Inter vs Fiorentina Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News & More

Ninth placed ?Internazionale take on third placed Fiorentina in a mid-week ?Serie A clash at the San Siro.

Inter have had a mixed start to the season. In the league, they’ve played five, won two, lost two and drawn one. However, they made a spectacular start to their ?Champions League campaign, defeating ?Tottenham Hotspur following a late comeback. 

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

On the other hand, Fiorentina will be very pleased with their start to the season. The Viola have won three of their first five matches and find themselves in a Champions League spot.

Expectations were high for Inter coming into the start of the season, with some pundits arguing that they would be the only side to offer Juventus a genuine title challenge. Therefore they will have to turn around their poor form if they are to make this season a successful one.


Classic Encounter

Fiorentina 5-4 Internazionale (Serie A, April 2017)

The score-line speaks for itself, an absolute goal fest. The season was coming to a close, but there was still much to play for with Inter chasing a place in the Europa League.

The match sprung into life when Fiorentina’s Matias Vecino opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a left-footed shot. Inter quickly responded with goals from Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic which meant the Milan club led at half-time.

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Serie A

In the second half, Fiorentina starlet Federico Bernardeschi missed a penalty to level the match, but shortly after Fiorentina went on a rampage. Goals from the late Davide Astori, another from Vecino and two goals from Khouma Babacar put Fiorentina 5-2 up and the game appeared to be over.

However, a late onslaught by Inter saw captain Mauro Icardi score two further goals to make it 5-4 going into stoppage time. Despite more pressure from Inter, Fiorentina were able to hold on for a famous victory.

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Serie A

The loss proved crucial for Inter and cost them a place in European football the next season.


Key Battle

Mauro Icardi vs. German Pezzella

The big clash in this one is captain vs. captain, Argentinian vs Argentinian. 

Icardi was phenomenal for Inter last season and without him there is no way I Nerazzurri would be playing in the Champions League. Icardi was Serie A’s joint top-scorer last season with 29 goals and is Inter’s main attacking threat.

Udinese Calcio v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Famed for his positional awareness and his sharp-shooting ability, it is crucial that Fiorentina keep the Argentinian quiet if they are to win this match. Inter’s captain is also famed for scoring late in the game, so manager Stefan Poli must ensure that his side stay focused throughout the entire 90 minutes.

The man tasked with stopping Icardi is centre-back German Pezzella. Pezzella was one of Fiorentina’s stand-out players last season, and has now been given the captaincy this season. 

ACF Fiorentina v SPAL - Serie A

To add extra spice to the occasion, both Icardi and Pezzella were left out of Argentina’s World Cup squad, so both have an extra point to prove.


Team News

For Inter, Simo Vrsaljko is still not fit to play so it is expected Danilo D’Ambrosio will slot into his place on the right-side of the defence.

With few injury concerns, Inter manager is expected to name a fairly unchanged squad from the side that won late-on against Parma.

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

For Fiorentina, 19-year-old midfielder Abdou Diakhate is the only player out injured, so they are expected to also name a full-strength side.


Predicted Line-ups

Fiorentina: Lafont; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Vitor Hugo; Benassi, Veretout, Gerson, Biraghi; Chiesa, Simeone, Pjaca.

Internazionale: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, de Vrij, Dalbert; Brozovic, Gagliardini; Balde, Nainggolan, Perisic; Icardi.


Prediction

This is a hard one to call. Inter clearly have a squad with far more pedigree than their opponents, and if both teams are playing at their best then Inter would win convincingly.

UC Sampdoria v FC Internazionale - Serie A

However, Inter have been so inconsistent of late, whereas Fiorentina are playing well and exceeding the sum of their parts in third place. This could turn out to be a closely fought contest. 

Predicted Scoreline: Internazionale 1-1 Fiorentina?

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Inter to Appeal Spalletti’s One-Match Ban for Excessively Celebrating Team Goal

Inter intend to appeal the decision to give Luciano Spalletti a one-match ban for his erratic celebrating on Saturday.

The manager was ordered to head to the stands after wildly celebrating his side’s 94th-minute winner against Sampdoria. And an official note stated that he had “showed a controversial attitude toward the fourth official.”

Replays, however, showed that his celebrations were actually aimed at the cameraman.

The Inter manager has since been handed a one-match ban, which the club have confirmed they will appeal against. Refereeing designator Nicola Rizzoli has also admitted the punishment was harsh.

“Undoubtedly we don’t always read situations in the best way,” Rizzoli said after the match.

“We need to understand what happened, but there can be no red card for just a celebration. We have to see how the game unfolded. The referee was a bit harsh.”

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Spalletti had already found himself in hot water this season, having received a warning after insulting referee Maurizio Mariani during Inter’s 1-0 loss to Sassuolo last month.

Should the appeal fail Spalletti will be absent from the dugout for Inter’s clash with Fiorentina at San Siro on Tuesday.

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Inter to Offer Captain Mauro Icardi Blockbuster New Deal as They Fend Off Continental Interest

??Internazionale goal machine and club captain ?Mauro Icardi is soon to be offered an improved contract by the Italian giants.

An integral piece of I Nerazzurri’s puzzle, the fan favourite fired his team to Champions League qualification last year. Scoring a joint high 29 domestic league goals, the Argentine split the Capocannoniere with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile. 

If Inter are to replicate last season’s heroics, they will need their main man to be on form yet again. ?Calcio Mercato relay information that a new incentive is to be given, as Suning Holding Group are to stump the cash that will allow for Icardi’s bumper deal. 

Scoring a wondrous equaliser against ?Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League opening matchday, Icardi will be entrusted to find his side the goals that would see them qualify for the competition’s round of 16 phase.


Joining Inter for a snip at €6.5m back in 2013, the former Sampdoria man recently reached 100 ?Serie A goals for the ?Milan-based club. 

