It’s only a matter of time before Inter is crowned Scudetto champions. The Nerazzuri’s 11-point lead at the top of the table is practically infallible with five games to go. In fact, Inter needs only four points at most. With a win in Saturday’s visit to the Ezio Scida and 20th-placed Crotone, any points dropped by Atalanta in its fixture against Sassuolo would also secure number nineteen. It’s really happening...
While there are soon-to-be celebrations in Milan, the scene is not so rosy in Crotone. The Squali is stuck in last place with 18 points, eleven out of safety. The side from Calabria is a lock for relegation after only one season back in the top flight and with the exception of two wins against 19th Parma, Crotone has mightily struggled to compete in the top flight. Despite the midseason sacking of Giovanni Stroppa in favor of Serse Cosmi, Crotone’s form is as dreary as ever. It has only five wins so far, a whopping 25 losses, and a -41 goal differential. Most worrisome from a Crotone perspective is the shark’s unorthodox take on defending. It’s managed to concede an incredible 83 goals (2.5 per game) so far, on pace to almost the century mark.
The Squali’s attack, however, is much more suited to the rigors of Serie A. While it has scored the 7th-least, Simy Nwankwo is third on the capocannoniere charts. The Nigerian is by far Crotone’s MVP with 19 scored and one assisted. Manager Serse Cosmi confirmed that the 28-year-old will leave Crotone at the season’s end and could make for an ideal fourth-striker on Inter. Genoa and Sampdoria, though, are also vying for his signature. Simy isn’t Crotone’s only weapon, however, and Junior Messias caused Inter plenty of problems in the reverse fixture. The Brazilian leads Crotone with four assists, while also chipping in eight goals and 3.09 shots created per match.
After two consecutive 1-1 draws, Inter bounced back to winning ways with victory over Hellas Verona last weekend. A late Matteo Darmian strike was enough to seal the three points, while both Juventus and Milan dropped points since as well. The Nerazzurri have five games left to close out the season, and it's a matter of when not if, the Scudetto will officially be in Antonio Conte’s hands.
- 6-2 win, 3/1/21
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction Crotone 0-4 Inter
As we saw in January, Crotone’s attack can cause even a defense as strong as Inter’s problems on its days. The Squali had Inter tied at 2-2 by halftime, though the Nerazzurri ran out 6-2 winners by the end of the day. With Inter’s backline in its best form yet, a more comfortable victory should be on the cards. Achraf Hakimi will open the scoring early on and Inter will never look back in route to a 4-0 win.