Staying in Italy’s top flight for another year would be huge for SPAL. The small club has only been in Serie A for two seasons in the last half-century, and a third season would go a long way to stabilizing the finances of a team that has declared bankruptcy twice in 15 years. Currently, SPAL sit in 16th place in the table, but they can’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet. Empoli are just a point behind them in 17th and Bologna and Frosinone are within five and six points respectively. That means a road result against Inter Milan on Sunday would be huge.
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Inter Milan vs. SPAL
- Date and Time: March 10, 2019, 8 a.m. ET
- Location: San Siro, Milan, Italy
- US Television Coverage: ESPN2
- Betting Line: Inter Milan -1 and -1.5, O/U 2.5
The hosts have seen their star fade a bit over the last six weeks. Inter Milan were comfortably in third place in Serie A at the end of January, but they have gone just 2-2-3 over their last seven games. To make matters worse, during that seven-game stretch the best team they faced was seventh place Torino, so they are slumping against mid-table and below teams. They suffered a tough loss on Sardinia against Cagliari last weekend.
Meanwhile, SPAL have only two points to show from their last five matches, but they have been able to stay ahead of the drop to this point. They have just one win since mid-October though, and they must start securing a win here or there to feel good about their chances.
These teams met in SPAL on October 7, and Inter emerged with a 2-1 road win. Mauro Icardi came up big with goals in the 14th and 78th minute to seal the victory for Inter, but he may miss this match and SPAL would love to take advantage.
Matias Vecino will not suit up in this match for Inter due to a suspension from yellow card accumulation. Additionally, Sime Vrsaljko is out for the rest of the year, and he continues to be missed. Icardi has missed the last four matches because of inflammation in his knee and is doubtful to play here, and Keita Balde is questionable after missing four consecutive matches with a thigh injury.
SPAL will be without Thiago Cionek after the Polish center back picked up a red card late in extra time against Sampdoria last weekend. They also might not have the services of Manuel Lazzari. Lazzari has missed three straight games with an undisclosed injury, and he is listed as questionable.
Inter Milan Player to Watch
Icardi has been Inter’s best offensive weapon all year, so if he can’t play, there will be some pressure on Lautaro Martinez to perform. Martinez has three goals in Inter’s last six matches, and he was not afraid to fire away against Cagliari last week. He took an incredible 11 shots in that match.
SPAL Player to Watch
Andrea Petagna has earned himself a raise this offseason considering what he has done to lift SPAL. He is one of nine players in Serie A with at least 10 goals, and he is on one of the bottom tier teams in the league. Not having Lazzari would be huge though, as he has been SPAL’s main set-up man all year.
Inter Milan vs. SPAL Free Picks
I don’t see SPAL being able to keep pace with Inter Milan here. Inter have too much at stake, and I think they come out with a bang at home. SPAL will try to hold the line, but the hosts will get the win.
Inter Milan vs. SPAL Prediction: Inter Milan 2, SPAL 0
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