Despite entering into a smooth stretch of the schedule on paper, Inter’s past week has been anything but. The Nerazzurri floundered to a draw at Monza and barely eeked past Parma midweek in the Coppa Italia. Hellas Verona gives Simone Inzaghi’s men another chance at a routine victory, but nothing can be taken for granted with this team.
The Mastiffs currently sit 18th on 9 points, severely suffering from the offseason exits of head coach Igor Tudor and the attacking wheelhouse of Antonin Barak, Giovanni Simeone, and Gianluca Caprari. This season’s collapse was expected one year ago when Ivan Juric departed for Torino, but Tudor took Verona to even higher heights. This time Verona might not be so fortunate to escape the drop. It’s scored just 15 goals in 17 games, a far cry from the 65 it tallied last season (6th best in the league). Verona’s defense is in even worse straits. The Gialloblu leads the league in goals allowed (30) and only kept its first clean sheet of the season in last Monday’s 2-0 win over Cremonese.
There are some signs of life in the Hellas camp, however. It's yet to lose in 2023, managing a credible draw at Torino before a second victory of the season against fellow bottom dweller Cremonese, both in Marco Zaffaroni’s first games in charge (Verona’s 3rd manager of the season). Zaffaroni will need a lot to go his way if this form is to continue, starting with his strikers finding some form. Verona’s leading goalscorers are striker Thomas Henry (2 goals) and wingback Darko Lazovic (although his two goals came just last week against Cremonese). The likes of Kevin Lasagna, Yayah Kallon, Milan Duric, and Simone Verdi are yet to make a dent this season and will be headed down to Serie B in five months' time if that doesn’t change.
Despite last week’s slip-up against Monza, Inter is still in the top four with a three-point lead over Lazio, Roma, and Atalanta. That could change for good or bad in the blink of an eye, so the Nerazzurri can’t afford any more points left on the table. Inter’s upcoming schedule (Verona, Empoli, and Cremonese + the Super Coppa vs Milan) is favorable for a winning run to create a gap and anything less than 9 points could seriously loosen its grip on a Champions League spot.
Inter has a 49W-23D-8L all-time record against Verona, including 12 wins and 3 draws in the last 15 meetings. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to the 1991/92 season for the last time Hellas beat the Nerazzurri.
- 1-3 (A), 27/8/21
- 2-0 (H), 9/4/22
Predicted Starting XI’s
Prediction: Inter Milan 3-1 Hellas Verona
Inter will revert to winning ways in Serie A with a brace from the in-form Lautaro and a late strike from Dzeko, though Verona will make the visitors sweat after Milan Duric’s bangs in a header.