Inter Milan will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways when they lock horns with Torino in matchweek eight of the 2020/21 Serie A this weekend.
Inter Milan will be looking to snap up a four-game winless run across all competitions when they play hosts to a struggling Torino outfit in Serie A at San Siro on Sunday afternoon.
The Nerazzurri, having narrowly missed out on the Serie A title last season, haven’t made the best of starts this term. Antonio Conte’s men are currently seventh in the table, having accumulated 12 points from 7 games – five points shy of local rivals and league leaders AC Milan.
Inter Milan have not won a game in any competition since their 2-0 win against Genoa back in October (D3 L1). Their most recent fixture ended in a 1-1 draw against Atalanta. However, a Torino side that is there for the taking will present the hosts with a great chance to get their campaign back on track.
Indeed, Torino are languishing towards the bottom of the table, sitting 17th after collecting just five points from seven games. However, Marco Giampaolo’s side has lost just one of their last five games in all competitions (W2 D2), with their latest fixture against Crotone ending in a goalless stalemate.
The corresponding fixture last season saw Inter Milan come from behind to beat Torino 3-1, with Ashley Young, Diego Godin and Lautaro Martinez scoring after Andrea Belotti had put the visitors in front. And ahead of their latest meeting at San Siro this weekend, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
Inter Milan have been hit with a couple of fresh roster issues as Aleksandar Kolarov and Marcelo Brozovic have both tested positive for coronavirus and will miss the game. Stefano Sensi is still not ready for a return to action while Matias Vecino and Andrea Pinamonti also miss out with injuries.
With a crunch clash against Real Madrid lined up in the Champions League on Tuesday, Conte will likely make a few changes to his strongest lineup against La Granata. However, there is unlikely to be any alteration between the sticks, with captain Samir Handanovic a certain starter.
The key defensive duo of Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar could be given a breather here, with Danilo D’Ambrosio and Andrea Ranocchia likely to start alongside Alessandro Bastoni in the three-man backline for the hosts. Matteo Darmian ought to get the nod over Achraf Hakimi at right wing-back, while Ashley Young starts on the left.
With Brozovic ruled out, Roberto Gagliardini ought to step into the starting lineup for Inter against Torino. Arturo Vidal, who impressed for Chile during the international break, should retain his place in the side; as should Nicolo Barella, meaning there is no place for Christian Eriksen, who continues to be linked with a January exit.
While there will be a temptation to rest either of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez ahead of the Real Madrid clash, Conte is likely to go with his two premier forwards on Sunday against a Torino defence that boasts the third-worst record in Serie A this season.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Ranocchia, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Gagliardini, Vidal, Young; Lukaku, Martinez
Like Inter, Torino have also had two players test positive for the virus, although the identities of those have not been made public by the club. Those two players will miss the Inter Milan fixture, as will the injured duo of Armando Izzo and Daniele Baselli.
🚨 | Official statement
Two players returning from their National teams have tested positive for Covid-19
— Torino FC English (@TorinoFC1906_En) November 20, 2020
Giampaolo will set his team up in his preferred Christmas tree formation, i.e. 4-3-2-1, with star striker Andrea Belotti at the tip, spearheading the attack. The Italian international will get support from the dynamic duo of Simone Verdi and Sasa Lukic, who will take up the two attacking midfield slots for the visitors.
Tomas Rincon will sit as the deepest of the three central midfielders and look to provide protection to the Torino backline. He will have support from Karol Linetty, who will look to break up play in the centre while Soualiho Meite ought to provide the forward thrust from the centre of the park.
Bremer, who has been linked with Liverpool ahead of the January window, is a certainty to feature at the heart of the Torino defence. He is likely to be partnered with fellow Brazilian Lyanco, while Mergim Vojvoda and Ricardo Rodriguez take up the full-back slots. Salvatore Sirigu will be the man guarding the Torino goal.
Probable Lineup (4-3-2-1): Sirigu; Vojvoda, Bremer, Lyanco, Rodriguez; Meite, Rincon, Linetty; Verdi, Lukic; Belotti
- Inter Milan and Torino have squared off 152 times in the past, with the former picking up 67 victories while the latter have come out on top on 36 occasions (D49).
- The Nerazzurri have won their last two Serie A matches against Torino and could record three consecutive wins in the league against them for the first time since September 2008.
- Since returning to the top flight in 2012, Torino have lost just three of their eight away league games against Inter Milan. Only Juventus (1) and AS Roma (2), have lost fewer at San Siro against Inter among the teams that have been always present in the competition during this period.
- Inter Milan have lost just one of their last fifteen fixtures in the Serie A.
- Torino, on the other hand, have failed to win 11 of their last 12 league games.
Player to Watch
Who else but the man in form, Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian international has taken his game to a new level ever since he joined Inter Milan last year and has firmly established himself as the club’s talisman. In eight games in all competitions this season, Lukaku has already found the back of the net on seven occasions.
The 27-year-old was in fine form during the international break, scoring a goal against England last week, before grabbing a brace against Denmark earlier this week to confirm Belgium’s place in the UEFA Nations League finals. Antonio Conte & co. will be hoping that the former Manchester United man will carry that form forward when Inter face Torino.
Inter Milan 2-1 Torino
Torino carry plenty of threat going forward with the likes of Andrea Belotti and Simone Verdi. And with Inter Milan likely to make a few key defensive changes ahead of the Real Madrid clash, the visitors will fancy themselves to score a goal here.
At the same time though, their defence has been all over the place and with the kind of form Romelu Lukaku is in, it will spell trouble for them. And that is why, The Hard Tackle predicts this one to end in a victory for Inter Milan, with Lukaku likely to have a telling impact on the outcome.