Bologna take on ?Inter on Saturday night, in what should be an enthralling Serie A spectacle at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
With the 2018/19 season in its early weeks, this will provide an early opportunity for both sides to give themselves a boost ahead of the upcoming international break.
The hosts head into the match fresh off the back of a turgid 0-0 draw with Frosinone, and are under real pressure to pick up some points after their disappointing league opener – a 1-0 home loss to SPAL – the previous weekend.
Inter have also got the season off to a less than convincing start, having lost their opening Serie A match of the season to Sassuolo, before following it up with by throwing away to two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Torino the following week.
With both sides looking to give their fans something to cheer about, we should be in for a treat on Saturday, so here’s everything you need to know ahead of the big match.
It was 2012 when Bologna last picked up a league win against Inter, but that was a very memorable occasion for I Rossoblu fans indeed. On February 17, Stefano Pioli’s side turned up at Siro as rank underdogs, but put in a sensational performance to stun the hosts in their own back yard.
After a slow start, the game came to life shortly before half-time, when Marco Di Vaio powered a finish past Julio Cesar, before doubling his tally just a minute later after a defensive howler from the home side.
The visitors held strong in the second half, and Robert Acquafresca (Bobby Freshwater to his friends, presumably) put the game to bed and sealed a 3-0 win.
Inter will be sweating over the fitness of their tenacious midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah for the match, but it is likely that the Ghanaian will miss the game with an ankle injury picked up against Torino last weekend. However, Šime Vrsaljko appears to have shaken off an injury picked up in the same match, and should start on Saturday.
César Falletti will miss from Bologna’s lineup after picking up an ankle injury, while Godfred Donsah (fibula fracture) and Rodrigo Palacio (muscle injury) are also ruled out of the clash.
Bologna: Skorupski, González, Danilo, Helander, Pulgar, Mattiello, Dijks, Poli, Džemaili, Santander, Falcinelli
Inter: Handanovi?, D’Ambrosio, de Vrij, Škriniar, Vrsaljko, Vecino, Brozovi?, Dalbert, Nainggolan, Periši?, Icardi
With both sides looking bereft of confidence, they will be looking to appease their restless fans on Saturday evening, which is likely to mean one thing: goals.
The Stadio Renato Dall’Ara is likely to be sold out, which will give Bologna a 12th man in terms of the vocal fan support, which could prove highly beneficial. However, Inter possess quality players who are used to putting in strong performances in intimidating atmospheres, and they should have enough about them to pick up their first three points of the season.
Prediction: Bologna 1-3 Inter