Inter vs Empoli: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

??Inter take on Empoli in each side’s final game of the Serie A season at San Siro on Sunday as I Nerazzurri look to secure a top four finish.

This game is the pick of the Serie A games to watch with both teams desperate for points to achieve their desired finishes to the 2018/19 campaign. Inter are battling for Champions League qualification next year while Empoli are staving off relegation at the foot of the table.

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Check out 90min’s preview of Sunday’s clash below.


Where to Watch

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When Is Kick Off? ?Sunday 26 May
?What Time Is Kick Off ?19:30 (BST)
?Where Is it Played San Siro
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?Premier Sports 1
?Referee? ?Luca Banti

Team News

Sime Vrsaljko is ?Inter’s only certain absentee, while Stefan de Vrij is a doubt. However, you can expect some changes to be made after Inter lost 4-1 to Napoli last week.

Mauro Icardi

Mauro Icardi looks set to start over Lautaro Martinez after being introduced around half-time last weekend and Matias Vecino could be used in the midfield over Roberto Gagliardini. 

Empoli will likely field an unchanged side from the team that beat Torino 4-1 with Rade Krunic unlikely to return from injury this week.


Predicted Lineups

Inter ?Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Asamoah; Vecino, Brozovic; Politano, Nainggolan, Perisic; Icardi.
?Empoli ?Dragowski, Maietta, Silvestre, Dell’Orco, Bennacer, Di Lorenzo, Pajac, Acquah, Traore, Farias, Caputo.

Head to Head Record

Inter have a strong record against the Azzurri, having won the last five meetings between the sides, four of which Empoli failed to score in.

Milan Skriniar

The last meeting between these two sides came in December last year when Inter emerged as 1-0 winners in Tuscany after a 72nd minute strike from Keita Balde Diao.

Empoli’s last point against Inter came back in 2015 in a 0-0 draw, but they’ll need more than just the one point to guarantee safety on Sunday.


Recent Form

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When it comes to form Empoli have the edge, having won their last three to lift themselves out of the relegation places, including wins against Fiorentina and Sampdoria.

Inter are coming off the back of a crushing defeat to Napoli and have only won one in their last five matches. They’ll be desperate to finish the season with all three points in their final game.

With Inter in desperate need of a win and Empoli’s surprisingly strong form in the relegation battle, this game could go either way and goals are to be expected with both teams participating in 4-1 scorelines last time out.  

Marko Pajac

?Here’s how each team has performed over their last five matches:

?Inter Empoli?
?Napoli 4-1 Inter (19/5) ?Empoli 4-1 Torino (19/5)
?Inter 2-0 Chievo (13/5) ?Sampdoria 1-2 Empoli (12/5)
?Udinese 0-0 Inter (4/4) ?Empoli 1-0 Fiorentina (5/5) 
?Inter 1-1 Juventus (27/4) ?Bologna 3-1 Empoli (27/4)
?Inter 1-1 Roma (20/4) ?Empoli 2-4 SPAL (20/4)

Prediction

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?Empoli have been in great form and will give everything to take all the points. However, they’re lacking in attacking threats to cause too many problems to the Inter backline.

Inter need a win to make the top four and in front of a packed out San Siro they should have enough to get the job done.

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?This game should be one to expect goals with the result eventually going Inter’s way and Empoli facing relegation.

Prediction: Inter 3-1 Empoli

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Romelu Lukaku: 6 Reasons Why Manchester United Must Sell the Forward to Inter

?When Man Utd announced they had poached Romelu Lukaku from the hands of Chelsea during the summer of 2017, fans around the globe were overjoyed with what was perceived as a stellar piece of business. United had signed a proven Premier League goalscorer and straight from under the nose of a rival – does it get any better than that?

Well, yes, in fact it does – you can get a player who is actually worth £75m rather than introducing a striker who in all honestly isn’t up to the task at the world’s biggest club. 

With speculation over Lukaku’s future amid reported interest from Inter, let’s breakdown the six reasons why the Belgian should be sold this summer. 


He Just Isn’t Good Enough!

Romelu Lukaku

Let’s not beat around the bush, Romelu Lukaku is not good enough to be Man Utd’s number nine.

Yes, he may be Belgium’s top scorer, but he isn’t in that elite bracket of strikers that the likes of Sergio Aguero and Robert Lewandowski are a part of. 

His goal scoring stats aren’t good enough – 12 in the league this season and 16 in 2017/18. His link up play is average due to an erratic first touch, and his hold up play is poor for a player of his size and strength.

