Sunday’s Serie A program closes out at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as leaders Inter take on surprise package Frosinone. Let’s look at our match preview for this contest.
Inter again turned to Lautaro Martinez for a hero moment as the Argentine dynamo scored off the bench to inspire Simone Inzaghi’s side to a pulsating 1-0 win at Salzburg in midweek Champions League action. That result confirmed the Italians’ knockout qualification with two games to spare, setting them up nicely for this routine assignment, at least on paper.
Since club football resumed after October’s international break, Inter have won all five competitive matches, including three in Serie A, to move two points clear at the summit. Nerazzurri navigated a stern test last weekend, netting on either side of halftime to topple Atalanta 2-1 in Bergamo and tighten their stranglehold on the division.
While there should be nothing Frosinone could do to knock Inter off their perch, the visitors deserve the benefit of the doubt. Eusebio Di Francesco’s men have enjoyed a fantastic return to the top flight thus far, racking up a respectable 64% unbeaten ratio across the opening 11 Serie A rounds (W4, D3, L4).
A 2-1 home win over relegation-threatened Empoli last time out arrested Frosinone’s two-game losing league streak and lifted them within a three-point distance of the European spots. But the Canaries take this trip keen to exorcise the demons of their last Serie A travel as they blew up a 3-0 lead in a nail-biting 4-3 defeat at Cagliari.
Inter have reigned supreme in Serie A this season, mustering an eye-catching nine wins in 11 league matches (D1, L1). While you’d expect them to flourish at home in this constellation of power, their only two slip-ups occurred at Giuseppe Meazza. After Sassuolo’s shock comeback win, Bologna hauled back a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2.
But Inter made things right with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Roma in their last home league outing. That victory forms part of the club’s joint-best 28 points tally after the opening 11 Serie A games since 1994/95. Yet, they’d be naive to let that record carry them away, knowing just one of their two previous such starts culminated with the Scudetto.
Player to Watch: Lautaro Martinez
Set aside his Champions League heroics, Martinez has been in red-hot form domestically. Last weekend’s strike against Atalanta took his Serie A haul to 12 goals, which is twice of Olivier Giroud’s tally in second.
Frosinone might have booked their place in a select club of 28 promoted clubs to have accumulated 15+ points in the first 11 Serie A rounds, but they can ill-afford to rest on their laurels. That’s because they’ve fared terribly in hostile environments, returning a mere 13% of their Serie A total on the road (2/13).
Indeed, Di Francesco’s lads have lost three of their five away league games this term (D2), ominously conceding 2+ goals in each defeat. And with only five of their 17 Serie A goals coming away from home, the visitors would be forgiven for questioning their chances in Lombardy.
Player to Watch: Matias Soule
The Juventus loanee has hit the ground running at Frosinone from the get-go, tallying an impressive five goals and one assist in the early Serie A season. Soule’s electrifying form has already made him one of the division’s standout performers.
Inter will be without Benjamin Pavard, who picked up a nasty-looking knee injury against Atalanta. The Frenchman has joined long-term absentee Juan Cuadrado on the sidelines. On the upside, Marko Arnautovic made the cut against Salzburg and will be available for selection.
On the other hand, Frosinone cannot count on former Sassuolo midfielder Abdou Harroui. Sergio Kalaj and Francesco Gelli are dealing with minor fitness problems, but there’s an outside chance for the latter to take off with the rest of the squad.
Inter vs Frosinone Potential Lineups
Inter (3-5-2): Yann Sommer; Matteo Darmian, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Federico Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, Marcus Thuram.
Frosinone (4-2-3-1): Stefano Turati; Anthony Oyono, Caleb Okoli, Simone Romagnoli, Riccardo Marchizza; Luca Mazzitelli, Enzo Barrenechea; Arijon Ibrahimovic, Matias Soule, Reinier; Walid Cheddira.
Inter vs Frosinone Prediction
Despite proving well-adept in handling top-flight challenges, Frosinone might be out of their depth at Meazza. Irrespective of Inter’s occasional home blunders, Inzaghi’s men seem in perfect shape to enter November’s international break in high spirits and keep their place at the top of the tree.
Prediction: Inter Win
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