Inter Milan will look to follow on from a dramatic Derby della Madonnina victory in midweek and keep pace with rivals AC Milan at the top Serie A when Benevento venture to the San Siro on Saturday at 7:45pm (UK time).
Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen fired Inter to a historic Coppa Italia win over the Rossoneri on Tuesday night, sealing a place in the semi-finals as a result. Antonio Conte will now look to replicate that midweek success and keep Inter’s title aspirations very much alive when Filippo Inzaghi returns to his old stomping ground this weekend.
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Where to watch Inter Milan vs Benevento on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Inter Milan 2-0 Benevento
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Inter Milan vs Benevento build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It’s been a mixed few weeks for the Nerazzurri, who have failed to capitalise on a few slip-ups from rivals Milan in the title race, losing to Sampdoria at the start of this month, before firing a blank in a goalless stalemate against Udinese last time out in Serie A, making it just one win from their last four in the league.
However, that one triumph came against Juventus a fortnight ago, and Conte’s men have since followed up with a Coppa Italia win over Milan on Tuesday, two statement results in as many weeks. With just two points currently separating Inter in second from Milan in first, Conte cannot afford to watch further points fall by the wayside this weekend.
Milan legend “Superpippo” currently has the reins in Campania and would love to do his old club a favour. Inzaghi guided the Sorcerers to promotion last term and has stabilised the club on their return to the top flight, with Benevento comfortably perched in mid-table and boasting results against Juve and Lazio this term.
- Inter Milan (vs AC Milan): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Kolarov; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Vidal, Perisic; Lukaku, Sanchez.
- Benevento (vs Torino): Montipo; Tuia, Glik, Barba; Tello, Ionita, Viola, Hetemaj, Improta; Lapadula, Caprari.
Inter remain without the services of long-term absentees Matias Vecino and Danilo D’Ambrosio. Conte could be tempted to shuffle the pack this weekend with Alessandro Bastoni, Lautaro Martinez and Achraf Hakimi likely to return to the starting XI.
For the visitors, they remain without Marco Sau who is serving the second game of his two-match suspension, while Massimo Volta, Luca Antei, Gaetano Letizia and Gabriele Moncini continue to miss out through injury.
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Players to watch:
- Inter Milan: If there is one player who has really come to the fore under Conte then it is Nicolo Barella. The diminutive midfield magician has rapidly established himself as the linchpin of this current Inter side and is simply undroppable at the minute. The 23-year-old is Conte’s chief playmaker away from set-pieces, creating a club-high 24 chances for his teammates from open play and registering the most assists (four) from open play. Barella is part of a dynamic midfield trident and has proven the perfect No. 8 to accompany the metronomic exploits of Marcelo Brozovic and the tenacity of Arturo Vidal. If Benevento are caught napping centrally, then Barella could have a field day.
- Benevento: Aiming to prevent Barella seizing control of the middle of the park and running riot will be Artur Ionita, Benevento’s midfield destroyer, who will look to disrupt Inter’s rhythm and stop them from playing. The 30-year-old Moldovan has attempted more tackles (52) than any over Benevento player this season, ranks second for shots blocked (eight) and passes blocked (12), but more importantly has a club-high 37 fouls, nearly double Perparim Hetemaj and Gianluca Lapadula in joint-second with 19 apiece. In fact, Ionita’s foul count ranks joint-fourth in Serie A’s overall standings this term, but he has incredibly picked up just four yellow cards. His mastery in the dark arts will be crucial here if Benevento are to frustrate Inter and subdue their attacking fluidity.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Inter Milan: DWDLW
- Benevento: DLLWL
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