One hundred and eleven days delayed, Inter’s visit to Bologna is finally upon us. If you remember, the original fixture, meant to be played on January 6th, was postponed after a number of COVID cases at Bologna. That didn’t stop Inter from arriving at an empty Renato Dall’Ara and kicking the ball around for a few hours before heading back to Milano. Thanks to a combination of the speed and efficiency of Serie A (yeah right) and Inter’s very busy schedule, we’re only just getting around to the rescheduled fixture (which Inter unsuccessfully appealed to be an automatic 3-0 victory) in late April, with its importance only growing over recent weeks.
Despite a superb turnaround in form of late, Inter still sits behind Milan, albeit with a game in hand. That’s going to change tomorrow, though. No longer will the Nerazzurri be able to take solace in having played one less games than its city rivals. Anything less than three points against Bologna gives Milan an undisputed lead at the top of the table and that would be bad indeed. Inter’s recent victories over Milan and Roma mean optimism is sky-high at Apiano, with a number of key players rounding into top form at the perfect time. Hakan Calhanoglu was particularly effective against Roma, and Simone Inzaghi will need that version of the Turk in the coming weeks. Lautaro Martinez has found his scoring boots at long last as well, and seems to have retaken hold of a starting spot. For perhaps the first time in 2022, Inter doesn’t have many question marks (or at least none of the bad sort), but Bologna can’t be overlooked.
The Rossoblu have taken draws off Juventus and Milan in recent weeks and haven’t lost since March, going four unbeaten. As you might expect, Bologna sits midtable, no more no less. Currenlty 13th with 39 points, it’s slightly closer to the relegation zone than Europe but Bologna has almost nothing to worry about with a month to go in the campaign. That’s by no means a good thing however; Bologna will be playing with a freedom and lack of pressure that Inter almost certainly won’t have the luxury of. Veteran striker Marko Arnautovic is the main dangerman with 12 goals, but Bologna has an interesting cast of young talent to call upon. Musa Barrow (5g, 4a), Roberto Orsolini (4g, 2a), Mattias Svanberg (3g, 2a), and Aaron Hickey (4g, 1a) can all be quite a handful. Hickey in particular is worth keeping an eye on. The 19-year-old Scotsman is a force in the final third from the left wingback position of Bologna’s 3-5-2 shape and will keep Skriniar and Dumfries/Darmian on their toes.
Inter has a 90W-41D-53L record against Bologna all time, including wins in the last three meetings.
- 0-1 (A) - 3/4/2021
- 3-1 (H) - 5/12/2020
- 6-1 (H) - 18/9/2021
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Bologna 1-3 Inter Milan
It’s going to be close but ultimately Inter will get the job done thanks to goals from Lautaro and Joaquin Correa (x2), though Musa Barrow will get his name on the scoresheet as well.