If you take your memory back about exactly two weeks ago, Inter had just defeated RB Salzburg 2-1, a game and scoreline that were a bit too close for comfort. As Anthony succinctly put it in the recap, the Nerazzurri’s performance that day was rather ‘pedestrian.’ This time around, though, with Simone Inzaghi’s men embarking on the trip to Salzburg and home-field advantage flipped, the bar is much higher if Inter is to snatch a result from Die Roten Bullen.
Salzburg has picked up three wins from three since we last saw them, outscoring its opponents 6-1 and looking exactly how the 10-time Austrian Bundesliga reigning champs would be expected to in domestic play. Red Bull’s defense remains the best in Austria while its attack has extended its lead atop the goalscoring charts in the Bundesliga, with Karim Konate (6 goals, 2 assists in all comps), Roko Simic (5g, 1a), and Oscar Gloukh (4g, 2a), Salzburg’s lone scorer vs Inter, leading the line.
Konate was strangely benched in the reverse fixture, perhaps in a more defensive move on the road, but manager Gerhard Struber will be less reserved at home and in need of all three points, so a full-strength Salzburg attack seems to be on the cards for Inter to deal with this time - no easy task by any means.
The Nerazzurri come into Matchday 4 of the group stage tied for first in Group D on 7 points with Real Sociedad, while Salzburg (3 points) and Benfica (0) lurk behind. A win here would secure Inter’s progression to the next round, but anything less puts Sociedad in pole position to finish first. The Spaniards host Benfica and don’t look like dropping points anytime soon, so the pressure is on Inter to keep the pace atop the group. The good news, though, is that Inter certainly looks capable of doing just that, as evidenced by its 2-1 win at Atalanta over the weekend. La Dea had previously been unbeaten and unscored upon at home, but the Nerazzurri showed an impressive mix of quality and grinta to put an end to that streak, and more from where that came from will be needed against Salzburg.
Inter won the only competitive fixture between these sides by a 2-1 scoreline two weeks ago, but this will be the first meeting in Austria.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: RB Salzburg 2-3 Inter Milan
Salzburg will get on the scoreboard a bit more often this time, but Inter will still take care of business thanks to a brace from Marcus Thuram and a Davide Frattesi goal out of midfield.