Inter Milan missed the chance to climb into the top four at the weekend, as their Champions League rivals slipped up. Lazio and Roma drew in the Rome derby on Sunday night, but only after Inter drew at Atalanta. That’s now three games without a victory for the Nerazzurri, who are blowing their hopes of making it back in to Europe’s top competition. They return to San Siro as the home side on Tuesday night, following three designated away matches. Can they claim all three points against Cagliari and boost their top four hopes?
A win will send Inter in to third place, at least temporarily. That seems pretty likely, given that the bookies have made the hosts 1/5 favourites for the opening game of Serie A’s midweek round. There’s an almost 30 point gap between the two, so Inter will be expecting to get over their recent struggles for a victory. Of course, their poor form has come as a result of their string of away matches. One of those was their designated away meeting with city rivals AC Milan, a game which the Nerazzurri were impressive in – as two open goal misses from frontman Mauro Icardi let AC off the hook.
Inter have won 10 of their 16 home matches this season, with 10 of those wins coming in 13 meetings with teams below them in the table. Meanwhile, the Sardinians have lost nine of their 16 visits to the mainland. Three of their last four trips have resulted in defeats, and those came against an out of form Chievo, and two of the worst performing home sides in Genoa and Hellas Verona.
Inter have managed to put together a strong defensive record this term, with their main issues coming up front. They’ve had half of their goals come through forward Icardi, but things are starting to change. The Nerazzurri are becoming a more cohesive side under boss Luciano Spalletti, who is improving the side since taking charge in the summer. With Rafinha joining in the summer, he’s taken up a role as the main link between midfield and attack. With Marcelo Brozovic in the middle with the Brazilian, there’s an impressive creative hub in the middle for Inter, with Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva supporting Icardi.
However, that change going forward hasn’t affected Inter’s defensive set up. The hosts have conceded just 11 times across 17 games at San Siro. They’ve conceded 0.69 goals per game across the Serie A campaign, keeping a clean sheet in 56% of their home matches. With Cagliari already losing to nil in every trip to the top four, we think a home win to nil is the way to go in this one. On top of that, Inter have seen fewer than three goals scored in 12 of their last 15 matches, so we like the look of a home win with under 2.5 goals scored.
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