In week two of keeping the pressure on, Inter Milan will host an Empoli team who have recently knocked Napoli out of the Scudetto race. After a solid bounce-back win away against an in form Udinese side, Inter look ready to take their city rivals AC Milan down to the wire.
The loss to Bologna could have easily derailed Inter, but a 2-1 win against Udinese was the response needed from the team, even if it was not the most beautiful win. Ivan Perisic stayed hot with a goal while Lautaro Martinez made up for a penalty blush with a goal as well.
In the win, Nicolo Barella came off with a knock to the knee, but seems to be okay after some scary moments. Alessandro Bastoni is still dealing with some lingering fitness issues and may not be available Arturo Vidal may also miss the match with an issue. Samir Handanovic returned against Udinese without full fitness but should be fully ready to go against Empoli.
Empoli’s famous win over Napoli was followed up with a 3-1 loss to Torino this past weekend in a match that saw both Valerio Verre and Petar Stojanović sent off. Manager Aurelio Andreazzoli has Empoli safe in Serie A for next season, a feat after Empoli went immediately down to Serie B after the 2018-19 season. They have already lost to Inter twice this season because of a Coppa matchup, but will be looking to give Inter a tough match as they did in that cup match.
Verre and Stojanovic will be unavailable for Empoli, but Andrea Pinomonti will be lurking up top trying to prove his worth to his parent club. Patrick Cutrone will also be interested in ending Inter’s title chances in favor of his boyhood club Milan.
3-2 (H) - 19/1/2022 (Coppa Italia)
0-2 (A) - 27/10/2021
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter 3-1 Empoli
With Empoli missing two starters, they will probably be slow out of the blocks. Pinamonti will probably get a goal in the typical Inter loanee curse, but Inter should be motivated with Lautaro and Joaquin Correa paired together to get the goals they need to live to see another day in the Serie A title race. Maybe Correa will even break his scoring duck.