One of those areas has to be top class to make it work for the Red Devils, and unfortunately Lukaku fails to excel in any. 


Lukaku Has Stunted Marcus Rashford’s Evolution

Phil Jones,Romelu Lukaku,Marcus Rashford

Lukaku has directly, and indirectly, stunted the growth of potential superstar Marcus Rashford. 

Due to Lukaku’s actual presence in Manchester, as an out and out number nine, Rashford has had to adapt his game in order to gain regular playing time; being forced out wide for the majority of his Man Utd career. 

Lukaku’s poor form has also had a direct effect on Marcus Rashford.

With the forward seemingly being able to hold up the ball effectively, Rashford has very rarely even got a chance to utilise his blistering pace when it could be so effective: on the counter attack. 


Recent Quotes Show This Is a Move He Wants

Both Lukaku and his agent have stated publicly that he wants to play in Italy. 

Speaking to on ?Sky Italia’s Lord of Football, the striker said“Playing in Serie A is a dream, it would be really a dream. I hope to be able to play sooner or later, even if at the moment I am focused on the United.”

Why would you say this during a Premier League season, playing for Manchester United, when you have been less than impressive the majority of the time?

It looks like seeds were being planted in order to alert Serie A sides that he’s looking for a way out. 


Money, Money, Money! 

Ed Woodward

Man Utd paid £75m for Lukaku in 2017. 

He is 26 years old, with three years left on his contract, and although his status as an elite striker has been somewhat dented over the last two years, he would still attract a large transfer fee.

Ed Woodward would be hoping to recoup most, if not all of the £75m he forked out for the striker, and in today’s climate that isn’t unachievable

?Reports this week claim Inter have tabled an initial offer of around £30m plus ?Ivan Perisic, which adds up to a total valuation of around £65m – not far off what United paid. This seems like a large amount for a player who has been out of form and out of favour under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

Take the money while the interest is hot.


Style of Play

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When you think of a Romelu Lukaku goal what springs to mind?

A winding solo run?

A 30-yard screamer?

A quick turn and shoot?

A first time volley?

No.

I’m pretty sure you think of a header – or a scrappy pile up in the box resulting in a toe poke into the top corner.

These are not the types goals a Manchester United striker should exclusively be scoring. Therefore with Lukaku up top, first thought is give it to Ashley Young to lump an aimless ball into the box.

Pointless.

If United are to start winning titles again they need to veer away from this tedious build up play and attack with pace and purpose. And with Lukaku in the starting XI, this will not happen.


New Look United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

With Ole at the wheel there have been highs, lows and differences of opinion, however one thing has remained the same: the players.

If Ole is going to actually rebuild ?United and enforce a style and personality to his side, he must get rid of the dead wood and that starts now, with Romelu Lukaku.

There is outside interest, the player has faltered in his commitment to the club and most importantly he has not performed to the standard expected. The rebuild starts with selling ?Lukaku to Inter and in doing so sending a message to the rest of the squad.

Bring in fresh, hungry, youthful talent and lay the foundations for a return to the glory days. 


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The Bulls**t-O-Meter: Ranking How Ridiculous May’s Transfer Rumours Really Are

It has been a season well and truly packed with transfer ridiculousness, and we are now on the cusp of a summer which promises to build on that, and blow every transfer record that has ever existed into pieces. 

Depending on who you believe, as many as five major European clubs are overhauling their entire squads as a knee-jerk reaction to differing levels of success. This, as you should really expect at this stage, has sprouted no shortage of rumours and speculation, and very little of it takes any time to account for logic or reason.

So, with that in mind, there has never been a better time to bring the old Bulls**t-o-Meter out of the cupboard for the ?first time since January, and use it to make sense of a select few from the raft of ‘news’ that has come to fore over the last four weeks or so. Never, I say. 

Fair warning: ?Manchester United are a recurring theme throughout, so we’ve made one or two adjustments to suit them. 


Hakim Ziyech

Hakim Ziyech,Zakaria Labyad,Noussair Mazraoui

?Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, various others

It’s hard to really pick a standout performer from the Ajax side who won the Eredivisie and went to the semi-finals of the Champions League, only to be kicked firmly in the nether region by Lucas Moura. Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Dusan Tadic have all been worthy contenders, but no player has contributed to more goals than Moroccan playmaker Hakim Ziyech. 

21 goals and 24 assists in all competitions has seen the 26-year-old linked with a cavalcade of clubs, and given that he is heavily reported to have a release clause of around £26m in his contract, it is looking near certain that he will move on this summer. 

