Inter welcome Serie B outfit Benevento to the San Siro in the Coppa Italia round of 16.
The Nerazzurri automatically enter at this stage of the competition and reached the quarter finals last year. Meanwhile, Benevento overcame three teams to reach this round – notably shocking Serie A side Udinese in the third round.
Without a domestic trophy since 2010-11 under Jose Mourinho, Inter will be keen to take the first step toward the Coppa Italia this weekend.
Here’s 90min’s preview of this cup clash.
Where To Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 13 January|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||17:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Giuseppe Meazza|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||N/A|
Inter boss Luciano Spalletti has no new injury concerns ahead of the tie and is expected to rest key players in preparation for their return to league action on 19 January.
The much courted Mauro Icardi could be one of those to make way, with fellow forward Lautaro Martinez in line for a rare start.
Benevento manager Cristian Bucchi is likely to name a strong lineup for the side sixth in Serie B. Top scorer Massimo Coda is expected to start, whilst on-loan Napoli forward Roberto Insigne, brother of Lorenzo Insigne, could feature.
|Inter||Handanovic; Vrsaljko, Miranda, De Vrij, Asamoah; D’Ambrosio, Mario, Vecino; Politano, Balde, Martinez.|
|Benevento||Montipo; Volta, Antei, Di Charia; Letizia, Tello, Del Pinto, Bandinelli, Improta; Insigne, Coda.|
Head to Head Record
The sides have met just twice, with Inter defeating their opponents in Serie A encounters last season.
Goals from defensive duo Milan Skriniar and Andrea Ranocchia saw off the Stregoni in February as Inter would eventually finish fourth.
Spalletti’s side come into Sunday’s fixture having won three of their last five league games, only coming unstuck at leaders Juventus.
The Black and Blues have won this competition on seven occasions. However, their cup campaign ended prematurely at the expense of AC Milan last season, as an extra time Patrick Cutrone winner dumped them out.
Despite competing a division below their decorated opponents, Benevento enjoyed their first ever campaign in the top flight last term – albeit setting an unwanted record of becoming the first team in history to lose their first 14 Serie A fixtures.
Bucchi’s side defeated Imolese, Udinese and fellow second division outfit Cittadella on their way to the round of 16.
Here’s how each team has faired in their past five fixtures:
|Empoli 0-1 Inter (29/12)||Benevento 1-1 Brescia (30/12)|
|Inter 1-0 Napoli (26/12)||Padova 0-1 Benevento (27/12)|
|Chievo 1-1 Inter (22/12)||Benevento 3-0 Crotone (23/12)|
|Inter 1-0 Udinese (15/12)||Cosenza 0-0 Benevento (16/12)|
|Inter 1-1 PSV (11/12)||Benevento 0-1 Verona (09/12)|
Taking into account the Nerazzurri are 14 points behind Juve, the Coppa Italia could prove an important piece of silverware for the hosts – who must fancy their chances for a first trophy in eight years.
Should Spalletti pick a strong side, the task for Benevento will inevitably become difficult under the famous lights of the Giuseppe Meazza.
Prediction: Inter 2-0 Benevento