MX23RW : Sunday, August 1 17:25:09| >> :600:6045109:6045109:
Dec 23, 2020 at 5.30pm UK at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
1-2
Inter MilanInter Milan
Ilic (63')
Dawidowicz (29'), Zaccagni (45+3'), Dimarco (64'), Magnani (79')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Martinez (52'), Skriniar (69')
Brozovic (45+1'), Bastoni (83')

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

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

Inter Milan have Serie A's top spot in sight as they visit Hellas Verona for Wednesday's final fixture of an eventful year for the club.

While the Scudetto-chasing visitors have now won six league games on the spin, hosts Verona picked up only four points from their last four games after a bright start to the campaign.


Match preview

Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Sunday's hard-earned victory over Serie A new boys Spezia leaves resurgent Inter only one point off leaders and arch-rivals AC Milan, who also won at the weekend in spite of a striker shortage.

Even in light of yet another Alexis Sanchez injury last week, coach Antonio Conte has no such problems up front. The Nerazzurri have now scored 32 league goals in their first 13 Serie A games at a rate of nearly three per game.

Following the weekend's action - which brought indefatigable forward Romelu Lukaku's 300th game in the Premier League or Serie A - the Belgian star has now scored against 43 different league teams, with 147 goals in that time.

His well-taken penalty against Spezia - a ninth successive spot-kick conversion - put Inter in the driving seat and again underlined the former Everton man's value to the club.

Importantly, Conte's team have recently been able to regain the levels of consistency which they enjoyed last season, when they came close to claiming a league and European double but wound up empty-handed.

Despite a painful Champions League exit earlier this month, they have so far negotiated a hectic schedule admirably - particularly since their relatively deep squad has returned closer to full availability. It has rarely been aesthetically pleasing, but the Nerazzurri have ground out an impressive sequence of domestic results.

After Inter's ninth game in a fixture sequence of effectively playing every three days, there remains one left to tackle before the much-anticipated winter break. Ahead of their tricky trip to Verona, coach Conte has called upon his weary charges to banish all thoughts of fatigue and promised fans to "grit our teeth and see it through".

Hellas Verona's Antonin Barak celebrates scoring against AC Milan on November 8, 2020© Reuters

A pair of soft penalty calls ultimately resulted in an away draw for Verona on Saturday afternoon as they were held by struggling Fiorentina.

Coming on the back of a disappointing midweek defeat to mid-table counterparts Sampdoria, the Gialloblu have slipped to ninth in the standings, though remain just a point behind top four-chasers Lazio and Atalanta and five clear of the bottom half.

Much of the aftermath of Verona's unexpected loss at Stadio Bentegodi - in which Samp stung them twice on the counter-attack - was dominated by an outburst from highly-rated coach Ivan Juric, who criticised the club's transfer policy amid an ongoing injury crisis.

The temperamental Croatian tactician was more circumspect after the draw in Florence, instead praising the efforts of his "fantastic" team in such trying times.

Perhaps the most significant absence for Verona has been marquee summer signing Nikola Kalinic, who arrived just as the season started but almost immediately picked up an injury, leaving his new side undermanned up front.

Certainly, with the fewest goals scored in the top half - 17 from 13 games - Hellas have missed the movement and finishing ability that the former Atletico Madrid man brings.

Nonetheless, Verona have lost only three of their league games so far - demonstrating a resilience that should stand them in good stead for in-form Inter's arrival on Wednesday.

The clubs' last meeting at the Bentegodi was in July, when skipper Miguel Veloso's late equaliser secured a 2-2 draw for the Gialloblu. For Ivan Juric and company, a repeat scoreline to close out the year would be warmly welcomed.

Hellas Verona Serie A form: LWDWLD
Hellas Verona form (all competitions): LWDWLD

Inter Milan Serie A form: WWWWWW
Inter Milan form (all competitions): WWDWWW


Team News

Lautaro Martinez in action for Inter Milan on November 28, 2020© Reuters

Antonio Conte must choose between Stefano Sensi and Arturo Vidal to deploy alongside Marcelo Brozovic - who started at the weekend despite being doubtful before kickoff - and Nicolo Barella in his familiar 3-5-2.

Ashley Young and Achraf Hakimi may continue on the wings, but Matteo Darmian and Ivan Perisic stand ready to deputise. Lautaro Martinez starts alongside Romelu Lukaku as Alexis Sanchez remains out injured, while Christian Eriksen has travelled to Denmark for the imminent birth of his child.

Home boss Ivan Juric still has doubts over Samuel Di Carmine, so Eddie Salcedo should start again as the lone striker in a 3-4-2-1 setup.

In addition to the absences of Marco Benassi, star signing Nikola Kalinic and former Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, Verona will also have to do without the suspended Antonin Barak, who was sent off against Sampdoria and subsequently banned for three games due to violent conduct.

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Ceccherini, Gunter, Lovato; Faraoni, Tameze, Veloso, Dimarco; Zaccagni, Lazovic; Salcedo

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


SM words green background

We say: Hellas Verona 0-1 Inter Milan

Approaching the turn of the year, Inter have once more become a winning machine and - despite the inevitable onset of fatigue - should be able to grind out one more victory in Verona.

The hosts have been far from prolific, so Antonio Conte's much-improved back three can keep the Gialloblu firmly locked out in the bleak midwinter.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data


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AC Milan's Rafael Leao celebrates scoring against Sassuolo in Serie A on December 20, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina24141351
United StatesUnited States20231659
JapanJapan175931
AustraliaAustralia1431431
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events


ATHLETICS
· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

SAILING
· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

FOOTBALL
· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

CYCLING
· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

WEIGHTLIFTING
· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

HOCKEY
· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
EFL Cup
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Trophee des Champions
Taca da Liga
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
2.Bundesliga
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atalanta BCAtalanta00000000
2Bologna00000000
3CagliariCagliari00000000
4Empoli00000000
5Fiorentina00000000
6Genoa00000000
7Hellas VeronaHellas Verona00000000
8Inter Milan00000000
9Juventus00000000
10Lazio00000000
11AC Milan00000000
12Napoli00000000
13Roma00000000
14Salernitana00000000
15Sampdoria00000000
16SassuoloSassuolo00000000
17SpeziaSpezia00000000
18Torino00000000
19Udinese00000000
20VeneziaVenezia00000000

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