Having suffered a heartbreaking last minute loss to Juventus last week, Inter Milan return to action on Sunday against Serie A’s other team in black and white hoping for a much more positive result. A visit to Udinese should be much less testing than their previous outing when Gonzalo Higuain’s header clinched all three points for the Bianconeri, but it also represents a must win game for Luciano Spalletti’s men.
Indeed, Inter now sit four points behind fourth place, a spot they are desperate to capture as they bid to return to the Champions League next term. With this fixture representing one of their last three games of the season – and with a tough clash against Lazio on the final day – there really is no way of understating the importance of getting a victory at the Dacia Arena.
However, the home side will arrive at Sunday’s lunch time kick off in an equally desperate state. Following a run of thirteen games that has seen them earn just two points, they have slipped down the table to find themselves just three points above the relegation zone and they too suffered a late set back last time out, Benevento snatching an equaliser in injury time to draw 3-3.
While Udinese have been poor – a fact reinforced when noting they have not won a single game since late January – Inter have also been struggling of late. The loss to Juve aside, the Nerazzurri have won just two of their last six league games and only once in their last four away matches.
That triumph came at Chievo, ending a three-game stretch in which they failed to net a single goal, something that has plagued them all season when Mauro Icardi struggles to find the back of the net. Indeed, the Argentinian striker has been responsible for a staggering 47% of their goals this term and 50% of the efforts they have plundered on their travels.
No fewer eight teams have scored more away goals than Inter’s tally of 22 thus far, but they should still have enough to topple Udinese and Bet365 is offering odds of 11/8 on the Nerazzurri winning at both half time and full time. It is worth noting here that the home side have conceded more goals in the opening 30 minutes of play (22) than any other team in Serie A.
While Inter have struggled at one end of their field, their defence remains resolute, opponents netting just 26 times so far this term and only 12 of those have come away from home.
Spalletti has added more speed to his starting XI as the 2017/18 campaign has worn on, his side now thriving in playing on the counter attack rather than the slower pace they played at previously.
That increased pace has led to Inter seeing over 2.5 goals scored in each of their last three games, while Udinese have also seen that mark passed in each of their previous five outings. Furthermore, the Zebrette have conceded at least twice in each of their last 12 league fixtures, making BetBright’s offers of 11/10 on over 2.5 goals and 1/1 on only one side to score well worth considering.
While Mauro Icardi right gathers the attention, Ivan Perisic has arguably been just as vital to the Nerazzurri cause this term. The Argentinian is now a likely winner of the league’s top scorer crown following Ciro Immobile’s recent injury, the Inter skipper’s tally of 27 goals putting him just two behind the Italian international.
However, Perisic has been spectacular all season, weighing in with 11 goals and eight assists thus far. It was his speed on the ball that opened up the lead against Juve last week, and it was his cross that Andrea Barzagli deflected into his own net for Inter’s second goal of the game.
Having struck in both his two previous appearances, Perisic is a likely candidate to get on the score sheet once again here and Bet365 are offering odds of 7/1 on him to net at anytime and Inter to emerge with a win.
Udinese (3-5-2): Bizzarri; Larsen, Danilo, Samir; Zampano, Barak, Behrami, Fofona, Ali Adnan; Perica, Lasagna
Inter Milan (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; Cancelo, Skriniar, Miranda, Dalbert; Borja Valero, Brozovic; Candreva, Rafinha, Perisic; Icardi