Inter vs Fiorentina Match Preview: Pre-Season Form, Key Battle, Team News and More

Inter host Fiorentina at the San Siro on the opening weekend of the 2017/18 season – an opening fixture almost written in the stars, given the number of tasty sub-plots involved. 

Fiorentina have hired ex-Inter manager Stefano Pioli following his dismissal in May, while the Nerazzurri snapped up Viola midfielders Borja Valero and Matías Vecino.

With an average of 4.1 goals scored between the teams across the last ten meetings, including a nine-goal thriller the last time the sides met, this tends to be a very exciting match. While Fiorentina have been the dominant side in this fixture, Inter will be confident with the prospect of a fresh season ahead.


Pre-Season Form

ICC Singapore - FC Internazionale v Chelsea FC

Inter have been preparing intensely for the new season, playing eight pre-season friendlies. Only dropping (theoretical) points on two occasions, Inter have claimed some impressive scalps in the form of wins over Chelsea and Bayern Munich. 

The side has looked increasingly compact in defence and midfield, armed with new signings in both areas. With two new faces in the defence, centre-back Martin Skriniar and Brazilian full-back Dalbert, along with the aforementioned Matías Vecino acquired from the Viola; Inter are looking a lot stronger heading into the 2017/18 season. 

Sporting CP v Fiorentina - Pre-Season Friendly

Meanwhile, Fiorentina have had a mixed bag in pre-season, with three wins contrasting the side’s two losses to Sporting CP and Wolfsburg. New boss Pioli is bringing an almost Inter-style 4-2-3-1 to Fiorentina and will look to stay solid against his former club. 

With the club severely weakened by first team departures, the gap in the quality should be evident given the shoe-string budget that Pioli is operating on. With Federico Bernardeschi, Gonzalo Rodríguez, and Borja Valero all exiting the club this summer, it will be a new look side come kick off on Sunday. 


Team News

ICC Singapore - FC Internazionale v Chelsea FC

Spalletti will have a full strength squad at his disposal, which will make picking the team difficult. With so many names contesting a midfield spot, this will be the hardest position to predict. The manager will deploy a 4-2-3-1, with the holding two likely to be Matías Vecino and Roberto Gagliardini.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina will be without Riccardo Saponara to injury and Federico Chiesa due to suspension, which weakens their attacking options. Matching up formation wise, Pioli will aim to neutralise the threat of Inter, playing a compact system. Jordan Veretout and Milan Badelj will be key to executing this plan, as Fiorentina aim to defend resolutely. 


Key Battle

Mauro Icardi vs Vitor Hugo and Davide Astori

FC Internazionale v US Sassuolo - Serie A

The Fiorentina centre-back pairing will be tasked with stopping the ever-prolific Argentinian striker. Icardi scored 24 league goals for the Nerazzurri last season, and will be looking to hit the ground running this Sunday. 

Dominant in the air against most opponents and also a lethal poacher, Icardi will be supplied with crosses from both wings. Astori and Hugo will be tasked with stopping him receiving any service, both standing at 6’1, they will look to assert their physical presence to bully the Inter captain out of the game. 


Prediction

Sporting CP v Fiorentina - Pre-Season Friendly

Recent results would suggest that Fiorentina are the favourites for this clash, winning five of the last six league meetings. However, they have been severely weakened by summer departures, while failing to replace outgoings with the same quality. 

Inter are armed with new owners and a new manager and have invested well in proven Serie A players, such as Martin Skriniar, Borja Valero and Matías Vecino. With Inter having the home advantage, it’s hard to look past a win for the hosts – not that it won’t be a cagey, hard-contested affair. 

Prediction: Inter 2-1 Fiorentina

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Picking the Best Potential Inter Lineup to Face Fiorentina on Sunday

Internazionale host Fiorentina on the opening day of the Serie A season this Sunday. Armed with new owners, new signings and a new manager in Luciano Spalletti – expectations will be high amongst the home faithful. 

Coming off the back of a seventh placed finish, Inter have no European football this season to distract them, making a strong league finish their main aim. 

Fiorentina, perhaps surprisingly, have won five of the last six league meetings making this a tough start for Spalletti.

Here’s how Inter could line up on Sunday.

Goalkeeper

  • Handanovic

    Handanovic1

No surprises here. Samir Handanovi? is going into his fifth season with Inter and will surely retain his first team place. 

Defence

  • D'Ambrosio

    D’Ambrosio33

  • Miranda

    Miranda25

  • Škriniar

    Škriniar37

  • Dalbert

    Dalbert29

Two new faces in the defence, as €20 million centre back Martin Skriniar and Brazilian full back Dalbert join the ranks. Improving the defence was imperative for new boss Spalletti, as Inter look to challenge for the Scudetto. 

Partnered with Miranda, Škriniar has impressed in pre-season and the Slovakian will be hoping for a clean sheet on his competitive debut with the Nerazzurri. 

