?New Inter boss Luciano Spalletti will be looking to continue his strong start to the Serie A when his side welcome SPAL 2013 to the San Siro on Sunday.
With four others team also winning their first two games, things are tight at the top of the table and while Inter will be looking for an easy opponent in SPAL, who were promoted last season, they have started to prove their worth early on.
It should still be a comfortable win for the experienced Serie A side, here’s the expected winning side.
?Regular Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovi? will be keeping his place between the sticks after two more strong performances, in which he only conceded one goal.
The back four will also remain unchanged? apart from Dalbert Henrique coming in at left-back for Yuto Nagatomo as part of squad rotation.
Miranda is also expected to keep his place at centre-back despite picking up a concussion last week – provided he is deemed able to play on the weekend.
?Inter’s solid midfield will also remain the same with Borja Valero and Matías Vecino holding the centre of the field, while João Mário will head the attack with Antonio Candreva and Ivan Perisic lining up behind Mauro Icardi.
Roberto Gagliardini could potentially replace Vecino should Spalletti decide to rest him after his international duty for Uruguay.
While Mauro Icardi? was recalled to the Argentina national side he will keep his place at the head of the team after scoring two goals in both the opening matches – and his quality and current form will be crucial.
He could see himself brought off early if Inter build a big lead in the first hour.
It has been a whirlwind summer in terms of transfers, with some interesting deals taking place all across Europe.
For some players, a move this summer meant reuniting with a particular former teammate, so let’s take a look at 7 or the more high-profile cases of this…
7. Mehdi Benatia and Douglas Costa
Moroccan international defender Mehdi Benatia spent two full seasons at the Allianz Arena, but never really threatened to hold down a regular first-team spot and was sent on loan to Juventus last season, making the deal permanent over the summer.
While Benatia’s exit from Bavaria was hardly surprising, Brazilian winger Douglas Costa, who had performed well since signing from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2015, was unexpectedly shown the door this summer too, joining the centre-back amongst the Serie A champions’ ranks.
6. Pepe and Ricardo Quaresma
After a decade with Real Madrid, no-nonsense defender Pepe swapped the Spanish capital for Besiktas, with the Turkish side even using his former teammate at Porto, Ricardo Quaresma,to announce his arrival via social media.
In addition to playing with the eccentric winger for the Portuguese national side, with whom they both helped to emerge victorious at Euro 2016, Pepe will now line up alongside Quaresma week in, week out.
5. Benjamin Mendy and Beranrdo Silva
Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy were not left apart very long – 23 days to be exact – as Manchester City finally ended their long-term pursuit of the latter by announcing his arrival at the Etihad.
A few weeks earlier Mendy’s teammate at Monaco, Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva, was also unveiled by the Citizens and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will be hoping the pair can produce the same sort of magic as they did last season in the Champions League.
4. Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy
A relatively new addition to the highest level of Turkish football, Istanbul Basaksehir have made a statement again this summer, by bringing in high-profile names to a club which was only formed in 1990.
Two of those that came through the doors at the Fatih Terim Stadium are Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy. The duo, who both made their name at Arsenal, are now in the twilight periods of their careers.
3. Mario Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder
Both Mario Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder were part of Inter’s historic treble-wining season during the 2009/10 campaign, but each one took a rather different path there after, with the Dutchman spending the next five years in Turkey with Galatasaray.
The Italian striker, meanwhile, went back and forth between the Premier League and Serie A before eventually finding salvation with Nice. The bad boy has now been joined in the south of France by Sneijder and will play again together in the Champions League this season.
2. Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante
Leicester City’s incredible title in two seasons ago had a lot to do with the hard-working partnership of Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante in midfield and the latter, who earned the PFA Player of the Year award as a result, was captured by Chelsea for £30m soon after.
The French international proved to be a snip as he played a crucial role in delivering the title to the Blues and his former partner in crime has now followed suit, signing for the Blues for a reported £35m.
1. Dani Alves and Neymar
Undoubtedly the biggest story of the summer, Neymar’s record-breaking move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain has countless side stories, one of which is his reunion with former Barca man and international teammate Dani Alves.
Alves, who only arrived in the French capital himself a few weeks before Neymar, spent last season at Juventus and faced off against the 25-year-old superstar in the Champions League final.
?Inter have announced a new deal for Croatian winger Ivan Perisic.
The 28-year-old was the subject of major interest from Manchester United during the summer window, but the Nerazzurri managed to hold on to him and have now tied him up on a five-year contract.
A statement on the club’s official website reads: “FC Internazionale Milano are happy to announce that Ivan Perisic has renewed his contract and will remain with the Nerazzurri until 30th June 2022!
“Born in Split on 2nd February 1989, Ivan joined Inter during the 2015-16 season. He has since gone on to make 81 appearances in Serie A, domestic cups and the Europa League. He has scored 20 goals for Inter but the story won’t end here.”
Perisic has proven to be one of the most exciting players in the Italian top flight, with no player in the division providing more assists for their teammates last season.
The Croatia international has been at Inter since 2015, having joined from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, and looks set to remain to help his club attempt the climb back to the top of Serie A.
?Inter are reportedly prepared to make a move for Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng in the January transfer window if he fails to regain his place in Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
The 29-year-old was an integral member of the Bavarian side between 2011 and 2015, but has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons which has restricted the German international to just 32 appearances in the Bundesliga for Bayern in the last two seasons.
According to ?Tuttomercatoweb, with Boateng’s position at Bayern under threat Inter’s technical coordinator Walter Sabatini is set to meet with the club’s owners in the coming days to discuss their transfer plans and budget for January.
This is reportedly where Sabatini is set to raise the prospect of Boateng as a key point of the discussion, after the Italian club are understood to have ‘tested the waters’ for the 29-year-old on deadline day.
The Nerazzurri are in the market for a centre-back after losing Jeison Murillo to Valencia over the summer, and it has been suggested that Inter will follow up on their summer interest if Boateng continues to struggle for a place in Acenlotti’s starting lineup.
The German World Cup winner joined Bayern Munich in 2011 after spending just one season with Manchester City, where he since gone on to make over 190 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit.
The 29-year-old’s last appearance for Bayern came in the last game of the Bundesliga season last term against Freiburg, where the defender was withdrawn from the action in the 32nd minute due to a thigh injury.
?Former Inter Milan goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca has warned the current players that they will “have no more excuses” for underachieving in Serie A under new head coach Luciano Spalletti, according to Italian news outlet ?Football Italia.
Pagliuca, who featured 165 times in the league for the Nerazzurri, is one of many who have been underwhelmed by Inter’s recent performances, with the Italian giants finishing 7th, 4th and 8th in their last three Serie A seasons.
However, the club have brought in former Roma manager Spalletti to help them reach their former glories and Pagliuca believes that with a manager like Spalletti, no excuses can be made for mediocrity.
“I have a lot of faith and even before the season began I said Inter would finish in the top four,” the former shot-stopper said.
“They signed a really good coach who will give a style of play to the team. The club put its faith in the players who last year didn’t perform and they have no more excuses now: Inter have brought in a coach suited to these players.”
Under new ownership, Inter have brought in a number of players such as Fiorentina duo Borja Valero and Matías Vecino, although former key players such as Gary Medel, Ever Banega and Rodrigo Palacio have now left the club.
Spalletti won Serie A Coach of the Year two years in a row when managing Roma between 2005 and 2009 and Inter currently sit in second place in Serie A, albeit only two games into the season.