It has been exactly a month since Inter Milan recorded their last Serie A win. Since that victory over Fiorentina, Walter Mazzarri's side drew twice, with Cagliari and Torino, and lost to AS Roma. They will be doing everything they can to get their first win in October and make the new club owner, Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir, happy with his investment.
It won't be easy, though: The high-flying Hellas Verona are currently 4th in the table, one point above Inter and on a three win run. Andrea Mandorlini's squad is playing surprisingly well for a newly promoted team. Certain players, like Jorginho, with five goals to his name so far, and Juan Iturbe, on loan from Porto, have already shown that they're big-club material.
Inter's negative run has coincided with the absence of Hugo Campagnaro, a defender whose importance to the side is obvious to anyone who has watched the nerazzurri play this season. A solid center back, his familiarity with Mazzarri's style helped his defensive partners get used to the new style more quickly. Without the Argentine, the Inter defense looks shaky. It's Rolando who will once again take his place on the right side of the defensive trio, while Walter Samuel may be preferred to Andrea Ranocchia due to the latter's recent poor form. Mazzarri is known for relying on experience more than anything, and there are few players in the game more experienced than Samuel. Inter will also be without one of the best goalkeepers in the league, Samir Handanovic, who was sent off against Torino last week, but Juan Pablo Carrizo showed he's steady enough and likely won't be Inter's biggest worry.
Mazzarri sticks to his ideas and this game will be no exception. He will field his favorite 3-5-1-1 formation and look to use fast breaks to punish the opponent for any mistake. Ricardo Alvarez is expected to return, taking his place behind the lone striker, Rodrigo Palacio. Yuto Nagatomo and Jonathan will have to be at their best for Inter to pull off a win, but it won't be easy to contain Verona's wingers.
Andrea Mandorlini favors a 4-3-3 formation, with Luca Toni spearheading the attack, Iturbe on the right, and probably Raphael Martinho on the left. There aren't many selection problems for the gialloblu. The only dilemma Mandorlini faces is whether to pair Domenico Maietta or Vangelis Moras with Alejandro Gonzales in the center of the defense.
Verona is not a team to play man-behind-ball tactics, and they will certainly not shy away from attacking Inter, but they will probably try to sit back and use Inter's weapon, counter attacks, to get something out of this game. The key battle will likely be on the wings, where Mazzarri's sides traditionally look to gain advantage. If Verona manages to control Nagatomo's and Jonathan's runs they'll have a chance, especially with Inter's defense not looking too sharp lately.
Inter Milan injuries and suspensions
Hellas Verona injuries and suspensions
Projected line ups
Saturday, October 26, 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
RAI Internazionale, SiriusXM FC, beIN Sport (USA)
BT Sport 1 (UK)
Premium Calcio, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
beIN Sport Play (USA)