Antonio Conte’s Inter continue their dwindling Serie A title challenge with the visit of relegation-threatened Brescia to San Siro on Wednesday evening.
A late comeback victory against Parma on the weekend failed to reduce the eight point gap between Inter and leaders Juventus, with Lazio nestled between the two.
Brescia’s concerns, on the other hand, revolve around proceedings at the other end of the table. The Little Swallows are on the cusp of being cut adrift at the foot of Serie A, sitting 19th, eight points from safety.
When Is Kick Off? Wednesday 1 July
What Time Is Kick Off? 18:30 (GMT)
Where is it Played? San Siro
TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 1 (UK), ESPN+ (US)
Inter narrowly prevailed against Parma in the absence of first-choice centre-back Milan Skriniar who will also miss the visit of Brescia as he serves the second of a three game suspension following his red card against Sassuolo. The injury woes which have plagued Stefano Sensi’s debut season at Inter continue – with Matías Vecino also ruled out – but the biggest loss comes in the form of his fellow central midfielder Marcelo Brozovic.
The 27-year-old Croatia international is pivotal to Conte’s system but has missed all three of their Serie A games since the restart with a calf injury and is limited to individual training at the moment. His inclusion on Wednesday is as yet undecided.
Mario Balotelli continues to be overlooked after falling out with the club’s hierarchy over supposedly unauthorised absences from training. Brescia will also be without the quartet of regulars; Andrea Cistana, Jhon Chancellor, Dmitri Bisoli and Emanuele Ndoj.
Inter: Handanovic; Godín, De Vrij, Bastoni; Moses, Barella, Gagliardini, Biraghi; Eriksen; Lukaku, Martínez.
Brescia: Joronen; Sabelli, Papetti, Sabellini, Semprini; Bjanason, Tonali, Dessena; Zmrhal; Torregrossa, Donnarumma.
Dropped points in a bizarre encounter with Sassuolo last week saw the Nerazzurri live up to their unwanted moniker of ‘Pazza Inter’ – Crazy Inter, as they eventually drew 3-3. Conte’s side then spent the best part of an hour trailing to Parma on Sunday, snatching all three points with two goals in the final six minutes of the match.
Two draws from their first two games back may not sound like earth shattering form but for a Brescia side which last tasted victory a fortnight before Christmas Eve, going 180 minutes without defeat is significant.
Here’s how both teams have fared in their last five outings.
Parma 1-2 Inter (28/6)
Inter 3-3 Sassuolo (24/6)
Inter 2-1 Sampdoria (21/6)
Napoli 1-1 Inter (13/6)
Juventus 2-0 Inter (8/3)
Brescia 2-2 Genoa (27/6)
Fiorentina 1-1 Brescia (22/6)
Sassuolo 3-0 Brescia (9/3)
Brescia 1-2 Napoli (21/2)
Juventus 2-0 Brescia (16/2)
Since Serie A’s return, Conte has made a slight, but significant, tweak to the tried and tested 3-5-2, shifting January signing Christian Eriksen into a number ten position behind Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez.
The trio combined superbly against Sampdoria in the first league game back but the cohesion has been limited since. Against a Brescia side who tend to sit back and have the third-worst defensive record in the division (and third-worst attacking return) Eriksen should have plenty of time and space to find the team’s prolific duo up front.
Prediction: Inter 3-0 Brescia