Ambitious Inter Milan aiming to close gap on in-form Fiorentina
Inter Milan, 6/5 favourites to triumph on home turf with Coral, welcome Tuscan team Fiorentina to the San Siro, hoping to close the gap on their rivals.
Viola sit fifth in Serie A, just four points ahead of the Nerazzurri, with both teams having emerged victorious from midweek Europa League battles against British teams.
Now attention for both sides must return to securing European football for next season. Napoli and Lazio look set to scrap it out for the coveted third Champions League spot behind title chasers Juventus and Roma, but Inter will have their eye on Fiorentina’s fifth place.
Midtable mediocrity would be no way for recently returned boss Roberto Mancini to end his first season back on the Nerazzurri bench, and Inter will be bullish after winning four of their last five home games across all competitions.
Vincenzo Montella’s men, meanwhile, will be hoping to do the double over big-guns Inter having already scalped the San Siro side this season, and are 12/5 to repeat that feat.
Viola have not beaten Inter in front of the Nerazzurri’s home faithful in their last 13 attempts, but Montella has his team performing fantastically, with no defeats in their last 10 outings across all competitions.
Losing star player Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea so far appears to have had little impact, with on-loan Stamford Bridge wingman Mohamed Salah having stepped in to the Colombia international’s shoes with ease. The Blues misfit has settled in well at the Stadio Franchi, grabbing three goals in four games so far.
Speedster Salah is 13/5 to keep contributing and net anytime, while former Bayern Munich frontman Mario Gomez is worth backing at 6/1 to score first after helping sink Tottenham last time out.
Inter, meanwhile, will be aiming to avenge their 3-0 defeat in Tuscany earlier this term, and boast far greater firepower than Fiorentina.
It is the Nerazzurri’s rearguard that requires some attention, however, as the home team have kept a clean sheet just twice in their past nine outings. Slovenia stopper Samir Handanovic is expected to return to the starting XI and should help shore things up, after the keeper missed Inter’s last three matches.
If Mancini can ensure his side stay disciplined at the back, with his defence shielded by former Cardiff City anchorman Gary Medel, his attacking stars should take care of the rest.
Much sought-after Argentina striker Mauro Icardi has made the difference on several occasions this season and is 9/2 to draw first blood, or 6/1 to bag a brace or better. Meanwhile, Arsenal-owned Lukas Podolski is not certain to start, but is a smart 6/1 to make an impact by scoring last.
Versatile midfield maestro Fredy Guarin, whose scorching strike against Celtic helped seal Inter’s progression to the last-16 of the Europa League, and Switzerland star Xherdan Shaqiri, will likely support Icardi in attack. Back the duo at 14/5 and 5/2 in the anytime market respectively.