clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Inter Milan vs Fiorentina: Preview

The Viola get their first chance against a league heavyweight this season.

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Coppa Italia Final Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Having secured a place in the Conference League group stage, Fiorentina turns its attention back to Serie A and a date at the San Siro with Inter Milan. In 186 previous meetings, the Viola hold a W50 D58 L78 mark, including W1 D4 L5 in their past 10 league meetings. This fixture ended with a 0-1 win to the good guys last year.

The referee for this one is 33-year-old Matteo Marchetti of Ostia. In 22 Serie A matches, he’s issued 92 yellow cards, 3 red cards, and 11 penalties; that latter statistic means we should probably expect some VAR action. In 4 matches under his direction, Fiorentina are W2 D1 L1. Last we saw him was that deeply enjoyable 1-3 win at Sassuolo last year.

The match will be played Sunday, 3 September 2023, at 4:30 PM GMT/12:30 PM EST, at the Stadio San Siro in Milan. The forecast calls for a warm summer evening, which will inevitably lead to a host of shirtless supporters (fun) and some heavy legs, especially for the visitors (less fun).

Inter Milan

A chaotic transfer window hasn’t affected Inter Milan in the early going; despite the departures of Romelu Lukaku, Andre Onana, Edin Džeko, Milan Škriniar, and Samir Handanović, the Nerazzurri have won both their Serie A games this season, scoring twice in each and not conceding. They’ve only played Cagliari and Monza, but they’ve looked solid, folding in the new faces and motoring right along.

Manager Simone Inzaghi won’t have CB Francesco Acerbi or CM Stefano Sensi and may miss CM Henrikh Mkhitaryan as well. That could mean a start for new boy Davide Frattesi, but the rest of the XI will likely be as expected. That means Lautaro Martínez up front, of course, which is always bad news for Viola fans, but Marcus Thuram will also be desperate to get his first goal for Inter before the international break begins.

We know more or less what to expect from Inzaghi’s Inter at this point: outstanding linkup play between the strikers, a midfield that gets forward for knockdowns and has the technical quality to dominate a game, wingbacks attacking the back post, and a well-drilled defense. Il Biscione will probably try get the strikers matched up 2-v-2 against Fiorentina’s central defenders and cook that way, but can also work the ball wide and cross, threaten via set pieces, or just count on a technically-gifted midfield to smash in a shot from range.


The early season has been as wobbly as you’d expect from such an odd team. Fiorentina’s done some interesting transfer business but still has some pretty obvious holes in the roster, and will have to cope with some heavy legs after a physically-draining 90 minutes against an astoundingly energetic Rapid Wien team. That emotional high may not be enough to propel this team past a scudetto hopeful, but a result sure would be nice heading into the break.

Manager Vincenzo Italiano won’t have CM Gaetano Castrovilli or AM Antonín Barák, with RW Jonathan Ikoné also likely to miss out. He’ll likely have to rotate some heavy legs, starting with Giacomo Bonaventura (the poor old man’s started 4 games in 2 weeks), so we could see Abelhamid Sabiri or Gino Infantino. The real question, though, is up front: M’Bala Nzola endured a rough outing against the Austrians and Lucas Beltrán could well slide ahead of him for this one, with several other bench options likely eying a starting berth here as well.

Inter have bossed possession in their games so far but it’s been against relatively weak opposition, so the question is whether or not they’ll drop deep and play on the break or try to control things. I’d expect the former, as Martínez and Thuram look terrifying on the break and Fiorentina haven’t looked great attacking a deep block; on the other hand, the Viola have struggled when pressed, so they’ll need to be ready for either challenge. Inter’s got an excellent defense, too, so the forwards need to take their chances when they come. Sometimes it’s just that simple.

Possible lineups

Darmian or Bisseck, Carlos Augusto or Dimarco; Ranieri or Martínez Quarta, Biraghi or Parisi, Sottil or Brekalo, Beltrán or Nzola
Made using Share My Tactics

How to watch

TV: Maybe, yeah. Check the international television listings.

Online: Here is your list of safe, reliable, and legal streams.

Ted’s Memorial Blind Guess Department

As you’d expect, Inter are the big favorites with the betting houses. They’re at home, winning everything, and didn’t play 3 days previously. The smart money is definitely on them, although it seems unlikely to be a low-scoring affair: the last 6 league meetings between these two have produced a staggering 23 goals, with both sides failing to score just twice. In other words, expect plenty of action.

I’d normally be pretty pessimistic but TMBGD is a place for unbridled optimism, so I’ll call it a 2-2 upset. A sloppy game leads to a lot more chances than either coach would want, but Inter fail to make it count despite having the better of things on balance. Goals for Martínez and Thuram for the bad guys, with a Beltrán brace bringing a point back to Florence for the good guys. That is, quite frankly, unlikely, but it sure would be cool.

Forza Viola!