It is suggested that Icardi will now earn just over that amount per annum, as a €1.5m yearly increase in wages would push him to a finalised sum of €6m — plus €800,000 in bonuses.

With rumoured interest from ?Chelsea and ?Real Madrid, Internazionale want to make sure that their star does not have his head turned in January. The striker is one of the most clinical in all of Europe, and this deal should ease fans’ nerves about a potential exit.

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Luciano Spalletti Says Inter Must ‘Always Live on the Edge’ Following 1-0 win Against Sampdoria

?Inter manager Luciano Spalletti said his team must ?always take risks and play with intensity if they are to continue their current winning ways.

Spalletti spoke following ?his team’s 1-0 win away against Sampdoria. Inter’s bad luck in the league looked destined to continue after Radja Nainggolan, and then Kwadwo Asamoah, both had goals disallowed. 

However Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovi? was able to steer a last minute winner in to the far corner bringing Inter their second win this week after another late goal on Tuesday against Tottenham.

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Spalletti told DAZN, as quoted by ?Football Italia“This way of winning shows the character of this team, which keeps fighting for every ball and stays in the game. It might mean taking a few risks, but we are Inter and we must always live on the edge to get a victory.

“Seeing this passion gives me greater strength to go forward and I’m glad that element is here rather than the tactics, as those will come with time.

“We took this issue of character to each and every player individually to make sure it was absorbed the right way.”

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Spalletti appeared annoyed and frustrated by the fact his team had two disallowed goals in the game. The first one was disallowed by VAR for offside from a free kick in the build up to the goal and the second was because the linesman ruled the ball had went out of play before Perisic could pull it back for Asamoah.

Spalletti was sent off in the final minute of the game for his celebrations for the goal. Spalletti screamed in to a television camera and was dismissed for dissent. 


He commented on this by saying: “I turned towards the television camera to shout goal and the fourth official told me I had done so with excessive impetus.

“I had turned towards the camera because it was an important goal, but they interpreted it as an excessively emotional reaction.”

?Inter don’t have long to enjoy their win as they play high flyers Florentina at home on Tuesday. 

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Sampdoria 0-1 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Nerazzurri Secure Win After Late Brozovic Winner

Inter secured a last gasp 1-0 win away at Sampdoria thanks to an injury time Marcelo Brozovic winner after two goals were disallowed in a dramatic finish at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Sampdoria were careless with the ball in the final third and a lack of composure prevented them from producing any clear cut chances as Inter made the home side pay for their inefficiency.

Radja Nainggolan had a goal disallowed, with the strike initially given before being called back by the VAR.

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Just as the fans and players had appeared to accept the draw, Kwadwo Asamoah struck a wicked left footed effort from the edge of the area after a cut-back by winger Ivan Periši?. 

As the Inter players reeled off in celebration, the referee again rained on their parade after the linesman had informed him the ball had just squeezed beyond the byline before Periši? was able to reach it

As Inter were feeling sorry for themselves, Grégoire Defrel appeared to have grabbed the home side the winner. Miranda’s mistake allowed Quagliarella to slip in Defrel who, after finding the corner with a first touch finish, ran to the fans and took his shirt off. 

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Inter players immediately surrounded the referee, who if not for the melee would have spotted his linesman’s flag sooner, then disallowed that strike for offside as well, although this one was far more conventional.

Just as it looked like Inter would continue their dismal start to the Serie A season, up popped Brozovi?. With just one minute left of injury time, the Croatian managed to take down a half cleared header and fire it beyond Emil Audero. Inter manager Luciano Spalletti checked twice with the referee before joining his players in their celebrations.


INTER

Key Talking Point

If not for Brozovi?’s winner then Spalletti and ?Inter would likely face further inquests as they again looked disjointed and stagnate in attack. 

However, Brozovi? was able to produce a moment of true quality in injury time. After the cross came in and Sampdoria had half cleared it, Brozovi? found himself just inside the corner of the eighteen yard box.

UC Sampdoria v FC Internazionale - Serie A

His first touch was sublime and many would have expected him to put the ball back in to the six yard box due to his angle to goal. However, he was able to hit a low driven volley across the face of the goal and it nestled nicely in the corner.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (7), D’Ambrosio (7), Miranda (6), Skriniar (6), Asamoah (7), Vecino (6), Brozovic (8), Candreva (8), Nainggolan (7), Politano (6), Icardi (6).

Substitutes: Perisic (6), Valero (5), Keita (5).


STAR MAN

It has to be Brozovi? again. You would have struggled to know Icardi was playing for the majority of this game. He struggled to be involved in any build up play and Inter never really provided him with any service.

Although Inter were much better in the second half than the first, no player really stood out. Nainggolan played well in patches but never really got a foothold in the game in a way he could influence it.

Throughout the game, Brozovi? kept the ball and was also able to control the midfield battle, winning balls high up the pitch at times and dispossessing the opposition on occasions when you thought Sampdoria could fashion a chance.


WORST PLAYER

While Brozovi? impressed, his midfield partner Matías Vecino looked particularly poor. Tuesday’s star man looked missing in the middle and was poor both in and out of possession. 

He sat deeper alongside Brozovi? which made it difficult for both players to influence the play as 

they were too close. Whether that was under the instruction of Spalletti is yet to be seen but it made the Uruguayan fairly obsolete.


Looking Ahead

Inter next face in form Fiorentina away on Tuesday. Fiorentina have managed to win all three of their home games so far this season, including a 3-0 drumming of SPAL on Saturday.

Spalletti will likely keep the same eleven as he will hope continuity can solve some of the issues his side are currently facing. 

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After that tough test Inter face PSV, Cagliari and SPAL, which should give them an opportunity to put together a good run of form.

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