Udinese To Come Undone V Inter
Inter v Udinese
Two sides with far greater ambitions than the mid-table mire they currently find themselves in clash when Inter host Udinese on Sunday night.
Without a win in four Serie A games, Inter are now in 11th place in the table although they won’t be hitting the panic button just yet as they’re still just six points of the Champions League spots. Roberto Mancini’s recent return to the club hasn’t yet had the desired effect either with a victory over Dnipro in the Europa League his only taste of success in three games back in the dugout. Mancini did earn a creditable 1-1 draw with city rivals AC Milan in the former Manchester City bosses’ re-introduction to the club, but were beaten 4-2 away to title-chasing Roma their last game. Mauro Icardi is the club’s top scorer this season with seven league goals and eight in all competitions, but hasn’t scored in his past three.
After a fine start to the season which saw them win four of their opening five league games, Udinese have struggled to maintain that form and are now five games without a league victory, although they remain a point ahead of their opponents this weekend. No side have scored fewer goals on their travels than the Bianconeri’s two, as they’ve failed to register on the scoresheet in four of six away from home. They picked up a 4-2 win after extra time over Cesana in the Italian Cup in midweek to stop the rot, however.
The evergreen Antonio Di Natale, as ever, has found the back of the net more than anyone for Udinese this season with seven league goals and has now scored 200 goals in the Italian top flight in the 37-year-old’s incredible Serie A career.
Brazilian midfielder Hernanes is doubtful for Inter, while Mancini may also have to shuffle his backline with Yuto Nagatomo, Nemanja Vidic and Jonathan Moreira all struggling for fitness.
Udinese are without long term injury victim Luis Muriel, with the Colombian international expected to be joined by Gabriel Silva on the sidelines. Defender Maurizio Domizzi is suspended following his sending off against Milan last time out while Silvan Widmer may also be missing form their backline. It is the doubts over Di Natale which will be of most concern to boss Andrea Stramaccioni though, as the talismanic striker went off with a knock in their loss to Milan and is doubtful.
Head to Head
With two wins and a draw form their past three clashes against Inter at the San Siro, Udinese have enjoyed their recent trips to Milan, particularly a thrilling 5-2 win in May 2013. In stark contrast, the scoreless draw these two played out in this fixture last season was the only time the sides have played out a draw in their last 12 league meetings while both sides have failed to score in four of the last five.
An out of sorts Udinese should be rich pickings for Mancini for a first win since his restoration at 40/85 here and it would take a very brave, or erratic, punter to back the away win at 6/1.
With such a poor record on their travels in front of goal and facing a side who have scored in each of their last seven home games too Inter to lead at half-time and full-time looks worth a punt at 23/20.
Former Southampton striker Pablo Osvaldo seems to have found his feet with goals in each of his last two games so the 6/5 on a goal anytime should be backed and the 4/1 on the volatile frontman could pay off handsomely.