Inter Milan will be aiming to continue their fine start to the 2021/22 Serie A season when they face off against Fiorentina on Tuesday night.
Matchday five of the 2021/22 Serie A kicks off this midweek and reigning champions Inter Milan will be in action on Tuesday when they lock horns with Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi, hoping to pick up another victory.
After ending their decade-long wait for the Scudetto last season, Inter Milan have begun the defence of their title in fine form, despite the changes in management and squad. New boss Simone Inzaghi has led the team to three wins in four games, with the most recent one ending in a 6-1 thrashing of Bologna this past weekend. The Nerazzurri will be hoping to carry forward that momentum and strengthen their grip at the top of the table.
Fiorentina, too, had a change of managers between seasons with Vincenzo Italiano taking over after Gennaro Gattuso lasted just 23 days at the helm after being appointed in the summer. Despite the upheaval, the Viola have made an impressive start to the campaign. After the opening day defeat to AS Roma, they have won three in three against Torino, Atalanta and Genoa, moving to fifth place in the standings and will be aiming to cause an upset this midweek.
The corresponding fixture last season had ended in a 2-0 win for Inter Milan with goals coming from Nicolo Barella and Ivan Perisic. And, ahead of their latest meeting at Stadio Artemio Franchi on Tuesday night, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
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The Viola players to face Inter ⚜️
— ACF Fiorentina English (@ACFFiorentinaEN) September 20, 2021
Heading into the game Fiorentina have a couple of injury issues as Erick Pulgar and Gaetano Castrovilli missing out of the squad named by manager Vincenzo Italiano. While new signing Nicolas Gonzalez has been selected, the Argentine might not be risked from the start due to him suffering a niggle last time out.
The hosts will set up in a 4-3-3 formation against Inter with Bartlomiej Dragowski being the man in goal for the Viola. Nikola Milenkovic ought to return to the lineup at centre-back, partnering Lucas Martinez Quarta, which means Igor drops out. Real Madrid loanee Alvaro Odriozola should continue at right-back while Cristiano Biraghi slots in on the left, with the duo looking to provide width going forward.
With Pulgar missing out, Lucas Torreira should be in line to start at the base of the midfield, where he will have his task cut out to curtail the influence of Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu. He will have able support from Alfred Duncan while Giacomo Bonaventura occupies the third slot in the centre of the park and will look to provide the forward thrust and a goal threat with his late runs.
Moving into the attacking third, Fiorentina will once again look up to star striker Dusan Vlahovic to deliver the goods. The Serbian international will be supported by the wide-attacking duo of Jose Callejon, who gets the nod ahead of Riccardo Sottil, and Riccardo Saponara, who steps in for Nico Gonzalez.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dragowski; Odrizozla, Milenkovic, Quarta, Biraghi; Duncan, Torreira, Bonaventura; Callejon, Vlahovic, Saponara
Inter Milan, meanwhile, have a few casualties ahead of their trip to Florence as Stefano Sensi, Arturo Vidal and new signing Joaquin Correa are all injured while Christian Eriksen remains unavailable. Nonetheless, Simone Inzaghi has a very strong squad at his disposal and will field a team that will be hard to get past.
There could be a couple of tweaks made to the side that started against Bologna last time out, although no alterations are expected at the back, with Samir Handanovic lining up in goal, shielded by the three-man defensive line of Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni. Denzel Dumfries and Federico Dimarco put up great displays at the weekend and should be retained as the wing-backs.
Moving into the middle of the park, Marcelo Brozovic is the undisputed starter in the holding midfield role from where he provides control on the proceedings. On either side of the Croatian should be Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu, who ought to come in for Matias Vecino. These two will primarily be responsible for providing the forward drive and creative influence for the reigning champions.
Up top, Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez, both of whom were among the goalscorers as Inter ran riot against Bologna, should line up from kick-off with Alexis Sanchez an option from the bench.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Dzeko, Martinez
- Fiorentina’s last win against Inter Milan in Serie A came back in April 2017. In the last eight meetings between the two teams, the Nerazzurri have won four (D4).
- Inter Milan have scored in 23 consecutive league matches. Only in 1949/50 were they on a longer such run in the Italian top-flight (24).
- Fiorentina have won two of their last three home matches in Serie A (L1), as many as in the previous eight (D2 L4).
- After a run of five consecutive away wins last season between February and April, Inter Milan have won only two of their last six games on the road in Serie A (D3 L1).
- Inter Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu has scored four Serie A goals against Fiorentina, a record for him against a single opponent in the Italian top-flight.
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While there will be plenty of eyes on the Inter Milan duo of Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez after their goalscoring exploits at the weekend, another forward who will be the subject of a lot of attention on Tuesday night will be Dusan Vlahovic. The Serbian, having enjoyed a prolific 2020/21 campaign, has started on a similar note this term as well, already banging in five goals in five games.
However, he will be up against one of the toughest rearguards in Serie A this midweek. Coping with the experienced Skriniar and de Vrij will be anything but easy for Vlahovic and how he rises to the challenge could end up having a major impact on the outcome of the game at Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Fiorentina 1-2 Inter Milan
Fiorentina head into the game on the back of some good displays, racking up three wins in a row. However, Inter Milan represent a step-up in terms of quality of opposition. And with the Nerazzurri themselves in a jubilant mood after the weekend thrashing of Bologna, it might not be easy for the Viola to extend their winning run.
Both Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez seem to be finding their groove while Nicolo Barella also impressed at the weekend, which bodes well for the reigning champions. All things considered, The Hard Tackle is predicting another win for Simone Inzaghi & co., although it won’t be as easy as it was over the weekend.