Who will win the race remains to be seen. ?Arsenal are a strong shout given his relatively low cost, while ?Bayern will throw money at him. ?Liverpool don’t seem as likely given they currently have every midfielder in the Premier League on their books, but you never know. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Nailed On

Likelihood of Summer Move: Through the Roof

Manchester United’s Chances: Probably not too bad if they want him

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 1/10


Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Aaron Wan-Bissaka,Ryan Fraser

Linked Clubs: Manchester United, Tottenham

The Crystal Palace right-back has had a stellar breakthrough season, but as we all know by now, the smaller clubs in the Premier League are not allowed to have nice things. 

The South London club will likely hold out for an exorbitant fee for the latest success story from their youth academy, given that he is probably their best player not called Wilfried Zaha and is contracted for another couple of years, but you can’t help but feel the writing is on the wall over a summer move.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Nailed On

Likelihood of Summer Move: Strong

Manchester United’s Chances: Realistic

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 2/10


Matthijs de Ligt

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Linked Clubs: Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Liverpool

Ajax’s baby-faced Goliath has been talked about as one of the up-and-coming defensive talents on the continent for a while now, but this season he has taken steps towards fulfilling his potential that few ever foresaw this early on in his career. 

His performances, so worthy of the captain’s armband he wears at just 19 years old, have driven Ajax on to new heights, but unfortunately for them, the only whiff of bulls**t surrounding this one comes from some of the clubs who remain in the picture.

Liverpool have already ruled themselves out, and United are interested in him in the same way I’m interested in Scarlett Johansson, but we’ll see where he ends up. Probably Barcelona, though.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Very Strong

Likelihood of Summer Move: Very Strong

Manchester United’s Chances: *cry-laughing emoji*

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 2/10


Philippe Coutinho

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Linked Clubs: PSG, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool

It’s been a rough 15 months or so for Philippe Coutinho. Once one of the Premier League’s most highly rated stars, the Brazilian cost Barcelona £142m last January, and he has only gone on to become a scapegoat for the teams shortcomings. I mean, they’re on course to finish the season with just the domestic double, and he’s only contributed the 11 goals and 5 assists to that. 

You can’t blame him for wanting out, and it does seem as if Barca want to sell, so this seems some way from impossible, though the nature of any potential move will take some agreeing on. 

Bizarrely, Chelsea have reportedly ?become the front-runners to offer him a Premier League return, so that could be an interesting story to follow. It most likely won’t be, but it could be. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Strong

Likelihood of Summer Move: Moderate

Manchester United’s Chances: Absolutely none but still better than most of these, somehow

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 4/10


Romelu Lukaku

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Linked Clubs: Inter 

A brand spanking new one here. Reports have emerged claiming that Antonio Conte, who looks a cert to take over at Inter in the foreseeable, will make Romelu Lukaku one of his first signings, and the club are prepared to offer ?€30m plus perennial Manchester United target Ivan Perisic to make it happen. 

Logically, it makes sense for all parties really. United want to raise funds for a squad overhaul, and Lukaku, one of the hottest strikers in the world as recently as last summer, has endured a poor season, brief resurgence in Ole’s initial honeymoon period aside. Inter will want a new talisman to replace Mauro Icardi when he (probably) leaves, so it all adds up. 

There are quite a few moving parts, however, and the story is still in its infancy, so it’s far from a given. Also, it would involve Inter spending money, so that is a problem in itself.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Moderate

Likelihood of Summer Move: Moderate

Manchester United’s Chances: Eh…

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 5/10


Leroy Sane

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?Linked Clubs: Bayern Munich

This one is not dissimilar to the above. It’s a relatively new story, only coming to light since the end of the season, with the rumour being that Bayern are seeking a young, world class winger to inherit the legendary legacy left behind by Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. 

Just like Lukaku, it makes sense from the buying club’s perspective and it is similarly too early to call just how much might be in it. Where the two diverge, however, is that City don’t seem at all likely to be willing to sell. 

With Bayern needing a squad rebuild, putting all their eggs in one basket with what would surely need to be a huge fee for Sane would perhaps not be wise.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Moderate

Likelihood of Summer Move: Lukewarm

Manchester United’s Chances: Behave

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 6/10


Kylian Mbappe 

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?Linked Clubs: Real Madrid

There is probably something in there somewhere about Real Madrid’s interest in Kylian Mbappe, who has netted 32 goals in 28 Ligue 1 games this season, but such is the overwhelming volume of reports surrounding their transfer business that it is difficult to believe most of them are founded. 

