Serie A 2022/23 Season Preview and Predictions: Inter

Ahead of the start of the Serie A 2022/23 season, we preview Inter after they fell short to rivals Milan last term and go through their pre-season form, transfers in and out, predicted line-up, one to watch and their season target. So, let’s take a look at Inter’s 2022/23 season preview and predictions.

A Look Back at the 2021/22 Season 

Inter will be disappointed that they were unable to retain their Serie A title last season. Rivals Milan pipped them to the trophy by just two points with both sides on good form to end the campaign. Inter will perhaps look back to their 2-1 defeat away to Bologna at the end of April as a key moment; the defeat ultimately cost them the Scudetto and the Rossoneri ended the season unbeaten, winning all of their last six matches.

Lautaro Martinez shone for the Nerazzurri last term, scoring 21 league goals in 35 Serie A appearances, so too did Hakan Calhanoglu who made the switch from Milan to Inter last summer. The Turkish international scored seven goals and assisted 12 in Serie A but he perhaps was regretting the move as Milan were crowned champions.

The extra fixtures and intensity of the Champions League seemed to hinder Inter last term. They went on a run of just one Serie A victory in seven in a period from February to March, which coincided with a Champions League round-of-16 tie against Liverpool, as well as the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan. Inter will need to be wary of fatigue and squad depth if they are to compete across all fronts once again this year.

Pre-season form: 

Lyon (N) D 2-2 (Goals; Lukaku, Barella)

Lens (A) L 1-0

Monaco (N) D 2-2 (Goals; Gagliardini, Asllani)

Lugano (A) W 1-4 (Goals; D’Ambrosio, Martinez x2, Correa)

Transfers In: 

Romelu Lukaku (forward) Chelsea – on loan; Joaquin Correa (att mid) Lazio; Kristjan Asllani (mid) Empoli – on loan; Raoul Bellanova (right-back) Cagliari – on loan; Andre Onana (gk) Ajax; Henrikh Mkhitaryan (att mid) Roma; Lucien Agoume (mid) Stade Brest – end of loan.

Transfers Out: 

Ivan Perisic (mid) Tottenham Hotspur; Matias Vecino (mid) Lazio; Alexis Sanchez (att) Free Agent; Andrea Ranocchia (centre-back) Monza; Arturo Vidal (mid) Flamengo; Michele Di Gregorio (gk) Monza; Andreaw Gravillon (centre-back) Stade Reims; Lorenzo Pirola (centre-back) Salernitana; Edoardo Sottini (centre-back) Triestina; Christopher Attys (mid) Imolese; Fabrizio Bagheria (gk) Recanatese; Zinho Vanheusden (centre-back) AZ Alkmaar – on loan; Martin Satriano (forward) Empoli – on loan; Stefano Sensi (mid) Monza – on loan; Valentino Lazaro (right-back) Torino – on loan; Sebastiano Esposito (forward) RSC Anderlecht – on loan; Ionut Radu (gk) Cremonese – on loan.

Summary of Transfers

Romelu Lukaku made the headlines at the beginning of the summer as he made his return to Inter. He lasted just one year at Chelsea when he resigned for the Blues for €115 million in 2021. The Belgian struggled for form at Stamford Bridge and often clashed with head coach Thomas Tuchel. He scored 13 goals in all competitions last term, with just eight coming in the Premier League. Lukaku returns as he looks to recapture his form of the 2020/21 season where he scored 24 Serie A goals for Inter and helped guide him and Antonio Conte to the Scudetto. Of course, Conte is no longer at the helm at the Giuseppe Meazza with Simone Inzaghi in his place. Nonetheless, Inzaghi will be hoping he can get the best out of Lukaku once more.

Joaquin Correa completed his permanent transfer from Lazio this summer and will be looking to kick on after providing just seven goal contributions in Serie A last season for Inter. Injuries kept him from tying down a regular spot in the side and the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan adds even more competition. Lucien Agoume has returned to the club following a loan move at Stade Brest last season and he is currently competing for a squad role alongside loan signing Kristjan Asllani from Empoli and Roberto Gagliardini in central midfield.

Ivan Perisic has left the club on a free to Tottenham and the void at left wing-back is likely to be filled by Robin Gosens who joined from Atalanta. He has been struggling a little recently in terms of confidence as he looks to overcome injury issues that limited him to just seven sub appearances in Serie A last season. Raoul Bellanova also adds extra bodies at wing-back, however, he will predominantly be played on the right.

First Five 2022/23 Serie A Fixtures:

Lecce (A)

Spezia (H)

Lazio (A)

Cremonese (H)

Milan (A)

Predicted line-up: 

(3-5-2) Andre Onana; Milan Skriniar, Stefan De Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolò Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Robin Gosens; Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez

Andre Onana is expected to challenge Samir Handanovic for opportunities straight away so don’t be surprised to see the Cameroonian in goal from the start. The ever-present three-man defense of Milan Skriniar, Stefan De Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni is also expected to stand strong once again this term. However, rumors continue to link Skriniar with a move away from the Nerazzurri, with PSG heavily linked with the Slovakian defender. Matteo Darmian, Federico Dimarco and Danilo D’Ambrosio are three other options that could feature on the right side of the three-man defense. Nonetheless, keeping hold of Skriniar will be important to Inter’s ambitions this season.

Denzel Dumfries seems to be the number one choice at right wing-back and he will be looking to cement his starting position this season, building on his 21 Serie A starts last campaign. If Gosens is unable to steer away from his injury issues, Dimarco is likely to take his place. Dalbert is also with the club once more after returning from a loan move with Cagliari.

For the moment, the midfield three of Nicolò Barella, Marcelo Brozovic and Calhanoglu is hard to break but Mkhitaryan, Asllani, Agoume and Roberto Gagliardini could all fight for places. There are also plenty of options going forward, with the addition of Lukaku likely to challenge the likes of Edin Dzeko and Correa for a place in the side. Alexis Sanchez has terminated his contract with the club, whilst Martinez is expected to feature heavily regardless.

One to Watch:

Romelu Lukaku 

Lukaku was a force to be reckoned with when he was with Inter for two seasons from 2019 to 2021. The forward bagged 64 goals in all competitions during this time, including back-to-back seasons of 20+ Serie A goals. He could be the deciding factor in this season’s title race and he could very much form a lethal partnership with Martinez.

Season Target: 

Champions. It will hurt Inter that they were unable to defend the title last season and they will be itching to reclaim the Scudetto once more. A title challenge is a necessity.