Somewhat surprisingly, it’s the home team who have it all to play for coming into this game, as Hellas Verona welcome Inter Milan to the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on Thursday night. The Gialloblu are right in the mix for a place in next season’s Europa League, while the Nerazzurri are assured of their place in the top four yet nowhere near Serie A leaders Juventus in the title race.
Where and when: Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi – 9 July, kick-off 20:45
Where you can see Verona vs. Inter: Premier Sports
Last time: Inter came from behind to beat Verona 2-1 at the San Siro back in November, with Matias Vecino and Nicolo Barella on target for Antonio Conte’s side.
Verona v Inter Predictions and Preview
Inter have an astonishing record against Verona. The Nerazzurri are unbeaten in their last 18 meetings against the Mastini, since their hosts on Thursday were promoted to the top flight in 1996. The Milanese club have won 15 of those fixtures, including each of the last three, but the optimism this season is with the Gialloblu.
Verona only returned to Serie A this term following a fifth-placed finish in the second tier last season, and a comeback play-off victory over Cittadella. However, Ivan Juric’s side have enjoyed a superb campaign back in the big time, pushing big boys like Napoli and Milan all the way for a place in the Europa League next season.
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Inter to win and BTTS
Lukaku to score first
That would be a first foray into Europe since the Mastini reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1988, and Verona are 15/4 to give their hopes a major boost with a victory over Inter in this Thursday night fixture.
Their visitors’ season has fizzled out since the restart, although it was back-to-back defeats to Juventus and Lazio in their last two Serie A fixtures before the break which really did for Conte’s side.
Inter have only dropped points once on their return to action – in a 3-3 draw against Sassuolo – but even last week’s 6-0 victory over bottom club Brescia cannot hide the disappointment at the San Siro which accompanies their failed title bid and Coppa Italia exit at the hands of Napoli.
The question here is whether Verona’s quest for Europe can spur them on against a team who they’ve struggled against for many years. Especially without any of their own fans inside the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.
The bookmakers don’t fancy the hosts to pick up the win, with Inter priced as the odds-on favourites at 13/16. Considering they have some tough fixtures coming up, avoiding a defeat with a draw wouldn’t be the worst result for Verona. It’s priced at 29/10, but they can’t afford to drop too many points if they’re going to claim that valuable European place.
One to watch for Verona: Samuel Di Carmine has had a somewhat injury-hit season, but his goal return has still been pretty good when fit. He is Verona’s top scorer and 10/1 to break the deadlock on Thursday.
One to watch for Inter: Romelu Lukaku is Inter’s top scorer by some distance after a strong debut campaign in Serie A. He’s looking to end up somewhere in the mid-20s in the league this season and is 3/1 for the opening goal here.
Long shot: These teams drew 3-3 at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi in their meeting before last at the ground. Both teams have also drawn 3-3 with Sassuolo since returning to action last month, with a repeat of that scoreline priced at 80/1.