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A narrow 1-0 win over Juventus in the Derby d’Italia kept defending champions Inter Milan four points behind leaders AC Milan with a game in hand. But now in the business end of the Serie A (SA) season, concerns are growing on the scoring front given that the league’s highest scorers (63) have failed to net more than a single goal in seven of their last eight SA matches, with the lone exception coming against the league’s worst defence (5-0 vs Salernitana).
That 5-0 victory remains Inter’s only win across four SA home games (W1, D1, L2), putting the spotlight on their faltering home form. This match could be ideal to get back on track though as the ‘Nerazzurri’ have both never lost a SA home game against Hellas Verona (W19, D11) and have avoided defeat in every H2H meeting since February 1992.
Verona coach Igor Tudor has stated his aim to alleviate any pressure on his side chasing a historical victory by claiming “we have nothing to lose” against their Milan-based opponents. They should travel with some confidence too after a 1-0 win in the last round meant they’ve avoided defeat in six of their last seven SA games (W3, D3).
Two late goals beyond the 80th minute condemned Verona to a 3-1 loss in the reverse back in August, and both those strikes contributed to their record of conceding 38% of their SA goals in the final 20 minutes of the match. The visitors will hope to avoid a repeat this time as they chase their first top-flight clean sheet in 20 away outings (W3, D8, L8) – that’s their longest run in the competition without one since between 1992 and 1997.
Players to watch: Inter’s Hakan Çalhanoğlu likes to impact games early having scored the match opener with four of his last six SA goals. Verona’s Giovanni Simeone may challenge Çalhanoğlu, having scored the game’s first goal in eight of his last nine SA scoring appearances.
Hot stat: Nine of the last ten SA H2Hs have produced at least four cards.
Time: 4:00 PM GMT
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