MX23RW : Thursday, January 20 11:38:21| >> :120:63994:63994:
Dec 1, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at San Siro
Inter MilanInter Milan
2-0
SpeziaSpezia
Gagliardini (36'), Martinez (58' pen.)
Martinez (44')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Manaj (31'), Kiwior (57')

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

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

Inter Milan start a hectic December schedule at home to struggling Spezia on Wednesday, having closed in on the Serie A summit with some superb recent form.

Returning to San Siro just a point behind city rivals Milan and four adrift of leaders Napoli, the Nerazzurri will be seeking an eighth win from 10, while their visitors are languishing just a point above the drop zone after their latest loss on Sunday.


Match preview

Inter Milan's Joaquin Correa celebrates scoring against Udinese on October 31, 2021© Reuters

Almost without warning, last season's champions have crept back into the thick of the Scudetto race, as momentum builds under the guidance of Simone Inzaghi.

Having improved on Antonio Conte's failure to progress last term, Inzaghi's side have already confirmed their place in the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since 2011-12, while four wins from their last six Serie A games sees them sitting on the shoulders of the previously distant top two - with a number of favourable fixtures to come before the winter break.

Indeed, the Nerazzurri's only dropped points in the league since mid-October have been creditable draws with major rivals Juventus and Milan, and they followed up an absorbing 3-2 win over Napoli with Saturday's regulation defeat of Venezia.

The key to their success has been a diverse attack, as Inter's tally of 34 goals so far ranks them among the top echelon across Europe during the current campaign.

Not only that, but Inzaghi has managed to maintain his new club's reputation as serial winners on home turf since he arrived, despite cost-cutting measures in the summer transfer market.

In all, Inter have won the highest number of home games across the top five European leagues since the beginning of the last season, so have no reason to expect anything other than three points at the final whistle on Wednesday.

A 2-1 win for the Nerazzurri against Spezia in their only other top-flight meeting, last term, featured goals from Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi. Both have long since departed for pastures new, but a retooled Inter seem set to march on in their absence.

Spezia's Daniele Verde celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 25, 2021© Reuters

Serie A's leakiest defence shipped another goal on Sunday, as Spezia fell to a 1-0 defeat versus Bologna at their Stadio Alberto Picco headquarters.

Conceding late on - to a Marko Arnautovic penalty awarded for handball against striker M'Bala Nzola - meant that Thiago Motta's men are now four points adrift of the closest side above them in the standings, and are just keeping their heads above the dreaded dotted line.

After an impressive debut season in the Italian top flight, Nzola has lost his way somewhat this year: indicative of the struggles the Ligurian outfit have faced in just their second-ever Serie A campaign.

While finding the net has been an issue for the Aquilotti, it has been at the other end where most of the damage has been done this term. In fact, ahead of their trip to Milan, they have lost four consecutive away matches by conceding goals at a dizzying average of 3.5 per game.

As if that was not enough to cast them into terror before clashing with the champions, Spezia have also been beaten in each of their previous Serie A fixtures played in Lombardy - a run including a loss each to Milan and Inter, plus a pair of defeats by Atalanta.

Inter Milan Serie A form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Inter Milan form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Spezia Serie A form:

  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L



Team News

Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi on October 19, 2021© Reuters

Simone Inzaghi has been forced to add two further players to his injury list following the weekend's action, as wing-back Matteo Darmian and central defender Andrea Ranocchia both suffered thigh injuries and could now be out of commission until after Christmas.

Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij will also remain on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury, so the back three is likely to remain unchanged in his absence and that of Ranocchia. Meanwhile, Denzel Dumfries should deputise for Darmian.

Lautaro Martinez is expected to come in to the front two after scoring as a substitute last weekend, so Joaquin Correa may drop out, while Inzaghi could offer opportunities to squad players such as Matias Vecino and Stefano Sensi, given a busy schedule ahead.

After failing to score last time out, Spezia can welcome back Emmanuel Gyasi from suspension on Wednesday to bolster their forward line, and the Ghanaian winger is a probable starter for the away side at San Siro.

Thiago Motta rarely deviates from a four-man defence, often with two wide strikers supporting the frontman, but did pack the back line against Atalanta - though to little effect, as they were thumped 5-2 - and could do so again.

The former Inter midfielder is set to be without midfield pair Leo Sena and Mehdi Bourabia again, but Daniele Verde may be passed fit to return and could even feature as part of the Aquilotti's attack.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Dimarco, Bastoni, Skriniar; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Vecino, Perisic; Martinez, Dzeko

Spezia possible starting lineup:
Provedel; Amian, Erlic, Nikolaou, Bastoni; Kovalenko, Sala, Maggiore; Gyasi, Antiste; Nzola


SM words green background

We say: Inter Milan 3-0 Spezia

There should be no expectations other than a comfortable home win at San Siro, due to the combination of Inter's fine form and Spezia's calamitous approach to defending.

Even if Simone Inzaghi opts to rotate his resources, the quality at his disposal far outweighs his imperiled counterpart, whose reign as boss of the visitors could be coming to an end if their fortunes do not improve soon.



Top 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


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How you voted: Inter Milan vs Spezia

Inter Milan
87.6%
Draw
7.6%
Spezia
4.8%
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Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez celebrates scoring against AC Milan in Serie A on February 21, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter Milan21155151163550
2AC Milan22153447252248
3Napoli22144439152446
4Atalanta BCAtalanta21126344261842
5Juventus22125534211341
6Fiorentina21112840291135
7Roma2211293628835
8Lazio2210574639735
9Torino219482920931
10Hellas VeronaHellas Verona228684137430
11Empoli228593543-829
12SassuoloSassuolo227783837128
13Bologna2183102835-727
14SpeziaSpezia2264122342-1922
15Udinese204882836-820
16Sampdoria2255122940-1120
17VeneziaVenezia2146111938-1918
18CagliariCagliari2237122143-2216
19Genoa2219122045-2512
20Salernitana2032151346-3311

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