ITALY: Serie A
Time: 7:45 PM
Venue: Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi (Verona)
Even despite the arrival of Eusebio Di Francesco, Hellas Verona’s Serie A (SA) winless streak continued after his side lost 3-2 in his home debut against Sassuolo (D4, L6). They’re still someway from their 24 match winless run which eventually led to relegation in 2016, but any hopes for an immediate improvement are low considering that Verona last beat Inter Milan in 1992 (D4, L17)!
The home fans might be fearing a repeat of the 2017/18 season when their team lost their first two home SA matches, conceding three times in the opener – just like this term. No matter which way the result goes though, expect a slow burner. There were a league low nine goals scored in the opening 30 minutes of Verona’s home SA matches last season (GF 6, GA 3).
Just like his predecessor Antonio Conte, new Inter manager Simone Inzaghi started his tenure at the club with an impressive 4-0 home victory which was their third straight opening SA victory with 4+ goals scored. Inter will now aim to win the opening two league matches in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1955/56!
Inter had the joint best SA away defence last term (0.89 goals conceded per game), with the ’Nerazzurri’ losing just twice when travelling (W11, D6). Encouragingly, they have scored 2+ goals in nine consecutive H2Hs held here (W6, D3) – a feat Inter achieved in 12 of their away league outings last season.
Players to watch: Mattia Zaccagni netted a second-half brace for Verona in the opening round, with each of his last five top-flight goals arriving in or after the 70th minute, while Hakan Çalhanoğlu became the first player to score and assist on his SA debut with Inter since Zlatan Ibrahimović in 2006.
- Verona’s form in last 5 matches: LWLWD.
- Inter’s form in last 5 matches: WWWWW
PREDICTION: Away and Over 1.5