Inter Milan will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Serie A to four matches when they face off against a lowly Brescia side this midweek.
Inter Milan will be aiming to keep up the pressure on second-placed Lazio in the Serie A standings, when they take on relegation-threatened Brescia at San Siro on Wednesday night.
After a brilliant start to the season under Antonio Conte, the Nerazzurri‘s title challenge fizzled out prior to football getting suspended owing to inconsistent results. However, since resumption, Inter are unbeaten in their last three Serie A matches (W2 D1), most recently beating Parma 2-1 courtesy of two late goals from Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni.
Currently third in the table, Inter are four points behind Lazio in second, and the gap could widen to seven points before Conte’s side kick off on Wednesday. They will be hoping to keep up the pressure on the capital club with a victory this midweek.
Brescia, on the other hand, find themselves dawdling at the other end of the table. The newly-promoted club find themselves in the 19th position in the standings with just 18 points from 28 matches so far. Diego Lopez’s side have drawn both their games against Fiorentina and Genoa since the restart of the season, but they are on a 13-game winless run.
The reverse fixture, played in October last year, saw Inter Milan emerge 2-1 victors, with goals coming from Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku. And ahead of their latest meeting on Wednesday night, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Antonio Conte will have to make do without four of his regulars when Brescia come visiting. Midfielders Matias Vecino and Stefano Sensi remain sidelined with injuries, while Milan Skriniar misses out due to suspension. Marcelo Brozovic is stepping up his recovery from a calf problem, but Wednesday’s game might come too soon for him.
No significant changes in formation or personnel are expected from the Inter Milan manager, with the Nerazzurri expected to set up in a 3-4-1-2 against the minnows.
Captain Samir Handanovic will be manning the goal for the hosts. Diego Godin and Stefan de Vrij are expected to be retained in the three-man backline. But there could be one change, with Alessandro Bastoni likely to replace Danilo D’Ambrosio. Antonio Candreva and Ashley Young should return as the wing-backs after not featuring in the last match.
Nicolo Barella, who has previously played under Brescia manager Diego Lopez, ought to return to the middle of the park on Wednesday. He is likely to be partnered by Roberto Gagliardini, although Borja Valero is also an option at the manager’s disposal.
Christian Eriksen ought to slot in the No.10 role and provide the creative essence going forward, with Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku pairing up at the top.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Handanovic; Godin, de Vrij, Bastoni; Candreva, Barella, Gagliardini, Young; Eriksen; Martinez, Lukaku
Brescia boss Diego Lopez will once again be unable to call upon Jhon Chancellor and Andrea Cistana, while Dimitri Bisoli has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Much like Conte, Lopez, too, is unlikely to make any changes to the formation or the team that started last time out against Genoa.
Jesse Joronen would be the obvious pick in goal for the visitors while the back four should see no alterations either. That would mean Stefano Sabelli and Alessandro Semprini, who scored in the previous game, should continue as the full-backs, while 17-year-old Andrea Papetti will pair up with Ales Mateju at the centre of the backline.
Sandro Tonali, who has been linked with Inter Milan, ought to slot in as the deepest of the central midfielders. He is likely to be flanked by Birkir Bjarnason and Daniele Dessena in the middle of the park, although Romulo is also an option that the manager might consider in order to add more defensive steel.
Jaromir Zmrhal will shoulder the creative responsibilities, slotting in behind the two strikers, who ought to be top scorer Alfredo Donnarumma and Ernesto Torregrossa.
Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Joronen; Sabelli, Papetto, Mateju, Semprini; Dessena, Tonali, Bjarnason; Zmrhal; Torregrossa, Donnarumma
- Inter Milan have lost only one of their last 11 Serie A matches against Brescia (W7 D3). That defeat came way back in February 2004.
- Brescia have played out 16 draws in Serie A against Inter Milan so far – more than against any other opponent. They have also conceded a Serie A-record 82 goals against the Nerazzurri.
- Inter Milan are unbeaten in their last nine games against newly-promoted teams in Serie A (W8 D1).
- Brescia have drawn their last two Serie A matches. They could go unbeaten in three consecutive matches for the first time this season.
- Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his last three home matches in Serie A. Prior to that, the Belgian international had netted in just three of his 11 appearances at San Siro.
Player to Watch
It has been a season to remember for the Belgian international. There were many skeptics who thought he might struggle when he moved to Inter Milan last summer, but Lukaku has silenced all detractors with some brilliant performances.
The 27-year-old has amassed 25 goals and 5 assists in 39 matches across all competitions, emerging as the leading goalscorer for the Nerazzurri. Having scored twice in the last three league matches, Lukaku seems to be in a good touch heading into Wednesday’s contest and will be Inter’s main goal threat on the night.
Inter Milan 2-1 Brescia
Inter Milan pulled off a late comeback win last time out and will need to up their game against a Brescia team that will be fighting tooth and nail for survival in the Serie A. While the title seems pretty much out of reach at this moment, Conte’s men can still finish second. At the same time, they will need to be vary of Atalanta, who are closing down the gap behind them.
The match is likely to be tighter than might seem on paper. But given the difference in quality and the visitors’ wretched run of winless results, the Nerazzurri should be able to hold on for a narrow win.