It's been awhile since Inter Milan managed to get three points away from home. They trashed Sassuolo 7-0, but since then they've collected just three points from as many away games. That's not enough for a team with a goal of finishing in the Champions League spots. Nor is it acceptable for the nerazzurri to keep dropping points from winning positions: each of those draws came after Inter had a lead, with the most recent involving a goal from Germán Denis to give Atalanta a share of the spoils.
On the other hand, Udinese aren't having the best of seasons either, having finally collected their first point on the road against Sassuolo last time out. While Francesco Guidolin's side still looks like a collection of assorted players rather than a team, at least the win put them back in the top half of the table, where they sit in 8th.
The match in Udine brings together two sides that favor similar styles. Both Walter Mazzarri and Francesco Guidolin love a nice 3-5-1-1 formation, the use of quality wingbacks, and using fast breaks to surprise the other team and take advantage. However, both Inter and Udinese will miss players key to their tactics and techniques.
Inter are once more without their defensive rock, Hugo Campagnaro, who was meant to miss one match and yet his absence has been felt for over a month. With Walter Samuel failing to impress at Atalanta, it may be Andrea Ranocchia, whose form is also questionable, who steps back in.
With Ishak Belfodil suspended and Mauro Icardi and Diego Milito injured, Rodrigo Palacio is the only available forward for the nerazzurri. But Mazzarri is still searching for the man to play behind Palacio, for his new side's Marek Hamsik. He's tried Ricky Álvarez and Mateo Kovačić, to various success. It may now be time to give Fredy Guarín a go.
For the hosts, right wingback Dusan Basta is injured, while Giampiero Pinzi, who enjoys scoring against Inter, sits out a one match ban. It is expected that Guidolin will use Roberto Pereyra in Basta's position on the right side and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu in center of the midfield. Udinese will rely on Antonio Di Natale and Luis Muriel to cause headaches for the visitors' weakened defense, with both players able to break quickly, exploit space and get themselves into dangerous positions.
Finally, keep an eye out for Javier Zanetti.The 40 year old Argentine, who's been at Inter since 1995, has been absent for over sixth months. The nearly indestructable Zanetti wasn't meant to be back so soon, and even thoguth it's highly unlikely Mazzarri will risk playing him, having the captain on hand could be the boost Inter need to find all three points.
Udinese injuries and suspensions
Dusan Basta (injured); Maicosuel (in doubt); Giampiero Pinzi (suspended)
Inter injuries and suspensions
Cristian Chivu, Mauro Icardi, Diego Milito, Hugo Campagnaro (injured); Ishak Belfodil (suspended)
Projected line ups
Match date/time: Sunday, November 3, 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET
Venue: Stadio Friuli, Udine, Italy
TV: beIN Sport USA, RAI Internazionale (USA), ESPN UK, Premium Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online: beIN Sport Play (USA)