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Fiorentina vs Inter Milan Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction...

Inter Milan will be looking to enter the last eight of the Coppa Italia when they lock horns with Fiorentina in the Round-of-16 at Stadio Artemio Franchi. #CoppaItalia #fiorentina #InterMilan
Inter Milan will be looking to enter the last eight of the Coppa Italia when they lock horns with Fiorentina in the Round-of-16 at Stadio Artemio Franchi this week.

Coppa Italia is back in action this week, with a series of engaging fixtures as Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan get ready to take on Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi, with a place in the quarter-final at stake.

Sitting second in the Seria A, Inter Milan are coming to this fixture on the back of a 2-2 draw with AS Roma. La Beneamata have experienced a period of depression in the last two games and will desperately be seeking a positive outcome to regain their momentum. Inter were knocked out by Napoli in the semifinals of Coppa Italia last season and they will be determined to bounce back strongly this season.

In spite of Fiorentina’s inconsistent run in recent fixtures, Cesare Prandelli’s men were just able to surpass Cagliari by a slender margin of 1-0 over the weekend. Because of their potential to hit the opponents in crucial phases, Fiorentina have always been recognized as strong contenders in the Coppa Italia and will be looking forward to showing their strength on such a gargantuan occasion.

Inter Milan, in their previous meeting against Fiorentina in the Serie A last year, emerged as the victorious side in a nerve-wracking affair that ended 4-3. Ahead of this heavyweight cup clash at Stadio Artemio Franchi on Wednesday, The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.

Team News & Tactics Fiorentina
Franck Ribery is unavailable for Fiorentina (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) Franck Ribery is unavailable for Fiorentina (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Franck Ribery is unavailable for Fiorentina (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Franck Ribéry will not be able to participate in this mega event as his muscle injury still needs a few weeks to recover. However, German Pezzella has avoided a serious injury against Cagliari and could be in contention to feature in the midweek clash.

Fiorentina looked a bit shaky in the Coppa Italia up to this point, having squeaked past Padova and Udinese to get to this stage of the competition. However, the Viola do have a strong squad and will hope to put up a great show to outsmart the Nerazzurri.

Cesare Prandelli will look to stick with 3-5-2 formation that he has used this term, with Bartlomiej Dragowski being the undisputed starter in goal. German Pezzella should start alongside Nikola Milenkovic and Igor to form Fiorentina’s three-man backline. Pezzella’s availability will be a huge boost owing to the physical presence he provides in the box.

Gaetano Castrovilli and Sofyan Amrabat are expected to be the duo to strengthen the grip in the midfield alongside former Inter Milan man Borja Valero, who could also play a pivotal role. Martín Cáceres will slot in as the right-sided wing-back and Cristiano Biraghi should start from the left.

Without Ribery, Dusan Vlahovic will spearhead the attack while Christian Kouamé will play a more supporting role alongside him, following Patrick Cutrone’s return to his parent club, Wolves.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Igor; Cáceres, Castrovilli, Valero, Amrabat, Biraghi; Vlahovic, Kouamé

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Antonio Conte will need to make few adjustments to his squad to snatch this game from his opposition following a sloppy performance against Roma, which led to them dropping points in back-to-back games. They will now be desperately aiming to bounce back and go on a strong cup run.

Conte will have to make do without defenders Danilo D’Ambrosio and Matteo Darmian for Wednesday’s cup tie, with midfielders Matias Vecino and Arturo Vidal also missing out, along with Andrea Pinamonti.

Romanian goalkeeper, Ionuț Radu could feature in goal, while Conte could also change his side’s backline by introducing Aleksandar Kolarov and Andrea Ranocchia alongside the ever-present figure of Milan Skriniar.

Ivan Perisic could start as the right wing-back, and former Manchester United man Ashley Young could start on the left. The pair will have a critical role to play with their forward runs and ability to deliver accurate crosses for the strikers to attack.

Conte will be disappointed with his side’s performance in midfield and might look to make a few adjustments. Roberto Gagliardini could replace Nicolo Barella in the centre of the park, while  Stefano Sensi could join Marcelo Brozovic to command the midfield as the Croatian will try to maintain his exquisite run of form since his return from injury.

Alexis Sanchez will have another chance to prove his worth, after his bizarre penalty miss against Sampdoria last week. He should start alongside either Romelu Lukaku or Lautaro Martinez, although the former could be rested given that he had a recent injury problem.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Radu; Kolarov, Ranocchia, Skriniar; Young, Sensi, Brozovic, Gagliardini, Perisic; Martinez, Sanchez

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Key Stats
  • Both sides have met a total of 179 times (dating back to 1928’s Divisione Nazionale) with Fiorentina winning 49 matches compared to Inter’s 73, including a W1 D5 L4 over their past five clashes.
  • Fiorentina have won the Coppa Italia 6 times, whereas Inter Milan have conquered the prestigious trophy on 7 occasions.
  • Inter Milan haven’t lost to Fiorentina in their last 8 meetings (W4 D4) and will be looking forward to continuing this impressive run against them.
  • Inter Milan have lost just one of their last eleven matches across all competitions.
  • Fiorentina have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four matches, including one against reigning Serie A champions Juventus.
Player to Watch Marcelo Brozovic
Inter Milan's midfield linchpin (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images) Inter Milan's midfield linchpin (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Inter Milan’s midfield linchpin (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

The 28-years-old Croatian midfielder has been a standout performer for the Nerazzurri in recent games. With Inter Milan failing to win their last two games, manager Antonio Conte will be seeking solutions to end that run, and Marcelo Brozovic could become the crucial piece of the puzzle in this scenario.

The Croatian has assisted five goals in his last four Serie A games and has more league assists than any other Inter Milan player this season (6). He has the ability to provide that extra edge which could turn out to be the deciding factor in such a crucial fixture. In addition, Brozovic’s physical presence, as well as his ability to read the game, will be pivotal in midfield.

Prediction Fiorentina 2-3 Inter Milan

This could turn out to be another high-scoring thriller as Inter Milan have looked quite vulnerable at the back in recent weeks while Fiorentina will be looking forward to putting up a courageous effort and make them uncomfortable as they did in the last affair.

Fiorentina outsmarted mighty Juventus in this season by a healthy margin and will have to grab the opportunities to overcome Inter Milan’s threats. The visitors, though, have loads of quality within their ranks and will be favourites to grab a much-needed win. The Hard Tackle predicts Antonio Conte’s side to run out with a 3-2 win and progress to the quarterfinals of Coppa Italia.

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