There is also the small matter of the brain-melting fee PSG would demand for their services. They paid north of £100m for him two years ago (or one year ago technically) and he has since won a World Cup and scored 59 goals at club level, so it would surely take a fee that dwarves the current world record the Parisians spent on Neymar.

It’s Real Madrid we’re dealing with here, however. You can never rule it out.  

Possibility of Future Transfer: Moderate

Likelihood of Summer Move: Not really likely unless Real Madrid do the most Real Madrid thing in Real Madrid history

Manchester United’s Chances: A stretch even in Ed Woodward’s wildest fantasies

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 6/10


Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

?Linked Clubs: Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, PSG

Bale has been linked with an exit from Real Madrid every summer since he signed for them back in 2013, and this year is unfortunately no different.

To be clear, we don’t doubt that he is actually likely to leave this time around, which is the only thing that stops him taking a place further down the list. What the meter detects, however, is that the actual stories that have arisen surrounding him this month carry probably carry no weight whatsoever. 

The latest is that he is ‘certain’ to move to one of Tottenham or Liverpool. You know, Tottenham who are frequently linked to no avail just because they are Tottenham, and Liverpool who famously won’t be spending a lot of money this summer, and wouldn’t even have a place for Bale in their first XI. Do they even try at this point?

Possibility of Future Transfer: Very High

Likelihood of Summer Move: Strong

Manchester United’s Chances: Sigh.

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 7/10


Felipe Anderson

Felipe Anderson

?Linked Clubs: Liverpool, Real Madrid

West Ham’s newest talisman enjoyed a solid first season in England, scoring ten goals in 40 appearances in all competitions, and has been linked fleetingly with Real Madrid and a little more heavily with Liverpool. 

It is incredibly difficult to believe either of those sides is genuinely interested, however. Real have more exciting, established targets on their radar, and Liverpool as most outlets can’t seem to grasp, will not be spending big money this summer – certainly not on a guy who isn’t on the level of their first choice front three. 

It seems likely both clubs have had scouts at a West Ham game at some point and rumours have spiralled from there, or whatever. But in any case, no.

Possibility of Future Transfer: High

Likelihood of Summer Move: Feeble

Manchester United’s Chances: Their level, so decent

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 8/10


Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala

?Linked Clubs: Manchester United

You were worried he wasn’t going to make the list, weren’t you? Well fear not. The day he actually leaves Juventus will be a sad day, for it will mark the end of a first ballot hall of fame Bulls**t-O-Meter career. 

The Dybala rumour mill truly never fails to deliver. Speculation over his future at Juventus arises year after year, and at one time or another he’s been close to moves to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester City depending on who you believe. 

This time around, it’s United who get the treatment, and are reported to have ‘held talks’ over a deal I can confidently say will not happen. Unless it does, then I’ll look silly. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Moderate at best

Likelihood of Summer Move: Tenuous

Manchester United’s Chances: Non-existent 

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 10/10

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6 of the Most Inter Signings That Could Happen This Summer

?Summer is upon us with transfer rumours aplenty.

While most top European sides aim to pluck a gem out of obscurity or sign a world-beater with his best years ahead of him, Inter tend to head down a different route.

A club steeped in rich history and arguably at their peak one of the finest sides in European football, they’re famed for some rather questionable acquisitions in recent years.

Much like children who only want what their siblings have because they themselves don’t have it, there is a tendency to over assert themselves in the market and go gung-ho to scoop a player up who nobody really wants.


Expect such deals to fly in this summer. Because, not matter who is at the helm, eyebrows will be raised from Milan to Manchester.


Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez

Utter rubbish for two seasons but in with the slightest chance he could recapture the form of previous years abroad? Count ?Inter in.

Whoever you support in whatever league you watch, take comfort knowing you don’t have a player on your books who could go down as a worse signing than ?Alexis Sanchez. What makes this an enticing opportunity for Inter is that he was good two seasons ago, therefore must still be good now, right?

Well, no. Anyone in their right mind wouldn’t go near Sanchez with a rusty bargepole at this point, given his astronomical wage packet and the simple fact that he’s a shadow of his former ?Arsenal self (that being an insult to shadows). Thus, it is tailor-made for the Nerazzurri to swoop in and offer ?United a two-year loan deal for the 30-year-old ageing dog whisperer.


Juan Mata

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Deemed one of the nicest men in football (I haven’t met him but that’s the general consensus), the Spaniard does honest and enlightening ?weekly blog entries and helped launch ?the Common Goal charity for crying out loud. What a dude.