Midfield

Spalletti usually deploys a 4-2-3-1, so expect nothing different come Sunday. Noted for being quite fluid in the attacking phase, Spalletti will rely upon newcomers Matías Vecino and Roberto Gagliardini to control the midfield. 

While the latter is the most likely starter, Vecino’s place will be contested by Borja Valero, Charles Kondogbia, and Marcelo Brozovi?. This will allow the attacking trio of Antonio Candreva, João Mário and Ivan Periši? to be free of defensive duties, allowing them to create. 

Forwards

  • Icardi

    Icardi9

The spearhead of the Inter attack and the club captain, Mauro Icardi will lead the line against Fiorentina. The last time the clubs met, Icardi bagged a hat-trick – this time he will be hoping to be on the winning side, following a bizarre 5-4 loss last season. 

With the World Cup on the horizon, Icardi will be hoping for another prolific season for Inter in order to pip Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero to the starting spot. 

Last season, Icardi registered 24 league goals for the Nerazzurri and will be looking to hit the ground running this Sunday. 

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Italian Report Claims Newcastle Have Made £12m Move for Former Manchester City Striker

?Despite already securing a deal for Joselu earlier in the week, Newcastle are interested in bringing in a new striker and have sent out a delegation to Italy to try and seal a deal for Stevan Jovetic, according to ?TuttoMercatoWeb.

Internazionale’s Jovetic could be available for around £12m and has previous Premier League experience, having starred for Manchester City after a £20m move in 2013. However, the Montenegro forward failed to impress amid injuries and returned to Italy two years later.

It’s unclear if the 27-year-old, who spent part of last season on loan at Sevilla, will be keen on a return to England following his unsuccessful spell in Manchester. During his time with the Citizens, Jovetic played 39 games in all competitions and scored 11 goals.

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has made his disappointment clear with regards to the funds he has been given to spend this summer by owner Mike Ashley, while many Newcastle supporters have been left somewhat unconvinced by underwhelmed with the incomings in this summer’s window. 


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Sampdoria President Insists Inter Will Have to Pay Premium Price for Star Forward Patrik Schick

?Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has spoken out on the ongoing transfer saga involving star striker Patrik Schick.

Schick has been heavily linked with a move to join Inter this summer and in a recent interview with Premium Sport (via ?Calciomercato) the Blucerchiati president has indicated it would take a significant fee in order to convince them to sell the young forward.

UC Sampdoria v Pescara Calcio - Serie A

Ferrero said: “Schick is training, he is our player, then we’ll see if he wants to leave or someone will take him, but a lot of money will be needed to take him.

The boy is fine here, he’s already been called into his national team, the only thing that has not been said is that he is a pure talent and that he is fine, so many teams have asked for him, we will see where he can go.”

He admitted that it would be one of the coups of the summer if Sampdoria manage to keep the 21-year-old Czech on their books, saying: “He will be in the best team for him. Is it possible that he can remain? Absolutely. If he should remain, it would be the acquisition of the summer.”

UC Sampdoria v Foggia - TIM Cup

Schick has been linked with moves to a number of clubs this summer, with the forward scoring 11 Serie A goals from 32 games in his debut season in Italy after making a move from Sparta Prague in 2016, switching the capital of his homeland for Genoa.

Should Schick be sold to Inter, Sampdoria will look to Atletico Madrid’s Lucianno Vietto as a replacement first, with the Argentine forward allegedly set to cost €20m.

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Inter Chasing Premier League Defensive Duo as Serie A Clubs Prepare for Weekend Kickoff

Inter are looking to the Premier League to bolster their defence this summer, with Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi believed to be high on their target list. 

According to Italian source ?Gianluca Di Marzio, the Serie A side have made contact with the Gunners about a potential loan move to the 25-year-old defender, who can play in the centre of defence or cover at right back.

Considering Arsenal paid £34m for the former Valencia centre-back only last year, and given the Gunners’ defensive struggles against Leicester last Friday in Mustafi’s absence, it seems unlikely that the German will be allowed to leave.

The French boss, who has favoured a system with three defenders at the back in recent months. can call on established defenders Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding – and has also intimated that Mohamed Elneny will spend some time in the heart of the defence. 

Another reported target for the Nerazzurri could be Manchester City outcast Eliaquim Mangala, who has struggled for game time since his £32m move from Portuguese side Porto. The French defender has been pushed down the pecking order after the return from injury of captain Vincent Kompany, last year’s capture of John Stones and the form of Argentine international Nicolás Otamendi.

Manchester City v West Ham United - Pre Season Friendly

Mangala has a number of suitors including Premier League sides such as West Ham. With the Citizens keen on wrapping up a quick deal for West Brom target Jonny Evans, another loan move may be on the cards for French international Mangala.

As Manchester City are unlikely to allow the 26-year-old a move to another Premier League side, a short-term deal to Inter could be the perfect fit as new boss Luciano Spalletti aims to awake the sleeping Serie A giant, who last lifted the title in 2010.


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