Inter’s 2-0 defeat away to Lazio means that the Nerazzurri can no longer finish in the Champions League qualifying places this season and are currently in fourth, whilst Empoli’s 0-0 draw against Bologna at the Stadio Carlo Castellani puts them in 11th place after 36 rounds of play. The two sides are separated by 21 points.
History does not favour the Marco Giampaolo’s men, as they have only won once against Inter at the San Siro in their previous ten attempts and also lost the reverse fixture earlier in the season 1-0 through a Mauro Icardi goal.
Despite being plagued by inconsistency this season, Roberto Mancini’s side have been in fine form at their home ground, winning six of their last seven games and even though they cannot qualify for Europe’s premier football competition, a victory will guarantee them a fourth-place finish which will signify automatic entry into the Europa League group stage.
A place in the top half of the table is still a possibility for the visitors but after a bright start to the season, the Azzurri have tailed off rather badly in the second half and have only won three times since the turn of the year.
Jeison Murillo will be unavailable for the game through suspension but this seems to be Mancini’s only personnel concern, whilst Empoli have be forced to make do without the injured Lukasz Skorupski, Marko Livaja and Vincent Laurini, with Levin Mchedlidze suspended.
Form Guide: Inter (L-W-L-W-W) Empoli (D-L-W-D-W)
Expected Starting XIs:
Inter: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Juan Jesus, Nagatomo; Medel, Kondogbia; Brozovic, Jovetic, Perisic; Icardi
Empoli: Pelagotti; Bittante, Costa, Tonelli, Mario Rui; Zielinski, Diousse, Croce; Saponara; Maccarone, Pucciarelli
Infographic source: www.sporticos.com