Inter’s topsy-turvy 2022/23 season will have at least one moment to fondly look back on when all is said and done. The Nerazzurri added a 7th Supercoppa title to its trophy cabinet with a dominant 3-0 thrashing of Milan Wednesday. Simone Inzaghi’s men won’t have much time to enjoy their victory, however, and return to the Serie A grind when Empoli visit the San Siro Monday night.
Fresh off an impressive 21/22 season as a newly promoted side, Empoli sits 12th on 22 points this time around and in the midst of a four-game undefeated run (2 wins and 2 draws). Paolo Zanetti has replaced Aurelio Andreazzoli at the helm, while the likes of Kristjan Asllani, Andrea Pinamonti, and Mattia Viti all departed the Stadio Carlo Castellani over the summer. In came a number of loanees such as Francesco Caputo and Martin Satriano, among others. Goals, however, are a rare commodity. Empoli has the 4th worst attack in the division with 16 scored, though its defense somewhat makes up the gap with the 10th-best record. Nineteen-year-old midfield Tommaso Baldanzi leads the charts with 3 goals, followed by another midfielder and a defender. Inter’s Satriano has managed just one goal and one assist despite substantial minutes - the Uruguayan has notched 14 starts and over 1,000 minutes of action so far.
In many ways this Empoli side is the epitome of midtable football; some talented players here and there, a generally pretty solid playstyle across the pitch, but nowhere near enough top-end talent to make any noise.
Inter returns to Milano from Riyad with a trophy in tow, always a reason for celebration. The Nerazzurri has two winnable games in the coming week (Empoli and then at Cremonese) to close out January before a jam-packed February, consisting of a Coppa Italia quarterfinal against Atalanta, a Serie A derby, and the first leg of the UCL Round of 16 clashes with Porto. Picking up maximum points in games Inter should is going to be vital for the Nerazzurri to secure the top four and create some separation over the chasing pack.
- 0-2 (A), 17/10/21
- 3-2 (H), 19/1/22 (Coppa Italia)
- 4-2 (H), 6/5/22
Inter’s history against Empoli is about as one-sided as they come. The good guys have 32 wins and just 4 draws and 3 losses, including wins in all three meetings last season.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter Milan 2-0 Empoli
The Nerazzurri will get the job done with a Lautaro Martinez brace leading the way.