THERE’S a full midweek of Serie A action to enjoy with Bologna’s clash with Inter Milan kicking things off on Tuesday night. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) looks at the betting.
Bologna v Inter Milan | Tuesday 19.45 | BT Sport Europe
Inter Milan opened their Serie A account with five successive wins but the Nerazzurri have managed just three points from the following four rounds of action, slipping from table-toppers to fourth. Roberto Mancini’s men can return to the summit, for 24 hours at least, tonight by beating newly-promoted Bologna.
However, the 2010 Champions League winners have come in for plenty of criticism in recent weeks. The 4-3-1-2 system adopted by Mancini has allowed Inter to boast the best defensive record in the Italian top tier but it’s come at a cost. The Nerazzurri have managed just nine goals themselves – the lowest total in the top half of the table.
The visitors have been relying on moments of individualism a little too often and their pedestrian offensive approach has let the side down. Mauro Icardi is yet to hit anything close to his best form but Stevan Jovetic has sparkled on occasions. Mancini believes it’s only a matter of time before the side click into gear.
He might be right. On Saturday Inter created 19 chances at Palermo, albeit only seven were on target, as Nerazzurri surrendered a 1-0 lead to draw their third fixture on the spin. The Derby Della Madonnina and the Derby D'Italia have already been negotiated and it’s also worth reiterating the away side have been beaten just once in 2015/16.
Jeison Murillo is unavailable to Mancini with Andrea Ranocchia or Gary Medel expected to drop into the heart of the defence and it’s hard not to fancy the travellers on Tuesday night at 5/6 (Betfred) quotes. Inter have already kept five clean sheets this term and have now recorded W5-D2-L0 in their previous seven away league games.
But even more impressive has been Inter’s excellent record when taking on bottom-half dwellers under Mancini’s watch. Since the former Manchester City boss returned to the San Siro, the Nerazzurri have W9-D6-L2 against the league’s lesser lights and that return reads a superb W6-D2-L1 when playing away from Milan.
Hosts Bologna managed to climb off the foot of the table by beating Carpi thanks to a late winner on Saturday but head coach Delio Rossi is said to be hanging onto his job by the skin of his teeth. The Rossoblu’s only other three-pointer came back in September when welcoming fellow newly-promoted club Frosinone to the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.
Seven defeats from nine certainly wasn’t what was expected of Bologna this term after significant summer investment. Like Inter, Rossi’s charges have struggled to find their best form going forward despite a 4-3-3 formation featuring Anthony Mounier, Mattia Destro and Emanuele Giaccherini.
The Rossoblu’s tally of six goals is the equal worst in Serie A this season and makes any case for a home win look a tall order. Palermo (13th), Udinese (14th) and Sassuolo (6th) have already left Bologna with maximum points and Inter can follow a similar path this midweek.
Bologna v Inter Milan – Inter Milan to win (5/6 Betfred)
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