Four hundred and three dreary minutes of football have come and gone since Inter last scored a goal. Since Edin Dzeko’s second-half equalizer against Napoli, the Nerazzurri have put up four straight zeros in the boxscore across three competitions. But surely, surely that has to change against Salernitana, home of the league’s worst defense. The crisis at the Meazza would reach unbearable levels in the good guys can’t pick up three points against the worst team in the league, but if Inter has shown us anything in recent weeks, take nothing for granted.
Salernitana currently sits 20th, with a measly 15 points from 25 games, ten points out of safety. The Granata have both the worst attack (20 scored) and defense (59 conceded) on the peninsula and look destined for relegation in its first season in the top flight in over twenty years. Its recent form has been slightly more encouraging, however, and a winter shopping spree looks to have boosted the squad into a more competitive realm (though still nowhere near top-flight level). Simone Verdi, Federico Fazio, Radu Dragusin, Luigi Sepe, and Diego Perotti are just a few of the 11 new faces that arrived in January, along with a new manager in Davide Nicola. In turn, Salernitana went undefeated in February, picking up four draws including a 2-2 thriller versus Milan. If that sounds familiar, well, Genoa also came into its tie against Inter on the back of a string of draws. Here’s to hoping history doesn’t repeat itself...
Inter’s nil-nil draw with Milan was a decent result but the dire performance is plenty of cause for concern. Its winless run is now at six in all competitions and the season is rapidly falling away from Simone Inzaghi’s men. Though the Nerazzurri technically could be first place by one point if it wins the rescheduled game at Bologna (no word yet on when that’s to be played) and Milan plays Napoli this weekend, the vibes in the Inter camp fail to resemble anything like soon to be champions. Inzaghi needs to find a fix to Inter’s problems, and soon. The Nerazzurri appear to channel their inner sloth every time they enter the final third, lacking any sort of dynamic movement or game plan other than cross and pray. As you may have noticed, it’s not working! Perhaps a change of formation is in order, or maybe the returns of Joaquin Correa and Robin Gosens will do the job, but either way, Inter has to improve its play by night and day or else the Scudetto will be nothing more than a dream.
Inter has three wins and two defeats in the all-time series against Salernitana, including a 5-0 thrashing of the basement dwellers back in December (those were the days...).
- 0-5 (A), 17/12/21
Predicted Starting XIs
Inter comes into Friday’s clash on limited rest thanks to the Coppa clash with Milan and the upcoming second leg against Liverpool, but they can’t afford to rotate with three vital points on the line. Salernitana, meanwhile, has employed a 4-2-3-1 in Nicola’s first two games in charge, headlined by the tricky duo of Verdi and Ribery in the attack.
Prediction: Inter Milan 2-0 Salernitana
Look, Inter has to score tomorrow, right? Right?? At home against the worst team in the league, anything less than a resounding win is a disappointment. The pressure and tension on the San Siro pitch is going to be intense, but I
think hope Inter will get the job thanks to strikes from Lautaro Martinez and a header from Milan Skriniar.