Antonio Conte’s Inter side will be hoping not to slip up in their Scudetto challenge as they host the lowly SPAL on Sunday afternoon.
Conte, along with a raft of mightily talented players brought in in the summer, have helped rejuvenate this historic club after a period of dysfunction under former boss Luciano Spalletii. Through 13 league games so far, I Nerazzurri have only dropped five points, leaving them just a point off Juventus at the summit of Serie A.
And after failing to reach the Champions League knockout stages last season, Inter go into the final matchday of this year’s group stages with their fate in their own hands. A win at home to Barcelona will see them through over Borussia Dortmund – who are one of only three sides to beat Conte’s men thus far.
Sunday’s opponents SPAL have had a pretty torrid time of it as of late – going winless in six games. Their poor form has seen them slip to 19th in the table, after a decent campaign last time out where they finished 13th.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Sunday 1 December|
|What Time is Kick Off?||14:00 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||San Siro|
|TV Channel/Live Stream||Premier Sports 2|
The home side will be without central midfield maestro Nicolo Barella, who recently underwent knee surgery, as well as Matteo Politano, who scored the last time these two sides met.
Alexis Sanchez remains out with a hamstring issue while Stefano Sensi remains a doubt for this one after batting injury over the past month or so.
The visitors are relatively healthy coming into this one, and it’s expected for only
|Inter||Handanovic; de Vrij, Skriniar, Bastoni; Lazaro, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Vecino; Biraghi; Lukaku, Martinez.|
|SPAL||Berisha; Sala, Vicari, Felipe; Strefezza, Missiroli, Valdifiori, Kurtic, Reca; Di Francesco, Petagna.|
Head to Head Record
These two have met on 36 occasions in the league, with I Nerazzurri winning 25 of those meetings and I Spallini coming out on top in four.
Inter haven’t lost in 14 games against SPAL in Serie A, picking up eleven wins and three draws. You have to go back to December 1962 to find the last time SPAL scored more than one goal against I Nerazzurri in a Serie A match (3-2 to Inter). Since then, they’ve scored six goals in 13 matches.
Sunday’s hosts are unbeaten in their last 18 home games against SPAL in Serie A, with 16 wins and two draws.
While their title rivals Juventus have ground out result after result, this Inter side have looked free-flowing and emphatic in most of their victories this season – despite Conte generally being seen as a traditional Italian manager with a ‘defensive’ philosophy.
It’s fair to say that Inter have been sound across the board, but the strike duo up top – Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku
The home side are coming into this one off the back of an impressive away win in Prague – Martinez and Lukaku scoring all three goals – as they kept their Champions League
SPAL, on the other hand, haven’t won since their 1-0 win at home to Parma – which was on the same weekend as the Inter-Juve clash – and they’ve only mustered a single point while on their travels this season.
Here’s how these two have fared in their last five encounters.
|Slavia Praha 1-3 Inter (27/11)||SPAL 1-1 Genoa (25/11)|
|Torino 0-3 Inter (23/11)||Udinese 0-0 SPAL (10/11)|
|Inter 2-1 Verona (09/11)||SPAL 0-1 Sampdoria (04/11)|
|Dortmund 3-2 Inter (05/11)||Milan 1-0 SPAL (31/10)|
|Bologna 1-2 Inter (02/11)||SPAL 1-1 Napoli (27/10)|
This would be a major, major upset if SPAL can get a win here, even a point for the visitors would be turn up.
With the form of this Inter side at the moment, especially the front two, you can only see one winner on Sunday and it should be relatively comfortable – SPAL holding the worst attacking record in Serie A
Overall, with both sides favouring a three at the back system, Inter’s superior quality at every position
Prediction: Inter 2-0 SPAL