Picking the Best Potential Inter Lineup to Face Benevento in Serie A on Saturday Evening

​After a strong start to the season, being the last side in the Serie A to register a defeat in the current campaign, Inter have run into some torrid form, winning only one of their last 10 league games. Subsequently, the game against Benevento could serve as a crucial turning point for the Nerazzuri. 

While Inter face the side that currently sit at the bottom of Serie A, their city rivals AC Milan are set to face off against top four challengers Roma, giving Luciano Spaletti’s men the perfect opportunity to once again occupy a Champions League spot.

Here’s how Internazionale could line up as they host Benevento at San Siro.

Torhüter

  • Handanovic

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​Samir Handanovic is pretty…handy, eh?

Verteidigung

  • João Cancelo

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  • Ranocchia

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  • Škriniar

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  • D'Ambrosio

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In spite of their first choice centre-back being absent through a hip adductor issue, Inter remain strong in defence and should have no issues maintaining what has been an impressive defensive record against Benevento.​

With Miranda missing through injury, Andrea Ranocchia will once again come into the defence to partner the talented Serbian youngster Milan Skriniar, who has been one of Inter’s standout performers this campaign, drawing a significant amount of attention from around Europe.

Elsewhere in defence Joao Cancela and Danila D’Ambrosio will retain their positions at full back as the duo have proven effective at nullifying opposition attacks throughout the course of the season.

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​Inter’s dysfunctional midfield has been at the heart of a number of their recent issues. Although the trio of Borja Valero, Matias Vecino and Roberto Galiardini were at one point instrumental to Inter’s success, the midfielder triumvirate seems to have come undone in recent weeks, leading to a host of lacklustre team performances.

Although Valero has been an admirable performer for the Nerazzuri, the Spanish veteran will likely be omitted in order to draft in former Barcelona man Rafinha who has been a revelation since arriving in Milan.

Partnering Rafinha in a three-pronged attacking midfield will be Ivorian youngster Yann Karamoh and Antonio Candreva who continues to fill in for the injured Ivan Perisic

Sturm

  • Éder

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​Although club captain Mauro Icardi has finally managed a recovery from an injury, it is likely the Argentine striker will start on the bench with Spaletti likely to err on the side of caution and not rush to reintegrate Inter’s talisman too soon.

Subsequently Eder will reprise his role as the focal point of the Nerazzuri attack, with the Italian front man having scored twice in his last three games, notably helping his side seal a 2-1 win over nine-man Bologna.

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Inter vs Benevento Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Prediction & More

​After a torrid run of form, winning only one of their last 10 Serie A, the visit of Benevento to the San Siro will prove to be a must win fixture for Luciano Spaletti’s men. While AC Milan face off against AS Roma, a win from Inter could see them once again move into the top four, should Inter register a win and the Giallorossi lose at the hands of Inter’s local rivals.

Benevento currently sit at the bottom of Serie A having won only three games so far this season, as well as this, Inter were able to pick up a 2-1 victory over the Stregoni so all three points should be more that an achievable goal for the Italian giants as they face off against the strugglers on Saturday evening.

Despite a good run of form, seeing them launch a title charge early in the season, Inter have faltered in recent months. As a result, a positive win against Benevento could see them get their season back on track once again.


Classic Encounter

Genoa CFC v FC Internazionale - Serie A

With the 2017/18 season being Benevento’s first year in the top flight of Italian football, the Nerazzuri have only faced off against the Stregoni once before in their history, that game being the 2-1 win at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito on October 1st 2017.

In that game Marcelo Brozovic grabbed a quickfire double in the first half, netting in the 19th and 22nd minute. Brozovic’s first goal came from a well worked run of play down the left wing whereby the Croatian met Antonio Candreva’s cross with a powerful header to open the scoring.

The second goal was an even more impressive bit of skill from the Croatian as Inter won a free kick 20 yards from goal. Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic lined up for the start of the routine, though it was Brozovic who would find the top right corner with a sweet, swerving shot to double the visitors advantage.

Benevento were able to pull one back as Marco D’Alessandro was able to find some space in the Inter box and slot home neatly against Handanovic however, it wasn’t enough and Inter continued their promising start to the season.


Key Battle

Eder vs Christian Puggioni

Benevento Calcio v FC Internazionale - Serie A

It is highly likely that the result of the clash between Inter and Benevento will be decided by Inter’s attacking prowess rather than their ability to defend.

Inter have been strong in defence this campaign, although they have been lacking in attack, especially in the absence of their talisman Mauro Icardi.

