Preview: Fiorentina vs. Inter Milan 

Preview: Fiorentina vs. Inter Milan 

Aiming to sustain their recent resurgence, Inter Milan travel to Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday, where they face a Fiorentina side still stuck in neutral after 10 rounds of Serie A.

Though Inter start the weekend eight points adrift of the summit, three wins from their last four matches has reignited their season at home and in Europe. By contrast, the Viola have won just twice in the league and sit in the bottom half of the standings.

Having taken four points off Champions League rivals Barcelona – and won at Sassuolo between back-to-back Group C fixtures against the Catalan club – Inter were expected to comfortably take care of business at home to Salernitana last weekend.

Going a goal in front early on, thanks to Lautaro Martinez’s 14th-minute strike, the Nerazzurri duly delivered three points, as Nicolo Barella secured victory with a clinical finish after the interval.

Simone Inzaghi’s side may remain outside Serie A’s top six, but recording an all-too-rare clean sheet builds confidence in a defence which leaked goals at a troubling rate throughout the early weeks of the season.

They have been able to tighten up at the back – conceding only three shots on target in each of their last three league matches – while, at the other end, Martinez is finally running into form after ending an eight-match goal drought by scoring at Camp Nou.

Precedent will be on the visitors’ side, too, when they travel to Tuscany this weekend, as they have won both of their last two away matches against Fiorentina – they now aim for three on the spin at the Franchi for the first time in over 40 years.

Curiously, Inter are on Italy’s longest ongoing run without a draw – a figure now standing at 19 games – with their last Serie A single-pointer coming at home to the Viola in March. That represents the club’s longest such streak since the 1940s, and Inzaghi will not mind extending it further should that mean returning to Milan with a win.

As a measure of their inferiority in this match-up during the past few years, Fiorentina have failed to beat Saturday’s opponents in any of the clubs’ last 10 league meetings, and recent form sees them already eight points adrift of Inter in the table.

In their second successive Monday night fixture, earlier this week, the Viola failed to make up lost ground from their sluggish start to the campaign, as they drew 1-1 with struggling Lecce – with Christian Kouame finding an equaliser at Stadio Via del Mare shortly after the break.

As a result, they sit 13th in the table after 10 rounds, having won just one of their last nine Serie A matches; since winning 2-0 at home to Verona in September, they have scored only five league goals while conceding double that tally.

Indeed, Vincenzo Italiano’s men have found the net just eight times in the top-flight this term, and only in 1986 have they ever registered fewer goals after their first 10 Serie A fixtures.

Though Fiorentina recently posted back-to-back wins over Hearts in the Europa Conference League, they are clearly struggling to replicate last term’s effervescent displays, and may therefore await Inter with some trepidation.

Fiorentina Serie A form:
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Fiorentina form (all competitions):
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Inter Milan Serie A form:
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Inter Milan form (all competitions):
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We say: Fiorentina 1-2 Inter Milan
Inter have both scored and conceded in all of their last nine Serie A away matches – each game seeing a total of at least three goals scored in the process – and while Fiorentina are a tougher nut to crack on home soil, form suggests an away win is the likeliest outcome at the Franchi this weekend.

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