SPAL vs Inter Preview: Previous Encounter, Key Battle, Team News and More

?Inter are going through a poor spell of form, with the Italian side currently without a win in Serie A in six games.

Luciano Spalletti’s side will attempt to get back on track when they travel to face SPAL in Sunday’s early kick-off.

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The hosts, who are placed 18th in Italy’s top flight, have problems of their own to contend with, but a win is a must for Inter if they’re to stay within touching distance of third placed Lazio.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of Sunday’s clash.


Classic Encounter

Inter started the season in full force, winning their first four games and conceding just one goal, and SPAL were one of their victims in September.

The encounter was a standard win as Mauro Icardi bagged a first half penalty before Ivan Perisic secured all three points with a strike in the 87th minute.

FC Internazionale v Spal - Serie A

Inter went unbeaten in domestic action until December, losing 3-1 to Udinese, and haven’t won a game since. 

SPAL have struggled since winning Serie B last campaign, winning just three times while letting in 39 goals in league action.


Key Battle

Alberto Grassi vs Borja Valero

Spaniard Valero has an impressive reputation amongst Serie A watchers after his time with Fiorentina and has played every league game for Inter since joining the club last summer.

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Serie A

His passing and ball retention skills are key parts of his game, so expect SPAL’s midfield three of Jasmin Kurtic, Alberto Grassi and Federico Viviani to give him little time in possession.

If the trio succeed Inter could struggle, with Grassi in particular known for his tough tackling and blocking abilities, but if Valero finds space and time then expect the visitors to do well on Sunday. 


Team News

Both teams have few injury worries, with SPAL missing only central defender Bartosz Salamon.

New loan signing Kurtic is expected to make his debut in midfield, while the striking duo of Mirco Antenucci and Sergio Floccari will hope to inflict damage on Inter’s stingy defence.

Inter have signed Rafinha and Lisandro Lopez this month but both are expected to start Sunday on the bench.

Joao Cancelo should start at right-back with Danilo D’Ambrosio replacing Davide Santon on the opposite flank after the former Newcastle defender’s midweek blunder against Roma.

Udinese Calcio v Spal - Serie A

Potential SPAL Starting Lineup: Gomis, Felipe, Vicari, Valsanen, Lazzari, Viviani, Grassi, Kurtic, Costa, Floccari, Antenucci. 

Potential Inter Starting Lineup: Handanovic, Cancelo, Skriniar, Miranda, D’Ambrosio, Valero, Vecino, Candreva, Brozovic, Perisic, Icardi.


Prediction

Inter have struggled in recent weeks but should get back on track here with a win.

SPAL have won just two league games at the Stadio Paolo Mazza this season and the attacking trio of Ivan Perisic, Antonio Candreva and Mauro Icardi could be too much for the home side’s defence to handle.

While Inter’s rut could continue, they should have enough to get over the line here.

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