Subsequently, it is likely the result will be decided based on whether or not Benevento’s keeper Puggioni is capable of keeping out the Nerazzuri’s Italian striker Eder.

Team News

FC Internazionale v Bologna FC - Serie A

Inter will be without a host of their top stars as they continue to recover from injuries. Brazilian centre back Miranda will be a notable absentee as he continues to recover from a hip adductor issue. Meanwhile Croatian winger Ivan Perisic will miss the clash against the Stregoni due to a shoulder injury. 

Backup keeper Tomasso Berni has been ruled out through an undiagnosed injury while heart problems continue to keep 21-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder Assane Gnoukouri out of action.

In the opposition dugout, Benevento will be without the man who netted against Inter in the reverse fixture earlier this season as D’Alessandro picked up a muscle injury earlier in the month. Italian centre back Luca Antei has had to undergo surgery on his Achilles tendon, ruling him out for the remainder of the season.

Achraf Lazaar won’t feature at the San Siro due to accumulating too many yellow cards and disgraced centre back Fabio Lucioni will not feature for Benevento until 2019 due to receiving a ban after being found guilty of doping.

Benevento Calcio v FC Crotone - Serie A

Predicted Lineups

Inter: Handanovic, Jaoa Cancelo, Skriniar, Ranoccia, D’Ambrosio, Gagliardini, Vecino, Karamoh, Rafinha, Candreva, Eder

Benevento: Puggioni, Venuti, Djimsiti, Tosca, Letizia, Sandro, Viola, Brignola, Djuricic, Parigini, Coda


Prediction

Inter will be keen to get their season back on track and push for the Champions League spots in Serie A. As a result, their determination and drive to amend their current run of bad form should prove to be too much for Benevento.

Although Benevento come into this game off the back of an uplifting 3-2 victory against Crotone, Inter’s firepower and stalwart defence will likely prove too much for the strugglers.

Inter 3-0 Benevento

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Valencia Loanee Geoffrey Kondogbia Claims He’d Use His Own Money to Seal Move From ‘Chaotic’ Inter

​Valencia loanee Geoffrey Kondogbia has offered a damning verdict of his parent club after admitting he would use his own money to activate his buy-out clause and secure a permanent move away from Inter at the end of the season.

The midfielder joined Valencia on a season-long loan deal last summer and is seemingly doing his best to burn bridges with the Serie A side after admitting his desire for his €25m release clause to be activated by the Spanish club. 

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In an interview with Cadena Ser, via ​Football Italia, Kondogbia said: “If I had the money I’d do it. I’d use my money to pay my buy-out clause, but that’s obvious! 

“Inter was a total chaos. I met four or five different managers in two years and players used to change every year. That’s why it is hard for a footballer, especially a young one, to establish himself at Inter.

“A top club need stability even if things are not good at the beginning; continuity and stability are absolutely needed. It’s hard to play well when players and managers change every time.”

Whilst a similar set of circumstances have unfolded with Valencia prior to the arrival of current boss Marcelino – following seven managers rotated through the post in three-years – Kondogbia insisted it was the Spaniard’s presence which offered a chance of consistency. 

He added: “I know, and I had spoken to Valencia the year before, but opted to stay at Inter. Then Marcelino arrived, he spoke to me with Alemany and guaranteed there would be consistency. I realised it was the right moment to move.

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“The coach made it clear he trusted me to be a part of his sporting project and that means a lot to a player. I was coming off a difficult season and wanted to find myself again.

“The fans are demanding in Valencia too, but they are warm and supportive with the team. I am very happy here and have everything I need to settle in.

The 25-year-old has featured regularly for Valencia this season following his two-year stint with Inter which saw him make over 50 appearances for the club, which has reportedly earned him the ​interest of Liverpool


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Man Utd Target Ivan Perišić Set to Leave Inter This Summer as Nerazzurri Plan Major Squad Overhaul

​Reports from Italy have claimed that Serie A side Inter are planning to sell their winger Ivan Perišić at the end of the season, as the San Siro sleeping giants look to overhaul their current squad.

As reported by Italian outlet Calcio Mercato, the relationship between the Croatian and the club has remained frosty since the start of the season, when Inter refused to sell him to Manchester United. 

With Red Devils boss José Mourinho looking to strengthen his side next season, he may well look to move again for the unsettled 29-year-old.

With Inter wary of falling foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, they could well look to sell a number of their top players in the summer – including the likes of Perišić and Argentine ace Mauro Icardi. Despite an impressive start to the season, Inter have fallen off in the Serie A title race, with Juventus and Napoli now battling it out for the league title in a two-horse race.

