Inter Milan welcome bottom club Benevento at San Siro on Saturday for Round 26 clash of Serie A. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 07:45 pm GMT, February 24.
The past few months have been disastrous for Inter. From being the league leaders to having to settle for a Europa League spot, Spaletti’s men have lost precious points in their recent games and are no longer in a position to fight for the Scudetto.
After losing their last league game, the Milanese side are fifth with 48 points, just seven ahead of their arch-rivals AC Milan.
Benevento will be more confident than the hosts going into San Siro on Saturday. The newly-promoted side struggled to keep up with the big names of Italian football for most of the season. They collected just four points in the first half of the season.
But 2018 has been a fascinating year so far for them.The Witches have already collected six points in 2018, more than the other six teams fighting for relegation. They have finally hit the double figures on the points table and they might as well pull-off a miraculous comeback to save themselves from relegation, similar to what Crotone did last year.
— Inter (@Inter) February 24, 2018
Inter Milan suffered a humiliating defeat away to Genoa in their last league match, as the Griffins added to the Nerazzurri’s sorrowful run of form. Andrea Ranocchia scored an unfortunate own-goal, as Ballardini’s men got the lead late in the first period. Goran Pandev doubled the lead in the 59th minute to ensure a victory for the home side, as Inter’s brief respite from their struggles ended.
De Zerbi’s men are coming off a hard-fought win in their last league fixture. Cheick Diabate scored a late winner, as the Stregoni collected the much crucial three points.
Players To Watch
With Mauro Icardi out injured, the Italian forward Eder has somehow managed to do his part, scoring twice in his last three appearances for the Nerazzurri. The Argentine will surely be missed, and everything has been falling apart for Spaletti’s men lately.
But the Italian has got the potential to put on some goals on the scoresheet and end Inter’s miseries.
The 35-year-old veteran is set to make his first start for the visitors on Saturday. Benevento faithful have a lot of expectations from the former Premier League champion, and we will have to wait and see if the right-back can save this sinking ship.
Head To Head
Inter won the reverse fixture of this league tie with a close 2-1 margin on the road. Benevento managed to score a goal in that fixture, ending their five-game goalless run.
Inter Milan have only failed to score in one of their last 35 league games against a freshly promoted side.
Luciano Spaletti will be without central defender Miranda, who is out with a thigh injury. Mauro Icardi is still unavailable, as his muscular injury is taking longer than expected to heal. Croatian Ivan Perisic skipped his trip to Genoa due to injury and is a doubt for this match.
Roberto De Zerbi has no new injury concerns heading into this match. Luca Antei is still sidelined with a tendon injury, and the 25-year-old is the only player missing this match for the visitors.
Inter Milan vs Benevento Line Up (Predicted XI)
Inter Milan Line Up (4-2-3-1)
D’Ambrosio (LB), Skriniar (LCB), Ranocchia (RCB), Cancelo (RB)
Rafinha(CM), Vecino (CM)
Perisic (LWF), Valero (CAM), Karamoh (RWF)
Benevento Line Up (4-3-3)
Sagna (RB), Djimsiti (RCB), Costa (LCB), Letizia (LB)
Sandro (RCM), Viola (CM), Cataldi (LCM)
Djuricic(RW), Coda (CF), Brignola (LW)
Despite being in a below-par form, Inter Milan are a team with a great history and humongous potential and will look to get back in shape with a win on Saturday.
After everyone had ruled them out, Benevento have shown that they can fight back and we might as well get to see yet another miraculous come-back this year.
The Nerazzurri are the favorites, but the Stregoni will surely give them a run for their money.
Our Prediction: A 2-1 win for Inter Milan