Inter Milan will hope to get back to winning ways against Serie A minnows Cremonese following the loss to SS Lazio

Coppa Italia Champions Inter Milan will return to the Giuseppe Meazza to take on newly promoted Cremonese in their Serie A game this Tuesday.

Simone Inzaghi’s side were stunned by a 3-1 defeat to Lazio at the weekend and looked out of sorts on the night. Having fallen behind early in the race for the Scudetto, the Nerazzurri will be keen to return to winning ways.

Cremonese returned to the Italian top flight for the first time since 1995/96 and have so far lost all three games. A visit to the Giuseppe Meazza is never an easy task, let alone at a time when Inter are keen to prove a point.

Given that SSC Napoli could only muster a draw at the weekend, Inzaghi and his men are just one point off the top of the Serie A standings. Inter fell short of retaining their title last season and will be wary of losing cheap points against inferior opposition.

The Nerazzurri are comfortably the better side, and the gulf in quality should see them go into the game as heavy favourites. Anything less than three points on the night will be a scathing indictment of the home side’s inability to see off the bottom-placed side in the league. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Inter Milan

The Italian giants will be without Dalbert, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Gabriel Brazao, who are yet to recover from their injuries. Star striker Romelu Lukaku is also on the sidelines thanks to a thigh injury and will spend the game on the sidelines.

Simone Inzaghi has an otherwise fully fit squad to choose from and will be keen to see his side get off to a strong start. Given the opposition and the upcoming Milan derby at the weekend, the Nerazzurri will be within their rights to make a few changes.

It remains unlikely that Inzaghi will deviate from his 3-5-2 template. He could, however, make a few changes to ensure that the squad remains fresh ahead of the Derby Della Madonnina on Saturday. Stefan De Vrij could be one of the high-profile starters to be afforded a breather on the night.

Samir Handanovic will start in goal behind the back three of Danilo D’Ambrosio, Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni. Roberto Gagliardini should keep his place in midfield alongside Marcelo Brozovic and Hakan Calhanoglu. Nicolo Barella was abject against Lazio and could do with a break ahead of facing Milan.

Robin Gosens and Matteo Darmian could replace Federico Dimarco and Denzel Dumfries, while Edin Dzeko should come in for Romelu Lukaku. Lautaro Martinez is expected to start on the night and could be taken off early for Joaquin Correa, should the home side bag a lead of over two goals.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Bastoni, Darmian, Calhanoglu, Brozovic, Gagliardini, Gosens; Dzeko, Martinez

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Cremonese

The Italian minnows are currently embarking on their first Serie A campaign since 1995/96 and are yet to secure a single point. Having to break the duck at the Giuseppe Meazza is a tough ask, and one cannot envy Massimiliano Alvini for being in this situation.

I Violini have, however, given a good account of themselves, losing all the games by a single goal. The only time they failed to score in the Serie A this season was away to AS Roma.

Alvini has a fully fit squad at his disposal and will be heartened by the form of Leonardo Sernicola, who impressed off the bench against Torino. Given that they have nothing to lose, Cremonese are well advised to take the game to the Nerazzurri. After all three of their wins against Inter have come at the Giuseppe Meazza/San Siro.

Cremonese are unlikely to deviate from their 3-4-1-2 formation and have stuck to it despite recent reversals. Former Inter Milan goalkeeper, Ionut Radu will start in between the sticks behind a back three of Emanuel Aiwu, Vlad Chiriches and Johan Vasquez.

Paolo Ghiglione and Leonardo Sernicola will act as the fullbacks and will be tasked with stopping their Inter compatriots from bombing forward. Charles Pickel and Gonzalo Escalante are likely to form the central midfield pairing, giving the Cremonese full-backs a solid base to build upon.

Luca Zanimacchia is likely to keep his role as the number 10 and will be the visitors’ primary playmaker. He should start behind the duo of David Okereke and Cyriel Dessers.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Radu; Aiwu, Chiriches, Vasquez; Ghiglione, Pickel, Escalante, Sernicola; Zanimacchia, Okereke, Dessers

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Key Stats

  • Cremonese have won just one of their last 11 meetings against Inter Milan.
  • In 21 meetings so far, Cremonese have defeated Inter Milan just thrice, and all the victories have come away from home.
  • Despite being 19th, Cremonese have the 10th best attack in the Serie A so far, scoring thrice over three games. They also possess the third worst defence, having let in six goals.
  • Inter Milan have kept two clean sheets so far in Serie A, whereas Cremonese are yet to have one.
  • Inter Milan have not lost consecutive Serie A games since February 2020.

Player to Watch

Marcelo Brozovic

Marcelo Brozovic is a key player for Inter Milan. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Marcelo Brozovic is a key player for Inter Milan. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

The Croatian veteran endured a nightmare second half against Lazio and will be keen to make amends this weekend. Inter have been far from convincing this season and cannot afford to lose the initiative in the middle of the park.

While Cremonese are not the most dangerous side, they have shown little fear this season and appear ready to take the game to their opponents. Brozovic will be tasked with not just winning the ball back in midfield but also dictating the tempo of the game. A strong start should make life easier for the Nerazzurri, giving them confidence ahead of the clash against Milan.

Prediction

Inter Milan 3-0 Cremonese

While Cremonese do not appear to show any fear, they will come up against an Inter side on alert following their setback against Lazio. Simone Inzaghi will not want his players to be complacent and could ring in the changes ahead of the Milan derby.

Despite these proposed changes, the home side are by far the better team on paper and should romp home to an easy win. Cremonese have shown themselves to be vulnerable at the back, and the likes of Lautaro Martinez will be keen to take advantage of it.

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