Although the Red Devils signed Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal in the January transfer window, United may well look to bring Perišić in, given his reputation as a reliable and creative midfielder. 

The former Wolfsburg man has bagged seven goals and six assists in 24 matches for Luciano Spalletti’s men, and could offer the Red Devils some real strength and depth in their ranks.

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Meanwhile, ​Inter are rumoured to be weighing up a move for Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij, who his club have confirmed will be released on a free transfer at the end of the season. 

Man Utd and Liverpool are also interested in the robust Dutchman, who could well become the bargain of the window for whichever team are able to secure his signature. 

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Inter Set to Make Bayern Munich Superstar Their Top Summer Transfer Target

Serie A side Inter have made Bayern Munich star midfielder Arturo Vidal their number one transfer target for the summer, providing they qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season.

The San Siro outfit got off to a flying start this term, but a series of poor results have seen them drop out of the Champions League places to land in the fifth spot of the league standings.

They are, however, just one point behind fourth-placed Lazio and two adrift of third-placed AS Roma, while Napoli and Juventus continue to battle for the Scudetto at the top of the table.

Per Calciomercato, Inter have not given up hope of landing the Chilean, who has been playing for the Bundesliga giants since 2013 after making the switch from Juve. The report claims that they will make Vidal their chief summer target if they manage to qualify for Europe’s top competition at the end of the current campaign.

The Suning Group are hopeful of landing at least two big names in the summer as they plan for a potential first season in the Champions League since they took over as owners.

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(You may also be interested in:  Suits You! Luciano Spalletti Jokes Man Utd & Real Madrid Target’s Best Look Is in Inter’s Stripes)

Bryan Cristante, a midfielder on loan from Benfica at Atalanta, is understood to have already been identified as a secondary option should the club’s move for Vidal fail.

Financial clout could become a problem for the Chinese company however, as the Chinese government is said to be cracking down on the way their companies invest on foreign soil by means of strict sanctions.


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Suits You! Luciano Spalletti Jokes Man Utd & Real Madrid Target’s Best Look Is in Inter’s Stripes

Internazionale boss Luciano Spalletti has weighed in on the speculation hovering over Argentinian forward Mauro Icardi’s future, by joking that the player looks best in Inter’s famous stripes as opposed to any alternatives.

Club captain Icardi – who is currently second only to Ciro Immobile in Serie A’s scoring charts – has become one of Europe’s most feared strikers over the last few seasons, and his continued goal return has prompted some of the continent’s biggest clubs to monitor his performances. 

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(You may also be interested in:Inter Boss Luciano Spalletti Under Pressure After Suffering Disastrous Genoa Defeat)

Premier League side Manchester United are believed to be very interested in signing the 25-year-old, as well as Champions League holders Real Madrid, yet Spalletti doesn’t reckon (fashion aside) that Icardi is interested in a move.

The striped shirt is better on him than those that are solid colours,” the manager quipped, following questions over the striker’s future, via the Mail.

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“He is the type of character who can make a difference,” he continued. “He’s not someone who would like to make a move without making his mark on this team.”

The under-fire coach was also quizzed over his own future at the club. And while he acknowledged that anything is indeed possible with regard to his stay at San Siro, Spalletti reiterated his own commitment, claiming he’s keen to stay on “as long as possible.”

“My future? Stock is taken at the end of the season and that’s when the numbers and analyses come out, which can change anyone’s mind,” he added.

“I work every day with the utmost commitment to stay at Inter for as long as possible, maybe even achieving something important.”


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Inter Forward Gabriel Barbosa Thriving From Loan Spell at Former Club Santos

Santos forward Gabriel Barbosa, currently on loan from Inter, is thriving at his old club but says he will return to Inter and respect his contract with them.

Speaking to ​SporTV, ‘Gabigol’ reflected on his time in Europe, talking about the things he learned and his motivations upon returning to Brazil.

FC Internationale v Olympique Lyonnais - 2017 International Champions Cup China

Santos is the club Barbosa started his career at. The 21-year-old made 154 appearances for the Brazilian side, scoring 56 goals before his impressive performances caught the eye of managers, scouts and sporting directors across Europe.

“Although I did not play so much, I learned a lot: from eating habits to lifestyles, I shared the dressing room with great players, I met new cultures and learned a new language, Italian, Inter I have a contract with them, I will be back soon,” Barbosa said.

Barbosa is on loan at Santos until the end of the season. He was signed by Inter back in 2016, for 27m, but has only made 10 appearances for the club. After an unsuccessful loan spell at Portuguese side Benfica, where he only played five times, Barbosa is currently in fine form in his loan spell at Santos. His desire to succeed in his home country is apparent.

