Inter Milan v Verona – San Siro at 19:45
Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan have made a strong start to the Serie A season, with four wins in their opening four games and just a single goal conceded. Although, they have only managed to notch five of their own goals so far, the signs are very positive at this early stage of the campaign.
The loyal Nerazzurri fans will be praying that this will be the year, that their club returns to the pinnacle of Italian football after four seasons of scrabbling around with the lesser lights of the Italian game.
After a summer of frantic transfer activity ex-Manchester City manager Mancini has assembled an impressive looking squad, with the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia, Ivan Perisic, Stevan Jovetic and Miranda adding quality & depth in key areas of the team.
Jovetic in particular has hit the ground running, back in the familiar surroundings of Serie A after an unsuccessful stint in the Premier League. He and last season’s top scorer Mauro Icardi, could form a deadly strike partnership that powers Inter back into the Scudetto race.
But, until they really hit it off Mancini’s team will remain solid at the back and hard to beat before anything else.
Tonight’s opponents Hellas Verona are anything but solid, having started the season without a win in four. However, their battling qualities have been apparent in avoiding defeat so far in these early exchanges.
The Gialloblu front line is still led by seemingly ageless striker Luca Toni, who after equalling Icardi’s 22 goals last term had his most productive year in a decade. I have no idea how Italian players continue to prolong their playing careers and still perform at the highest level.
Toni is only a year younger than me and I am getting tired writing about this match, let alone playing in it! However, the veteran forward is a serious doubt for this match after picking up a knee injury.
Verona only managed two wins on the road against teams from the top half of the table last season and with just one point and one goal from trips to Genoa & Atalanta so far this season, it does not look like they are going to enjoy much success on their travels again this time around.
In recent years, these two sides have met five times and Inter remain unbeaten across those games, on top of that, they have scored at least twice in all five encounters. However, all four of Verona’s games this season have seen them drawing 0-0 at HT and they will be looking for another solid start here.
After their 100% start to the season, it is no real surprise to see Inter priced up at a far too short, 1.36 to equal a club record five consecutive wins from the start of the season. In terms of the Asian handicap betting market, the main line for this match is +/-1.5 goals.
There is a chance that Mancini might rest a few players tonight, with a tougher looking match against Fiorentina coming up at the weekend. With that in mind and the value all on the visitors, I have to bet with my head and hope that Verona can continue to make life difficult for the bigger clubs.
With Inter still searching for their best goal scoring form and potentially resting a couple of their more established players, I like Verona to keep the game tight, at least for the first half if not the full 90 minutes.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Hellas Verona +0.5 FH at 2.10
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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