The last match before the International break and the derby is against hapless Benevento and Inter will have to flex some real muscle to keep momentum up through the break and onto the derby. Kick-off on Sunday at 20:45 CET.
The word torrid can’t begin to describe debutantes Benevento’s start to the Serie A campaign. The “Wizards” from Campania have not managed to get a single point and have scored just one goal in their six matches so far. While it is always advisable to respect one’s opposition and face every match with humility, it is difficult to expect anything but a comprehensive win by Inter against the league minnows.
Luciano Spaletti will be not likely change too much from the tactics used against Genoa, but it is entirely possible that either Eder or Yann Karamoh may start ahead of the underwhelming Antonio Candreva on the right flank. The midfield trio to start the match is always open to speculation with all of Joao Mario, Roberto Gagliardino, Borja Valero, Matias Vecino and Marcelo Brozovic all competing for said three positions.
It has become apparent that Inter’s starting eleven find the most success when using high intensity passing and pressing, moving the ball about quickly into the opponents’ final thirds. The only problem with that style of play is that it has also become apparent that the Nerazzurri are unable to maintain that same level of intensity for more that 20-30 minutes each match. Once the output drops, especially when facing a defensively tight opponent, the Nerazzurri are plagued with a lack of ideas as to how to break through the opponent’s fortifications. Against Genoa, it appeared that the proverbial coin dropped for Spalleti when he decided to play all of Eder, Joao Mario, Karamoh, Perisic and Icardi in order to exert sufficient pressure and get the win. Whether Spaletti will start with such an audacious lineup remains unlikely but it is good to know that the tactician has a tried solution up his sleeve should Benevento prove to be more resilient than their record foretells.
Thankfully, aside from Marcelo Brozovic’s muscular troubles with Croatia, Spaletti has not lost any players due to injury while on international duty. Another piece of good news is the fact that Joao Cancelo will finally be available for selection. It is unlikely that the Portuguese wide-man will be part of the starting 11 but he may be a useful addition to the right flank especially if Antonio Candreva or Danilo D’Ambrosio exhibit fatigue in the second half.
Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; Dalbert, Miranda, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio; Valero, Vecino; Perisic, Joao Mario, Candreva; Icardi (C)
Last Season: Inter 2 – 2 Milan
Last 10 Head to Head: It’s been pretty much even-Stevens between the two poles of Milanese football in the last ten matches; There have been 5 draws and Inter slightly edge our Milan with 3 victories to the Rossoneri’s 2.
Keep an Eye on
Antonio Candreva: The Italian winger has made it a bit of a habit to score against Milan, and having just scored Italy’s only goal against Albania during the break, he’ll be in high spirits and up for it. While no one doubts Candreva’s work ethic or heart, his final product has been disappointing this season. A strong performance in the derby will go a long way in rebooting his season.
Fourth Official: tbc
Additional Assistants: tbc
Prediction & Authors Note
Prediction & scorers: Inter 2 – 1 Milan with Icardi and Candreva scoring.
Author’s Note: A return from an international break is never easy, thankfully, all of the internationals had a positive break with their respective national teams and hopefully they can carry this positivity into the derby preparations. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Inter’s best performances are when they’re playing fast, high impact football which means that a motivated “happy” Inter probably has much more chances of dominating the game.