Only three points separate Empoli and the drop zone and Beppe Iachini’s men face a tough ask when Inter visit Tuscany for the final instalment of Serie A football in 2018. Meanwhile, the Nerazzurri were buoyed by Lautaro Martinez’s late winner against second-place rivals Napoli and will be confident of closing the six point gap.
Where and when: Stadio Carlo Castellani – 29 December, kick-off 14:00
Where you can see Empoli vs. Inter: William Hill live streaming
Last time: Italians Eder and Antonio Candreva netted either side of the break to seal a comfortable win for the Nerazzurri in February.
|Mauro Icardi to score a hat-trick||20/1||Offer|
Miha Zajc to score anytime
|Inter to win 2-0||7/1||Offer|
Empoli vs. Inter Predictions and Preview
The winter break could be arriving at just the right time for Empoli after three successive losses. Perhaps more worryingly than the number of defeats is the goals against figure. The Blues have shipped 10 efforts in 270 minutes of action and could start the New Year in the bottom three if results go against them elsewhere this weekend. Despite the rocky patch in form, the Blues do carry a real goal threat, with striker Francesco Caputo on a mightily impressive tally of nine to date, one more than Mario Mandzukic and the same amount as visiting striker Mauro Icardi.
There is a heavy reliance on Caputo and his goals will be the difference between relegation and survival, unless a colleague shares the load with the impressive 31-year-old. Caputo is 7/1 to open proceedings and 2/1 in the anytime market. Empoli are 6/1 to pick up maximum points and 16/5 to earn a share of the spoils.
Travelling party Inter are in good spirits after their Boxing Day win against the Azzurri. Martinez could be in line for a start if boss Luciano Spalletti opts to freshen the pack and reward the Argentine for his vital contribution on Wednesday, at the expense of Matteo Politano. Martinez is 11/8 in the anytime betting and 5/1 to strike last.
Fellow countryman Mauro Icardi is the leading name in the scorer markets, backed at 4/6 to register the opening goal of the contest. The Nerazzurri are 1/2 to sign off the calendar year in the best way possible.
One to watch for Empoli: Antonino La Gumina is 13/5 in the same betting and should feature from the opening whistle. The forward, who has four goal contributions to date, is in line to deputise for the suspended Rade Krunic.
One to watch for Inter: Ivan Perisic is due a good performance and is 6/4 to bag anytime during the 90. The Croatian is quick, two footed and unplayable on his day.
Long shot: As the halfway stage of the campaign approaches, the goals against column does not make pretty viewing for the hosts. Empoli have shipped 36 efforts, a figure on par with the sides in 19th and 20th respectively, and there will be cause for concern. Nevertheless, the Azzurri have a reasonable record at Carlo Castellani, emerging victorious on four occasions this term and will pose a danger to their more esteemed opposition. An entertaining 2-2 draw is 14/1.