Verdict: Inter to win and BTTS
Inter is marching towards regaining their Serie A title with the next test being a match played at Giuseppe Meazza against Udinese. A win is a must considering Juventus is just 2 points behind, waiting to seize on every slip of Simone Inzhaghi’s team.
Building on the previous season when Inter lost the Scudetto ending their Serie A campaign with 4 points behind rivals AC Milan, the Nerrazzuri are in pole position to repeat the performance from 2021. It was the same battle with Juventus when Inter ended Juve’s 9-year dominance by clinching the Serie A title after 11 years. Simone Inzhagi is bringing Inter back to its former glory domestically and in Europe. After failing short last season losing the Champions League final to Manchester City (1-0), the Nerrazzuri qualified again in the UCL knock-out stage. A win on Giussepe Meazza against Real Sociedad will have Inter finish as Group D winners.
The hosts had an incredible season, losing only one competitive match. Sassuolo is the only side who managed to defeat Inter with a shock 2-1 win at Meazza. The Nerrazzuri proved to be a goal-scoring machine this term. Hammering the current champions Napoli on Stadio Diego Armando Maradona with a no-contest 3-0 win was a Scudetto statement made by Inter. A sensational comeback against Benfica in the Champions League proved once again Simone Inzhaghi’s players’ character. The Nerrazzuri displayed an impressive 2nd half performance after they were 3-0 down in Lisbon (3-3 final score).
Benjamin Pavard is still recovering from his patellar tendon dislocation, the medical staff predicting a comeback in training before this year’s end. Denzel Dumfries has an undisclosed health problem and will not feature against Udinese. Stefan De Vrij suffered an adductor muscle injury in the Champions League game against Benfica and will return to action only at the beginning of next year.
Simone Inzaghi will stick to his 3-5-2 formation with Acerbi, Bastoni, and Darmian forming the back line. Mikihitarian, Calhanoglu and Barella will control the midfield with Dimarco and Cuadrado playing wide. Lautaro Martinez will partner with Thuram, the latest scoring a spectacular goal in the 3-0 win against Napoli.
Udinese’s lack of firepower in front of the opposition’s goalie is quite obvious. With only 12 goals scored in 14 games, the visitors have one of the weakest attacks in Serie A. Gabrielle Cioffi failed to impress since he took over the reins in Udine (25 October 2023). The Firenze-born manager won only 1 of the 7 competitive matches played. A surprise 1-0 win at San Siro with AC Milan will be the performance Cioffi’s players are aiming to replicate against Inter. Udinese sits 16th in the table, 2 points above relegation. This position will most likely not improve after the short trip to the city of Milan.
The visitors showed their limits after having an unexpected fall in Rome, conceding 2 goals in the last 10 minutes of the game against AS Roma. It was only the 2nd match lost on the road by Udinese this season, a performance that proves the visitors are a tough nut to crack. Facing Inter on Meazza is a daunting task for Udinese who lost the last 5 matches played, scoring only 2 goals. More than 6 years ago was the last time Udine shocked Inter on their turf winning 3-1.
Udinese’s recovery room is full. Gerard Deulofeu’s return is expected by the end of the year, after suffering a terrible knee injury. Enzo Ebosse will miss the rest of the season due to his cruciate ligament tear. Brenan (hamstring), Davis (calf), Semedo (muscular problems), and Bijol (scaphoid fracture) will also not make the trip to Milan.
Gabrielle Cioffi will stick to his defensive 3-5-2 system. Isaac Succes, the Nigerian striker has yet to open his goals scored account. His partner Thauvin will look to repeat the performance he had against Roma when he scored.
Key factors to consider
- Inter are leaders in Serie A having a 2-point lead against Juventus.
- The Nerrazzuri are playing the best football in Serie A topping the charts both in attack (33 goals scored) and in defence (only 7 goals conceded).
- Simone Inzagh’s team won the last 5 games played on Meazza against Udinese.
- The visitors are engaged in a relegation battle being 2 points above the line.
- Udinese scored only 12 goals in their 14 Seria A matches.
Inter favourites to win against Udinese, the only question remains how many goals the hosts will score. Considering the latest form (6 goals in 2 matches), I am expecting an open game, with Inter hammering Udinese and goals being scored at both ends.
Verdict: Inter to win and BTTS
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