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06 Apr 2023 / admin

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Salernitana vs Inter - Match Preview

⚽ 7 April 2023 - 15:00 GMT +0

A 1-1 draw against Spezia last weekend, their fourth stalemate in a row, gave Salernitana a nine-point cushion over the Serie A (SA) relegation zone, with 25% of their points now coming from their last five matches (W1, D4). Coach Paulo Sousa stressed the need “to have continuity in the fight for salvation” and extending that unbeaten run with a win over Inter Milan would serve as a massive boost in their battle to beat the drop.

Despite the clear gulf between the sides in the league table, Salernitana interestingly boast a positive H2H home record (W2, L1), although the fact both wins came before 2000 is a small mitigating factor. Even still, the home camp ought to be confident of their chances having secured four points from their last two matches at Stadio Arechi, and with those two matches aggregating five Salernitana goals, another high-scoring game can’t be ruled out.

The wheels seem to have come off Inter’s season of late, as a 1-0 loss to Fiorentina last weekend not only marked a third consecutive SA defeat for the first time since May 2017 but also saw them drop to fourth in the table. They could now find themselves out of the top four altogether if they drop points here and results elsewhere work unfavourably. Their form has taken a nosedive at the most inopportune time, and with coach Simone Inzaghi insisting his side has a “tough month” ahead, reports suggesting he has only three matches to save his career certainly aren’t timely either.

Despite the fact Inter won the reverse fixture 2-0 when you look at their inconsistent recent five-game away form (W1, D2, L2), it’s hard to predict which Inter side is going to turn up. Poor defensive displays remain their Achilles’ heel, as the visitors have conceded 24+ goals across their first 13 away games of a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1947/48!

📋 Players to watch: Salernitana’s Antonio Candreva loves facing his former employers, scoring the most goals (six) and also picking up the joint-most yellow cards (four) of his career against Inter. Lautaro Martínez may be equally eager for this fixture having scored Inter’s opener in the reverse H2H, part of a return of five goals from three SA H2Hs.

Hot stat: Six of Inter’s last seven away SA matches stood level at half-time.

Lecce vs Napoli - Match Preview

⚽ 7 April 2023 - 17:00 GMT +0

Lecce’s most recent encounter with Empoli was delayed for an hour as a result of unique circumstances after both teams were evacuated due to a small fire in the locker rooms. That fiery start was in complete contrast to the dampened performance from the home side who lost the game 1-0 without mustering up a single shot on target. That extended their losing run - without scoring - to five straight games; only the division’s bottom three sides have now netted fewer goals (24).

Despite that torrid run, Lecce’s gap to the relegation zone remains a fairly comfortable eight points, but they’ll still be eager to get back on track. Doing so here against runaway leaders Napoli is a daunting task, especially as Marco Baroni’s men have won just twice at home this Serie A (SA) term (D6, L5). They are, though, one of just five SA sides to take points from the champions-elect after drawing the reverse fixture 1-1.

Napoli is also a wounded beast and will arrive at Lecce following a shock 4-0 home defeat against Milan which saw them concede two SA goals in the opening 25 minutes for the first time since 2019. The atmosphere at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium was not helped by a silent protest against rising ticket prices and there were even reports of fans brawling among themselves – all of which stems from frustrations aimed toward President Aurelio De Laurentiis.

With all that in mind, coach Luciano Spalletti might be glad that this next contest comes on the road. Aiming to build on their 16-point gap at the top, it’s worth noting Spalletti’s side has a formidable away record this season (W12, D1, L1) which has been aided by their recent run of six straight SA away wins - each without conceding a single goal.

📋 Players to watch: Lorenzo Colombo recently netted twice for Italy U21s and was Lecce’s main threat in the reverse fixture when he scored the equaliser but failed to convert a penalty. Napoli’s Eljif Elmas opened the scoring in that match with one of his six SA goals this term – the remaining five arrived in victories.

Hot stat: Napoli have won each of their eight away SA matches against sides starting this round tenth or lower by at least two goals.

AC Milan vs Empoli - Match Preview

⚽ 7 April 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0

AC Milan was rampant in a stunning 4-0 win over Serie A (SA) runaway leaders Napoli last Sunday, ending a four-game (D2, L2) winless competitive run. While that should spark confidence for the rest of the season, manager Stefano Pioli warned “It’s just one game” as he aims to stay focused on two competitions. A win against Empoli will keep the pressure on second-placed Lazio, although Pioli could already have one eye on their Champions League quarter-finals first-leg next week against Napoli!

The hosts have a chance to make it five straight SA H2H wins for the first time in their history after a 3-1 victory in the reverse fixture back in October, which incidentally occurred after a game against Napoli. With six wins out of their last nine SA home matches (D2, L1) scoring 2+ goals on seven occasions, the Rossoneri could be warming San Siro for the bigger battle ahead.

Empoli will hope to take advantage of a potentially distracted Milan as they travel with a 12-point cushion above the relegation zone after a 1-0 win over Lecce last matchday halted a four-game losing streak. Coach Paolo Zanetti celebrated the three points and hinted that they “want to make a good impression” here, aiming for just their fourth win in a 16th away competitive H2Hs (D1, L11).

The visitors had won at this venue earlier in February against Inter Milan (1-0) but failed to build upon that victory, losing three of their next four away league games (D1). Including those four, Empoli has conceded the last match goal in ten of their last 14 away league games, a tendency that could come back to bite them again here.

📋 Players to watch: Milan’s Rafael Leão scored a brace against Napoli and assisted the opener whilst netting the last goal in the reverse H2H. On loan from AC’s rivals Inter, Empoli’s Martín Satriano could make it a memorable ‘homecoming’ as his two SA goals have come in away matches.

Hot stat: Five of Empoli’s last seven away SA games produced exactly one first-half goal.

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