After getting a result against Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-finals, Serie A action returns for Inter when they face Salernitana today at Stadio Arechi.
Inter have endured a recent subpar spell in the league as they have lost their last three matches. Despite faring well in the Champions League and Coppa Italia, the Nerazzurri’s Serie A woes have made them lose grip in the top-four race which is becoming competitive as we approach the end of the season.
A 1-1 draw marked Inter’s last match in the Coppa Italia semi-finals against the Bianconeri. It was a game of late drama as Juan Cuadrado opened the scoring in the 83rd minute and striker Romelu Lukaku equalised through a spot-kick in added time before all hell broke loose as the Belgian, captain Samir Handanovic and Cuadrado were sent off. However, Inter’s goal at the Allianz Stadium means they will hold the away goal advantage when they host Juventus in the San Siro.
Currently, 4th-placed, Inter have the likes of Roma, Atalanta and Juventus hot on their heels and another slip-up today would be devastating to their season hopes of finishing in the Champions League spots. Simone Inzaghi will hope not to become a part of an embarrassing history by becoming the first Nerazzurri manager to lose four Serie A matches in a row since Claudio Ranieri in 2012.
Meanwhile, Salernitana are fairly in a comfortable position according to their standards in the league standings. They are nine points clear of Verona in the relegation zone and have been able to grind out results against tougher opposition in recent matches,
Since their defeat to Lazio in mid-February, the Granata have mustered up an unbeaten run of five games, in which they have secured a win against Monza and crucial draws with Milan, Bologna, Sampdoria and Spezia. The team has nothing to lose right now as their objective of survival is well in sight and they will enter this match in high spirits.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
D D D D W
D L L D L
Simone Inzaghi will again face the dilemma of choosing his attacking duo. Romelu Lukaku’s goal in the last match puts him firmly in charge of partnering Lautaro Martinez up front as Joaquin Correa and Edin Dzeko contend.
Danilo D’Ambrosio will serve the second of his two-game suspension. Injury returnees Hakan Calhanoglu and Milan Skriniar are expected to be involved at some point.
As for Salernitana, striker Boulaye Dia will retain his usual starting place in attack as he has already recorded 10 goals this season. Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa will aim to impress as he is pushing to find a new club in the summer.
Pasquale Mazzocchi and Domen Crnigoj are out of this match due to injuries.
Salernitana (3-4-2-1): Ochoa; Daniliuc, Gyomber, Pirola; Sambia, Bohinen, Coulibaly, Bradaric; Candreva, Dia; Piatek
Inter (3-5-2): Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Martinez, Lukaku
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN