August 19, 2017

Inter Milan v Fiorentina Asian Handicap Preview – Sunday 20th August

Inter Milan v Fiorentina – San Siro at 19:45 Live at BT Sport

This time last year, Inter Milan were preparing to start the new Serie A season having given Frank De Boer just a fortnight in charge. Predictably, things turned sour rather soon and the Nerazzurri never truly recovered from the chaos.

The Milan giants had enjoyed a positive summer in the transfer market but ultimately, De Boer – who had won four titles with Ajax in the Netherlands – wasn’t suited to the role and the structural problems within the club soon saw his relationship ended.

Stefano Pioli looked to have steadied the ship but he too was overwhelmed by the position before Stefano Vecchi won three of his five matches in charge to bring the 2016/17 campaign on a more positive note.

This summer Inter has spent a net €33m but arguably their best signing has been head coach Luciano Spalletti from Roma. Having guided the capital club to second last season, the veteran boss should be well capable of putting the Nerazzurri back on the map.

Keep Inter onside

Ever Banega and Gary Medel have both left but the squad that remains is good enough to challenge for Champions League qualification. With Juventus’ position apparently weakened, Inter are even readying themselves for a potential title push.

Pre-season performances have certainly encouraged. Wins have come against the likes of Chelsea and Bayern Munich and should Spalletti manage to sort out a defense that kept a single clean sheet at home against the top-15 clubs in Serie A last season, Inter should improve immeasurably.

So much so, backing Inter to overcome a -0.75 Asian Handicap (1.73) at Sunday night holds plenty of appeals. Why? Because of their opposition, Fiorentina, is in a serious state of flux.

Fiorentina in flux

La Viola dispended with boss Paulo Sousa in the off-season. The fractious relationship ended following a series of attractive but slightly bland style of mid-table football that failed to see the Florence club progress with a quality squad.

Ex-Inter head coach Pioli has since taken the reigns. He’ll have a point to prove here and his appointment has been widely regarded as a decent bit of business. With one loss in five against their hosts too, the trends are certainly on Fiorentina’s side.

However, La Viola has lost key players Federico Bernardeschi to Juventus and midfield metronome Borja Valero to their opponents here. Both moves have angered supporters and it’s difficult to see how the guests can improve on what was an atrocious return when traveling to sides that finished above them last term.

Fiorentina managed one point from a possible 21 (W0-D1-L6) in that sample, conceding at least twice in each loss. I’m not expecting a major improvement just yet from the visitors.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Inter Milan -0.75 at 1.710

By @MarkOHaire

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