Inter will look to shake off a slightly disappointing if not unsurprising draw against Atalanta and restart its winning run with a midweek Coppa Italia tie with Empoli. The Nerazzurri’s lust for silverware was satisfied only in the short term by last week’s Supercoppa, and Simone Inzaghi will be hoping to add a second trophy to Inter’s cabinets in his debut season. Inter has made the quarter-finals of the Coppa for seven years running, albeit without much success. The Nerazzurri last won the whole shebang in the 2010/11 season and hasn’t made the final since. Inzaghi hoisted the cup once as manager of Lazio and is Inter’s best shot at taking home an eight Coppa Italia title. Empoli, however, has the potential to trip a fatigued Nerazzurri side up.
The Tuscan side has been the surprise of the season so far and currently sits comfortably midtable in 11th with 29 points. Despite losing Alessio Dionisi, the coach behind its promotion last season, to the Sassuolo bench, Empoli looks no worse for wear. Aurelio Andreazzoli’s 4-3-1-2 lends itself to an entertaining brand of football that promises goals one way or another. Empoli averages over 1.5 goals per game but is guilty of the worst expected goals against as well (how many chances it gives up), conceding 38xga so far. Inter’s league-best attack will be hoping to take full advantage of Empoli’s porous backline and make Wednesday’s affair decidedly one-way traffic. The Azzurri’s frontline options aren’t shabby, however, and could grab a goal or two. Andrea Pinamonti leads the scoring charts with 7 tallies, followed closely by playmaker Nedim Bajrami (5g, 2a), Federico Di Francesco (4g), and Szymon Zurkowski (4g, 1a). Whatever trio Andreazzoli goes with will be key to Empoli’s chances of winning, as its defense can’t be relied on. Empoli hasn’t kept a clean sheet in six games and won just once in that timespan, a 4-3 win away at Verona in the cup.
Inter holds a heavy advantage in the all-time series, with 30 wins, 4 draws, and just 3 losses from 37 total meetings, including eight-straight victories for the good guys.
- 0-2 (A), 27/10/21
Predicted Starting XIs
After a grueling week featuring clashes against Lazio, Juventus, and Atalanta, Inter could do with some rest. Unfortunately, the schedule doesn’t offer any rest for the weary, so Inzaghi could look to rotate against Empoli before a home fixture with Venezia on the weekend. Joaquin Correa should be due a rare start, while Federico Dimarco and Arturo Vidal are also options to replace regular starters.
Prediction: Inter Milan 3-1 Empoli
Even a rotated Inter should have enough firepower to knock down Empoli. Goals from Dimarco and another Correa brace will cancel out a Cutrone strike and send Inter on to the next round.