MX23RW : Friday, February 26 21:37:45| >> :60:377:377:
Jan 23, 2021 at 5pm UK at Stadio Friuli
UdineseUdinese
0-0
Inter MilanInter Milan

Arslan (10'), Samir (37'), Zeegelaar (78')
FT

Bastoni (66'), Sensi (83')
Conte (90+1')

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

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

Title-chasing Inter Milan travel to meet Udinese on Saturday in buoyant mood, as they continue their pursuit of a longed-for first Scudetto in a decade.

Decisive victory in the Derby d'Italia last week saw Inter claim a clear advantage over Juventus and stay in touch with league leaders Milan, while their Friulian hosts remain mired in trouble despite a hard-earned point in midweek.


Match preview

Inter Milan's Nicolo Barella celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on January 17, 2021© Reuters

Inter's success in Calcio's biggest game last Sunday was such that even old rival Giorgio Chiellini, a Juventus stalwart, admitted his side were "outplayed in every area of the field" by the Nerazzurri in a 2-0 defeat of the defending champions.

Characterised by extraordinary work-rate and the greater nous offered by coach Antonio Conte - up against his former apprentice Andrea Pirlo - the result was rarely in doubt at San Siro, as Nicolo Barella created one goal for Arturo Vidal and scored the second himself after Alessandro Bastoni's inspired through-ball.

That cherished win came following a brief Inter downturn, which saw an eight-match winning steak ended by two winless games against Sampdoria and Roma. Now, following progress to a mouthwatering Coppa Italia quarter-final against Milan and victory over the Old Lady of Turin, Conte's team could embark on another run of positive results.

League encounters with mid-table outfits Udinese, Benevento, and Fiorentina in the coming weeks provide exactly the kind of prospect enjoyed by free-scoring Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and company.

With a seemingly endless supply of goals coming from all quarters, Inter have proved a real goal machine this term - firing home 45 already in Serie A, just before the halfway stage. Only Bayern Munich have registered more in the top five European leagues.

Recent history also holds no surprises as they head to the Dacia Arena, because the Nerazzurri have won nine of their last 11 league meetings with Udinese - not even conceding a solitary goal in the clubs' last five encounters.

Udinese head coach Luca Gotti pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

In the midst of a tough run of fixtures - including match-ups with Napoli, Atalanta and now Inter, Udinese coach Luca Gotti could be forgiven for breathing a deep sigh of relief when his side eventually eked out a point in Wednesday's previously postponed game against Atalanta.

Despite conceding two thirds of the possession and facing nearly three times as many shots on goal as they could manage themselves, the Zebrette earned a valuable 1-1 draw against their in-form visitors.

Finally, attacking midfielder Roberto Pereyra is coming into some form and bagged his second goal of the season during the week - with both coming in his last four matches, after he was switched to a role in support of struggling centre-forward Kevin Lasagna.

Even so, his underperforming colleagues have still not won a league game since mid-December and have picked up just four points from their eight most recent outings.

All of which leaves Udinese in 15th place - four points above the dreaded dotted line - and Gotti's position in the balance.

The last thing he would have wanted now is a fixture against his club's ultimate bogey team, Inter. The embattled Bianconeri have gained only one point in their last seven home games against the Milan giants and are certainly not fancied to add to that tally this weekend.

Udinese Serie A form: LLDLLD

Inter Milan Serie A form: WWWLDW
Inter Milan form (all competitions): WWLDWW


Team News

Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Despite his regular, arguably unfounded, protestations about squad depth, Inter boss Antonio Conte rarely rotates and may well stick with the XI that soundly beat Juventus last time out.

Only Danilo D'Ambrosio is definitely ruled out for the visitors, with midfielder Matias Vecino back in training and hopeful of making the bench.

Alexis Sanchez also has a minor thigh problem, but will most likely start on the sidelines in any case, with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez once more joining forces in a fearsome attacking duo.

Udinese coach Luca Gotti will again be without injured forwards Fernando Forestieri, Stefano Okaka and Ignacio Pussetto, leaving him light up front.

The hosts are therefore expected to persist with the 3-5-1-1 setup favoured in recent weeks, with Roberto Pereyra starting behind Kevin Lasagna - who has frequently been linked with a move away this month.

Brazilian midfielder Walace is also a doubt, so the midweek midfield trio of Tolgay Arslan, Rolando Mandragora and playmaker Rodrigo De Paul should stay unchanged.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Musso; Becao, Bonifazi, Samir; Larsen, Mandragora, Arslan, De Paul, Zeegelaar; Pereyra; Lasagna

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


SM words green background

We say: Udinese 1-3 Inter Milan

This is not the time or place for Udinese to break their barren run in Serie A, as Inter have the bit between their teeth at the moment and will prove hard to resist on Saturday.

Conte's men can utilise their ruthless streak to see off a second Bianconeri outfit in as many weeks - keeping closely on the coat-tails of upcoming Coppa Italia opponents Milan.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data


ID:431330:cQx:QQ:

How you voted: Udinese vs Inter Milan

Udinese
13.4%
Draw
10.2%
Inter Milan
76.4%
127
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Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul pictured in July 2020
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Inter 'beat Liverpool, Leeds to Rodrigo De Paul'
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter Milan23165257243353
2AC Milan23154445281749
3Juventus22136344192545
4Roma23135547351244
5Atalanta BCAtalanta23127453312243
6Lazio2313463830843
7Napoli22131847252240
8SassuoloSassuolo239863734335
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona239773026434
10Sampdoria2393113334-130
11Genoa236892633-726
12BeneventoBenevento2367102542-1725
13Fiorentina2367102535-1025
14Bologna2367103037-725
15Udinese2367102533-825
16SpeziaSpezia2366113041-1124
17Torino2331193341-820
18CagliariCagliari2336142441-1715
19Parma2328131745-2814
20Crotone2333172355-3212

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