“I arrived hungry with the intention of helping the team, the three goals in three games, I’m just a few games in, I always want to play, if I’m on the beach I will just watch football. The team is very important for me, we are trained by a great coach and I want to give my contribution”.


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Lazio Confirm Star Player Will Leave for Free This Summer Amid Liverpool & Man Utd Interest

Lazio director Igli Tare has confirmed that the club have withdrawn their contract offer to defender Stefan de Vrij amid reported interest from clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona.

Juventus and Inter have also been linked with the centre-back, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Lazio have been in negotiations for months over a new deal, but it appears De Vrij’s future could lie elsewhere.

(You may also be interested in Liverpool Look to Bolster Defence With Bargain Bid for Lazio Star Sefan de Vrij)

“Lazio have withdrawn the proposal we made for a new contract to De Vrij,” Tare told Mediaset Premium – via ​Football Italia.

“We are withdrawing for reasons that we will explain later on. It was a choice made after many months of negotiations, but there is also a limit to how things went.

(You may also be interested in ​Inter Challenge Premier League Trio in Race for Lazio Contract Rebel De Vrij)

SS Lazio v Genoa - Serie A

“He has been an exemplary professional and we thank him for that as well as what he’ll do until the end of the season. He gave a lot to the club, just as we gave a great deal to him, but our paths will divide in June.

“It’s a matter of fairness. This is not the opportune time to give the reasons for this decision, but we had to give a response and we gave it this evening.

“It is better to look forward, as Lazio are a side who have grown in recent years and will continue to grow, because we certainly do not lack players.”

Lazio turned down offers believed to be around €12m for De Vrij last summer and during the January transfer window.

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Giacomo Bonaventura Believes AC Milan Can Haul Back Bitter Rivals Inter in Serie A

​AC Milan and Italy midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura believes his side can catch bitter rivals Inter in the Serie A table. 

After a slow start to the season following a summer of heavy financial investment, the Rossonari are now on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions after their 1-0 win against Samporia on Sunday, with Bonaventura himself scoring the winner. 

The result now sees Milan a mere seven points behind their inner-city rivals in a bid to secure European football for next season, and after speaking to Mediaset Premium (​via Goal), Bonaventura thinks Milan can now catch Inter in 4th place.

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He said: “We are happy, we’re doing well and there’s a great atmosphere within the team. We must continue like this. We’re in good shape and the results are coming.

“I’m happy for the goal, but the whole team is moving in sync now. We are a team now with a good mix and you can tell.

“If we play like this, we can catch Inter in the table, even if we lost a lot of ground early on.”

(You may also be interested in ​Leonardo Bonucci Hails Gennaro Gattuso for ‘Creating a Team’ at Milan as Rossoneri Go 10 Unbeaten)

The turnaround in form is largely in part to the appointment of former Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso as manager in late November following the sacking of Vincenzo Montella.

The Italian has only lost three of his 16 games in charge and alongside their improved league form, are a game away from a Coppa Italia final whilst all but qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League. 

Next for Milan is the second leg their last 32 tie against Ludogorets after a comfortable 3-0 win in the first leg, before a tough game in Serie A against AS Roma this Sunday. 

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Inter Boss Luciano Spalletti Under Pressure After Suffering Disastrous Genoa Defeat

​Inter manager Luciano Spalletti says the board will decide his future and denies rumours of a rift between himself and the club’s hierarchy after Saturday’s defeat.

​The Nera​zzurri suffered a meek 2-0 defeat to Genoa after a toothless performance at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris; a result that could see the side drop out of the top four if Lazio should beat Verona on Monday.

Inter have now won just one of their last ten matches in all competitions this term, killing any hope of winning the ​Serie A and putting a UEFA Champions League return in doubt, as further pressure is heaped on Spalletti.

“The relationship isn’t creaking, but that doesn’t mean the club are not analysing my work or that they don’t make decisions,” the former Roma coach told Rai Sport (via ​Omnisport).

“The board will assess me as normal. We are in a difficult position to make judgements because, during a season, there are more changes among coaches than journalists.”

Miranda stand in Andrea Ranocchia put Genoa ahead on the day with an unfortunate own goal before former Inter forward Goran Pandev sealed victory after the interval. The Italian centre back has since spoken out, revealing:

“When it happens, it happens, and I can’t do much about it, I think one own goal out of 186 games isn’t that bad. It was a fast-paced move, Milan [Skriniar] tried to clear it and the ball just hit my knee at the precise angle to go in like that.

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It’s disappointing but that isn’t the problem here.”


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