Inter restart their league campaign by hosting Sampdoria on Sunday evening, with their Scudetto hopes hanging by a thread following back-to-back Serie A defeats.
Antonio Conte’s men looked well placed to make a charge towards their first league championship for ten years, but defeats to fellow title contenders Juventus and Lazio prior the league’s three-month recess severely dented those hopes.
Sampdoria, meanwhile, are in need of the points for very different reasons. Claudio Ranieri’s men have endured a torrid season and are just a point above the relegation zone.
With both ends of the table affected by the outcome, Sunday’s clash promises to be a mouth-watering affair.
Where to Watch
When Is Kick Off? Sunday 21 June
What Time Is Kick Off? 20:45 (BST)
Where Is it Played? San Siro
TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 1 (UK), FuboTV (US)
The home side are expected to be without Diego Godin as he continues rehab on a muscle injury which kept him out the side’s 1-1 draw with Napoli in the Coppa Italia semi final.
The only other injury news for Conte concerns midfielder Stefano Sensi. The Italy international sustained a thigh injury in training earlier this week and will not be available for the weekend’s clash.
For the visitors, captain Fabio Quagliarella is expected to miss out through injury. The veteran striker picked up a knock in training and Ranieri has confirmed he won’t be risked ahead of the trip to Inter.
Inter: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Candreva, Brozović, Barella, Young; Eriksen, Lukaku, Lautaro.
Sampdoria: Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli, Colley, Augello; Thorsby, Vieira, Ekdal, Linetty; Gabbiadini, Bonazzoli.
Prior to the break, Inter’s season began to unravel a little. After going ten unbeaten, Conte’s men lost three in five, with damaging defeats to Lazio and Juventus derailing their title bid.
The draw to Napoli in their first outing since the break will have done little to lift spirits as they crashed out the Coppa Italia semi final 2-1 on aggregate.
The footballing break came at a bad time for Ranieri’s men. They had picked up two wins from three games before the league's postponement, lifting them out of the Serie A drop zone.
Napoli 1-1 Inter (13/6)
Juventus 2-0 Inter (8/3)
Inter 2-1 Ludogorets 27/2)
Ludogorets 0-2 Inter (20/2)
Lazio 2-1 Inter (16/2)
Sampdoria 2-1 Verona (8/3)
Sampdoria 1-5 Fiorentina (16/2)
Torino 1-3 Sampdoria (8/2)
Sampdoria 2-4 Napoli (3/2)
Sampdoria 0-0 Sassuolo (26/1)
The Nerazzurri can ill afford any further slip ups if they’re to mount a serious title challenge. They do still hold a game in hand over Juventus and Lazio, but the nine-point gap between them and the league’s summit looks a big ask at this stage in the season.
Inter’s clash with Napoli last weekend saw them blow away the cobwebs of three months off, while Sampdoria have not been afforded such luxury. Expect Conte’s men to overrun Ranieri’s side as they feel their way back into competitive action.
Prediction: Inter 2-0 Sampdoria