MX23RW : Tuesday, January 26 03:36:28| >> :600:104274:104274:
Dec 5, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at San Siro
Inter MilanInter Milan
3-1
BolognaBologna
Lukaku (16'), Hakimi (45', 69')
Hakimi (66')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Vignato (67')
Hickey (53'), Larangeira (74')

Preview: Inter Milan vs. Bologna - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Bologna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both Inter Milan and Saturday's Serie A opponents Bologna meet at San Siro having registered back-to-back league wins since last month's international break.

Antonio Conte's side comprehensively swept aside Sassuolo - who had been above them in the table until that point - while mid-table Bologna took care of winless bottom team Crotone.


Match preview

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen on August 10, 2020© Reuters

In midweek, Inter escaped from another potential Champions League catastrophe by turning to Romelu Lukaku once more to save them. The goal-hungry Belgian striker put his side two goals ahead in Monchengladbach on Tuesday, but the Nerazzurri almost contrived to blow that lead and slip out of last-16 contention.

Nonetheless, that result keeps Conte's men in with a shout in Europe and looking upwardly mobile at home, as they have ascended to second place in Serie A despite their still apparent shortcomings.

Inter have conceded at least two goals in each of their last six home games in all competitions and they have never been on a longer such run since the very beginning of Serie A in 1929.

Even boasting one of the most experienced and reliable goalkeepers around - plus several skilled centre-backs to man the back three - has not been sufficient to stem the tide for a side which are, thanks in large part to Lukaku, the top scorers in Italy.

Qualification for the Champions League knockout phase will all comes down to a clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, whom they tore apart in the Europa League semi-final last summer but currently have a two-point advantage over Conte's team.

Such a crunch encounter coming in just a few days may impact their approach to Saturday's game, so Bologna may be well placed to capitalise.

Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Since Sinisa Mihajlovic's return to the Bologna bench, the Rossoblu have won two of the three Serie A meetings against Inter, as many as in the previous 25 games against the Nerazzurri - under a total of 13 different coaches.

Now, following their 2-1 success over Inter last July, Mihajlovic's men could win two consecutive league games against the Milan giants for the first time since the turn of the century. Not only that, but since the beginning of 2012, Inter have suffered four San Siro defeats against Bologna - only against Juventus have they lost as many times at home in that period.

Though it has been a relatively respectable start to the campaign, Bologna are one of just two teams that have not yet gained points against teams currently in the top half of the table, indicating comfort when facing flyweights but exposing limitations up against heavyweight opposition.

A key component in their campaign to date - with form which earned him a belated recall to the Azzurri squad last month - Rossoblu midfielder Roberto Soriano has already equalled his tally of goals from last term, with five in just nine games. In all of the Bayern Munich academy graduate's seven previous Serie A seasons, he has only scored more in 2015-16, with eight goals for Sampdoria paving the way for his move to La Liga, with Villarreal.

Soriano will perhaps fancy his chances of extending his scoring run at San Siro this Saturday, given Inter's defensive issues, but his team's hands will be full with a combative home attack, which could well wrest control of this game for the home side.

Inter Milan Serie A form: LWDDWW
Inter Milan form (all competitions): LDWLWW

Bologna Serie A form: LLWLWW
Bologna form (all competitions): WWLWLW


Team News

Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte pictured on November 22, 2020© Reuters

Romelu Lukaku was rested against Sassuolo last weekend but was surprisingly not missed too badly by an Inter side who have become reliant on his penalty box prowess. Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez may, therefore, be partnered by Alexis Sanchez up front once again, though key midfielder Nicolo Barella is set to be rested due to a calf injury and Stefano Sensi has also been ruled out.

Since earning more game time of late, Matteo Darmian has weighed with a goal and an assist in two consecutive starts, though Achraf Hakimi came off the bench in Monchengladbach to great effect and may be ready for a return to Antonio Conte's starting XI.

Bologna will sorely miss impressive winger Riccardo Orsolini, who picked up a muscle strain during their win over Crotone - Nicola Sansone is set to deputise.

Sinisa Mihajlovic will also have to make do without Mitchell Dijks, Andreas Skov Olsen and former Copenhagen striker Federico Santander due to injury, as veteran Rodrigo Palacio leads the line against his former side.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Vidal, Young; Sanchez, Martinez

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; De Silvestri, Tomiyasu, Danilo, Denswil; Schouten, Svanberg; Sansone, Soriano, Barrow; Palacio


SM words green background

We say: Inter Milan 2-1 Bologna

Inter's defensive deficiencies have undermined their efforts this term, so in-form Bologna can certainly cause the Nerazzuri some difficulties in that department.

However, their abundance of ability in the final third makes the home side strong favourites to claim the win needed to keep pace with San Siro co-tenants AC Milan.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:curl


ID:424368:cQx

How you voted: Inter Milan vs Bologna

Inter Milan
79.0%
Draw
15.9%
Bologna
5.2%
328
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AC Milan19134239221743
2Inter Milan19125245232241
3Roma1911444132937
4Atalanta BCAtalanta19106344232136
5Juventus18106237181936
6Lazio1910453226634
7Napoli18111641192234
8SassuoloSassuolo198653229330
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona198652518730
10Sampdoria198293029126
11BeneventoBenevento196492336-1322
12Fiorentina195682030-1021
13Bologna195592433-920
14SpeziaSpezia194692636-1018
15Genoa194691930-1118
16Udinese194692028-818
17CagliariCagliari1935112337-1414
18Torino192892837-914
19Parma1927101436-2213
20Crotone1933132243-2112

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