We still haven’t had time to recover from Inter’s wild 3-3 draw with Barcelona but the Nerazzurri are already back in action when Salernitana visits the Meazza in Sunday’s early kickoff. Despite its recent Champions League success, Inter remains stuck in 7th in Serie A but with a very winnable run of La Granata, Sampdoria, and Fiorentina on the way, Simone Inzaghi’s men have the opportunity to make up for its early season woes.
Salernitana looked done and dusted at the midway point of the 2021/22 season, but the superb work of Walter Sabatini in the January transfer market and Davide Nicola on the touchline turned Salernitana into one of the best escape stories in recent seasons. By the time all was said and done Salernitana went from 20th, 5 points below the line, and playing horrid football on Matchday 19 to ending up safe by one point on Matchday 38. Along with the incredible atmosphere at the Aretchi week in, week out as Salernitana began its climb up the table, the likes of Simone Verdi, Milan Djuric, and Federico Bonnazoli brought some moments of magic to Serie A in a place no one would have expected back in January. But as the saying goes, all good things are destined to end. Sabatini, Verdi, Djuric, and the crafty Brazilian midfielder Ederson all departed Salernitana within weeks of the season-ending and it sure looked like last season’s miracle escape was only a short-term relief from relegation.
But though the 2022/23 campaign hasn’t been perfect, Salernitana are showing that it might not be dead yet. Nicola’s side currently sits 11th on 10 points, and has even managed to take points off the black-and-white striped superteam that is
Juventus Udinese. Salernitana boasts the 7th best attack in Serie A with 12 goals, but its defense is 6th-worst (tied with Inter…). Nicola’s 3-5-2 is still the favored shape, spearheaded by summer arrivals Boulaye Dia (4 goals, 2a) and Krzysztof Piatek (2g) who have formed a formidable strike pair. Our old friend Antonio Candreva and Pasquale Mazzocchi hold down the flanks. Keep a special eye out for the latter who’s strong performances to begin the campaign have earned him a call up to the Italian national team.
Though Inter can’t move any higher than where it already is (7th) even with a win, the Nerazzurri can’t afford to drop any more points in winnable games. First-place Napoli is now 8 points clear and Lazio in the final UCL spot has a 5 points cushion. Inter’s next run of games (Salernitana, Fiorentina, and Sampdoria) gives it an excellent chance to climb back into the upper echelon of the table before clashes with Juventus and Atalanta to lead into the World Cup.
Inter has a 4W-0T-2L record against Salernitana, including back-to-back 5-0 victories last season.
- 0-5 (A), 17/12/2021
- 5-0 (H), 4/3/2022
Prediction: Inter Milan 3-1 Salernitana
A brace from a reinvigorated Lautaro will lead Inter past Salernitana, although the visitors will make things a bit more interesting with a first-half strike from Piatek.