Inter’s Champions League opener didn’t quite go to plan, with the Nerazzurri barely escaping Spain with a point after a dreadful performance against Real Sociedad. The Nerazzurri have the perfect opportunity to rediscover its mojo, however, and keep its perfect Serie A record alive this weekend when it visits Empoli in the early Sunday kickoff.
Empoli sits 20th in Serie A on 0 points, yet to even score a goal so far, and with a league-high 12 conceded. The steady loss of its young talents (Vicario and Parisi were the key departures this summer) combined with limited funds invested in replacements has finally made its mark and Empoli looks well below the required standard four games in. Manager Paolo Zanetti didn’t seem to have any ideas on how to fix his side either and was sacked following last week’s 7-0 loss to Roma, but the main problem is with the talent level of the roster. Nonetheless, Inter can’t get too cocky as the new manager bounce is a possible factor come Sunday with the return of Aurelio Andreazzoli to the Empoli dugout for the third time (!!) and Empoli caused Inter problems last season.
Inter’s 1-1 draw at Sociedad wasn’t a horrible result but the same can’t be said for its performance Wednesday night. Hopefully, it was just a one-off caused by perhaps too much rotation by Simone Inzaghi, but with another double-game week on the way (this time in Serie A) it might not be a horrible idea to keep the changes coming. Davide Frattesi, Alexis Sanchez, Carlos Augusto, and Kristjan Asllani could all use a start against Empoli to find their footing in the Inter lineup, but Inzaghi may err on the side of caution after Wednesday.
Inter has a 33W-4D-4L lead in the all-time series, but one of those losses came last season by a 1-0 scoreline at the San Siro.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Empoli 0-1 Inter Milan
Inter should be able to take care of this one fairly comfortably but it has all of the makings for a potential disaster as well - lunchtime kickoff, away at a relegation-fighting club, and on short rest - so it might be a bit closer than we’d like, although I’ll still go with an Inter win thanks to a Marcus Thuram strike.2023-09-23T11:05:52Z dg43tfdfdgfd