Inter Milan will be looking to bounce back to winning ways when they welcome Hellas Verona to the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on Sunday.
Inter Milan will be keen on moving one step closer towards their inevitable coronation as the Serie A champions when they take on Hellas Verona on Sunday. They have not had the best of times recently, dropping points in back to back matches against Napoli and Spezia in the past week or so.
It has not made too much of an impact in the league table, though, as the chasing pack, including AC Milan, Atalanta and Juventus have also dropped points. As a result, the Nerazzurri still have a healthy ten-point lead heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures, with just six matches remaining until the end of the campaign.
Although a win against Verona will not guarantee the Serie A title just yet, it could certainly help them kill the title chase for good, although their opponent won’t make things any easier.
Currently in mid-table, Hellas Verona have endured a slight dip in their form in recent weeks, losing three consecutive Serie A games. Another mishap against Inter Milan could drag them out of the top half of the league table, something the Gialloblu will be determined to avoid.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look into these two sides ahead of their enticing match-up at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
Although the Serie A title chase for those behind them is likely over, Antonio Conte has mostly persisted with his strongest possible eleven, largely due to Inter Milan’s elimination from every other competition. As such, the Italian tactician won’t have much of a reason to make any changes to the side that drew with Spezia in midweek.
The defensive unit, in particular, should see Conte continue with the tried and tested three-man backline of Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni. The three central defenders, though, are likely to be asked to operate in a more conservative role as Inter look to unleash the two attack-minded wing-backs in Achraf Hakimi and Ivan Perisic.
Hakimi and Perisic will play an essential role in the creative side of things, especially when it comes to whipping in crosses for the striking duo of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, although the latter is likely to be given a more versatile role where he can drop deep link-up with midfield ball-carriers like Christian Eriksen and Nicolo Barella.
Marcelo Brozovic, meanwhile, is expected to retain his place in the holding midfield position. His composure and understanding of his position could be vital in screening the back-three, as well as providing Inter more assurance in possession.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Perisic; Martinez, Lukaku
Much like Inter Milan, Hellas Verona primarily like to operate with a three-man backline, although their two wing-backs in Davide Faraoni and Darko Lazovic generally look to remain deep, in order to aid the three centre-backs. It could be particularly up against an Inter Milan side that has two marauding wing-backs in Hakimi and Perisic.
— Hellas Verona FC (@HellasVeronaFC) April 22, 2021
There could be one defensive change for Verona, though, with makeshift left-back Federico Dimarco making way for Giangiacomo Magnani, who will renew his central defensive partnership alongside Koray Gunter and Pawel Dawidowicz.
Verona are missing a few key players in midfield, including club captain Miguel Veloso while Stefano Sturaro is serving a suspension. As such, Ivan Juric is likely to persist with the combination of Ivan Ilic and Adrien Tameze in the double pivot as they look to screen the three-man backline.
As for the attacking department, the Verona line will once again be spearheaded by Kevin Lasagna, but it is the two attacking midfielders in Antonin Barak and Mattia Zaccagni who are the danger men. Barak is the club’s top scorer this season with seven league goals while Zacaggni came off off the bench to deliver an assist in the recent 1-2 defeat to Fiorentina.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Silvestri; Magnani, Gunter, Dawidowicz; Faraoni, Ilic, Tameze, Lazovic; Barak, Zaccagni; Lasagna
- Hellas Verona’s last Serie A win against Inter was back in February 1992, a 1-0 victory thanks to Ezio Rossi’s strike – there have been 15 wins for the Nerazzurri and four draws since.
- Inter Milan are unbeaten in 29 Serie A home against Verona and could set a new club record games without a single home defeat against a particular opponent in the competition (currently level with Palermo, also 29 games with no defeat).
- Inter have won their last 12 Serie A home matches; only once have they had a longer such run in the competition.
- Verona could equal their club record for most away wins in a single Serie A campaign (currently five); only in 1984/85 and 2013/14 (both six) have they had more.
- Verona have lost their last three league games; they last lost four Serie A matches in a row in May 2018 (seven).
Player to Watch
Romelu Lukaku is currently going through a bit of a slump, as the forward has failed to score or provide an assist in any of his last three league matches. It is a rather unusual sign for a striker, who has netted 21 goals this campaign, along with eight assists, with his contributions helping the Nerazzurri emerge as the runaway leaders in Serie A.
The Belgian international, therefore, will be keen on regaining his scoring momentum during this final stretch of the campaign, not just for his team, but for himself as well, knowing he is certain to attract interest from Europe in the upcoming summer transfer window. In fact, Lukaku has already been linked with a potential return to Chelsea, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in this crucial game.
Inter Milan 1-0 Hellas Verona
Inter Milan have not looked particularly convincing in recent matches, especially in the final third, with players like Romelu Lukaku struggling to offer productivity. That could change up against a Hellas Verona defence that has looked vulnerable, of late, while the Gialloblu may also find it difficult to make any inroads going forward. We are, thus, expecting a narrow 1-0 win for the Nerazzurri.