Personality traits aside, Mata is calling time on is United career, and probably the ?Premier League, this summer at the age of 31. Naturally gifted, there’s no questioning his talent, so should really have a few suitors willing to dress him up in their clubs’ kits.

It goes without saying though that it probably won’t be one of Europe’s elite. However, as aforementioned, Inter will be scared that happens and their inner FOMO will force their hand towards offering him a sumptuous wage packet on a five-year deal. With no previous experience of ?Serie A, he really fits the bill for a San Siro switch.


Jerome & Kevin-Prince Boateng

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Somewhere in the upper echelons of San Siro is probably a set of Inter officials hoping that there is a potential BOGOF deal looming here. Brothers must surely come as a two-for-one deal, right? Or similarly there could very well be a monumental cock-up in the recruitment process and the wrong one turns up.

Either way, Kevin-Prince knows the area well, having turned out for ?Milan during an initial four-year spell (which doesn’t seem to matter anymore) so the 32-year-old would slot right in. I mean, he’s on loan at ?Barcelona, so he must be good. 

His younger brother still has unquestionable talent, despite being frozen out of the German national setup, and his vast experience of earning hefty sums of money will put him in good stead as his career fades out in Italy.


Willian

Willian

Wanted by other clubs, not a regular starter in his side’s first XI, knocking on 31-years-old. Check, Check, Check. 

Inter have the chequebook already prepped for a two-year loan deal with 300 add-ons and additional performance-related fees. All of this isn’t to say Willian is by any means a bad player though, far from it, yet his current situation at ?Chelsea screams ‘Inter’ more than a 32-year-old Felipe Melo circa 2015.


Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

“Remember that time he ripped us a new one in the Champions League and ended Maicon’s career? Let’s get him!”

Every club in Europe (barring ?Real Madrid & Barcelona) would chew your hand off to have a player of ?Gareth Bale’s quality on their books. The thing is, nobody can actually afford him. With three years left on his Los Blancos deal, the financial muscle needed to take him of Zinedine Zidane’s hands would be astronomical.

However, there is always the opportunity of paying his £350k-a-week wages over the course of a two-year loan deal that effectively bankrupts the club because, heck, why not? 


Philippe Coutinho

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There is something in the water in the blue half of Milan that makes people believe they can reignite careers. In the case of Coutinho, Inter threatened to hamper his before it ever got started. Very much a bench warmer during his time at San Siro, ?Liverpool swooped in and unearthed an attacking gem that earned them a substantial amount of money.

Currently being lambasted by Blaugrana fans and Spanish press alike, it appears his days are dwindling in Catalonia. It is set up for a fairytale (and extremely expensive) two-year loan deal back to Italy, in which case Inter can claim he was merely a baby bird stretching his wings before coming home to nest.

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Inter Table €30m Plus Ivan Perisic Bid for Romelu Lukaku as Antonio Conte Is ‘Confirmed’ as Manager

?Inter have put their summer plans into action now that Antonio Conte has been ‘confirmed’ their new head coach, with the club tabling a €30m plus Ivan Perisic bid for Romelu Lukaku

Luciano Spalletti had been widely tipped to be relieved of his duties in the coming days in place of the former Chelsea boss, who has put Romelu Lukaku high on his list of priorities as soon as he takes the reins.

??Sky Italy reporter ?Fabrizio Romano claims the deal for Conte was agreed ‘three weeks ago’, this despite ?Inter still being in the running to claim a ?Champions League place in the league. They currently sit fourth with one round of fixtures still to play. 

Now the deal is agreed, the Italian has acted quickly in his efforts to land ?United‘s Lukaku, offering cash plus former target for the club Ivan Perisic in a bid to land the Belgian forward, according to journalist ?Tancredi Palmeri.

Lukaku is a player Conte has long-admired, having tried to sign him from Everton two years ago before the Belgian opted to move to the Red Devils. In offering €30m plus Ivan Perisic, it sets Lukaku’s valuation at around €65m, less than the initial £75m United paid to secure his services.

Another, more surprising, name on Conte’s wishlist is Nigerian utility man Victor Moses, according to ?Sky. Moses is still on the books at ?Chelsea, but lost his place in the side following the appointment of Maurizio Sarri, and has been on loan at Fenerbahce since January, netting three times in 13 league outings.

Marcus Rashford’s form has seen 26-year-old Lukaku struggle for a place in the starting XI this season. However, the striker has still scored an impressive 42 times in 96 appearances for the club. The forward has previously expressed his desire to play in Serie A, claiming playing in Italy would be a ‘dream’ during an interview.

Let’