Inter's quest to defend their Serie A title continues with the visit of Fiorentina on Saturday afternoon.
The Nerazzurri went into the winter break with a four point cushion at the Serie A summit. However, since the panettone has been put away, Inter have endured a distressingly mediocre start to 2022, collecting 13 points from nine games. Fiorentina are one of the nine teams with a better return in the new year than the title challengers.
Here's the XI Simone Inzaghi may deploy to prevent Inter's Scudetto surge petering out.
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Samir Handanovic (GK) - Despite playing the shortest average passes of any Serie A goalkeeper, Handanovic is the most accurate number one in Italy when picking out a teammate from a ball that travels over 40 yards (56% success).
Milan Skriniar (CB) - Inter's rugged defender has the best unbeaten record of his career against Fiorentina, going ten games without defeat in meetings with La Viola (5W 5D).
Andrea Ranocchia (CB) - The veteran centre-back (who is two years younger than Edin Dzeko surprisingly) has been a shaky stand-in for the injured Stefan de Vrij.
Alessandro Bastoni (CB) - The abundantly talented 22-year-old detailed the freedom Inzaghi has afforded the squad by reminding them "that football is a game." Before quickly adding: "Except when you lose."
2. Wing-backs & midfielders
Denzel Dumfries (RWB) - The summer arrival has missed just one league match in front of Inter's home fans all season.
Nicolo Barella (CM) - Serie A's leading assist provider set up two goals on his last appearance at San Siro.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) - The linchpin at the base of Inter's midfield faces a race for fitness to avoid missing a third league game of the season - the Nerazzurri have failed to win his previous pair of absences.
Hakan Calhanoglu (CM) - For the second year in a row, Calhanoglu leads Serie A for chances created from dead ball situations.
Robin Gosens (LWB) - For the first time all season, Ivan Perisic has a viable replacement who created a goal on his San Siro debut.
Lautaro Martinez (ST) - Alexis Sanchez's pounding at the door may be growing ever louder but Inter's top scorer has netted four in his last three games after a ten-match drought.
Edin Dzeko (ST) - Half of Dzeko's career red cards have come against Fiorentina - the then-Roma forward was dismissed during a 7-1 annihilation of the capital club in the 2019 Coppa Italia.