekend, now a second consecutive draw against Spezia means Inter have dropped four of six possible points in the past week. This short blip in form has been caused by a couple of tough away trips as well as some bad goalkeeping decisions and luck in both matches. Despite the tough results, Inter will have a chance to get back on the right track on Sunday as they host Ivan Juric and Hellas Verona.
Wasteful is an appropriate way to explain Inter’s performance in the 1-1 draw against Spezia. Samir Handanovic seems to be back on his questionable early season form, giving up the lone Spezia goal on their only shot in the match. At the other end of the pitch, offside goals and strikes onto the woodwork kept Inter from breaking the deadlock after Ivan Perisic’s leveling goal. However, Milan’s loss to Sassuolo thanks to two late goals from self-proclaimed Interista Giacomo Raspadori means Inter still gained a point in the standings. Juventus did overturn an early deficit to beat Parma, but have only gained two points on Inter because of last weekend’s loss to Atalanta. The two chasing teams are likely more concerned with cementing their top four positions at the moment than trying to catch the Nerazzurri this late. Overall, Inter’s title hopes are still on track, and getting closer with every passing match. Three points here would move Inter within two wins of the Scudetto.
Inter will come into this weekend’s match still with a full squad at Antonio Conte’s disposal, minus only the still recovering Arturo Vidal and injured Aleksandar Kolarov, who have been out of the fold in recent months anyway. The same lineup from Wednesday will likely be fielded and tasked with getting Inter off of this short skid. Inter squeaked by with a 2-1 win against Verona away earlier in the season, and will be looking to improve on that result.
Hellas Verona have been on a much longer skid of their own in recent weeks. Juric’s team have won only two of their last eight matches, dating back to a 3-0 win over Benevento on the third of March. In that time, they have lost to Milan, Sassuolo, Atalanta, Lazio, Sampdoria, and most recently Fiorentina. They have taken six points from a possible 24. An abysmal total. Much of their issues have come from a lack of scoring. Striking options Kevin Lasagna and Nikola Kalinic do not exactly scream quality in front of goal.
The loss to Fiorentina saw Inter loanee Eddie Salcedo get his first Serie A goal of the season, while other Inter loanee Federico Dimarco got a start on the left side of a back three. It is unlikely that Salcedo will start, but probable that Dimarco will as a wingback. He is always one Inter have to keep tabs on when he faces his parent club, though Verona might be making his stay a permanent one in the summer.
2-2 (A) - 9/7/2020
2-1 (A) - 23/12/2020
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter 3-1 Verona
Verona’s recent form has been very bad, and a loss to a struggling Fiorentina was not the tonic needed to improve such form. Low on confidence and quality in front of goal, they might get a goal due to Inter’s recent mistakes at the back. However, Conte’s side have been blanked only once on the season in a 0-0 draw away to Udinese. There will be goals in the match for Inter, and they should be able to take advantage of Verona’s poor form to get back in the win column at home.