Inter can move to within a point of second-placed Lazio if they can return to winning ways when they face eighth-placed Hellas Verona at the Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on Thursday night.
Antonio Conte’s side fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Bologna last time out, just four days after beating Brescia 6-0 – their biggest win of the season. Il Biscione’s Champions League place is effectively secured, though – while their Scudetto chances appear to be over – so they’ll be looking to finish the season on a positive note so they can gain the confidence to mount a proper title challenge in 2020/21.
It could a difficult night for Conte’s men though. Verona have been the surprise package in Serie A this season, and have shown no hesitation in taking big scalps such as Juventus and Fiorentina.
When is Kick-Off? Thursday 9 July
What Time is Kick-Off? 20:45 (BST)
Where is it Played? Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi
TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 1 (UK and ROI), LiveScore App (UK and ROI), fuboTV (US)
Matias Vecino and Marcelo Brozovic missed Serie A’s resumption last month due to injury but made their return for Inter’s defeat to Bologna last week. Conte will have to make do without Stefano Sensi (thigh) and Nicolo Barella (muscle) though, with the pair still at least a couple of weeks away from being available for selection.
It is not yet known whether Victor Moses will be at Conte’s disposal, as the Nigerian international sat out of the Bologna game due to issues with his thigh. Certainly out of contention are Alessandro Bastoni and Danilo D’Ambrosio, as both of them will be serving suspensions.
Hellas Verona are facing something of an injury crisis, with Andrea Danzi, Valentin Eysseric, Eddie Salcedo, Pawel Dawidowicz, Claud Adjapong and Sofyan Amrabat all ruled out.
Hellas Verona: Silvestri; Rrahmani, Kumbulla, Gunter; Faraoni, Veloso, Badu, Lazovic; Zaccagni; Di Carmine, Borini.
Inter: Handanovic; Godin, de Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Brozovic, Gagliardini, Young; Eriksen; Lukaku, Sanchez.
Prior to Sunday’s defeat against Bologna, Inter had been in good form, winning three out of four matches played since Serie A’s resumption – scoring 13 goals in the process.
Hellas Verona’s form since the resumption has been mixed, winning two, drawing one and losing two. Ivan Juric’s side now lie six points away from the Europa League places, with their chances of playing European football next season looking increasingly slim.
Here is how both sides have performed over their last five games.
Brescia 2-0 Hellas Verona (5/7)
Hellas Verona 3-2 Parma (1/7)
Sassuolo 3-3 Hellas Verona (28/6)
Hellas Verona 0-2 Napoli (23/6)
Hellas Verona 2-1 Cagliari (20/6)
Inter 1-2 Bologna (5/7)
Inter 6-0 Brescia (1/7)
Parma 1-2 Inter (28/6)
Inter 3-3 Sassuolo (24/6)
Inter 2-1 Sampdoria (21/6)
Given Hellas Verona’s tendency to earn results against big teams, Inter could be in for a tough 90 minutes. Juric’s side have one of the tightest defences in the division and it will be a challenge for Il Biscione to breach it.
Regardless, the difference in quality should allow Inter to just about edge it. Don’t expect a goalfest though.
Prediction: Hellas Verona 0-1 Inter