Inter kick-off the second half of the campaign with a short trip to Monza in a crucial fixture setting the tone for the remainder of the season

After back-to-back non-convincing games against Genoa and Verona, resulting in four points, Inter will look to regain the in-form dominance that they showed before Christmas. An 11-mile trip north to Monza will require concentration for 90 minutes if the Nerazzuri are to head home with the full three points. Currently comfortable in mid-table, AC Monza is a squad with a good mix of experience and youth, including many ex-Inter players: Di Gregorio, Carboni, Caldirola, D’Ambrosio, Gagliardini, and for a short period Caprari. While Inter cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win in the opening match of the season at the San Siro (thanks to a Lautaro brace), this away match is expected to be more challenging, as Monza has conceded just six goals in nine home matches this season.

With talent sprinkled throughout the pitch, it all starts with Di Gregorio in goal for Monza. He has been sensational this season, with some calling him the best goalkeeper in Serie A so far this season (however, Di Gregorio is expected to miss the match due to injury). Ahead of him is an experienced three-man defense that has consisted of all ex-Inter players in the past two matches (D’Ambrosio, Gagliardini, and Caldirola). In attack, Monza will typically alternate starting three of the following four forwards (as Caprari has been out injured): Colpani (6 goals and 1 assist), Colombo (3 goals and 1 assist), Valentín Carboni (2 goals and 2 assists) and Mota (2 goals and 1 assist). In midfield, Ciurria and Pessina are the ones to watch.

With Juventus hot on their tail, Inter cannot afford to lose points to mid-table teams, especially those that have scored 25 fewer goals and conceded 11 more goals than them. With only Cuadrado out injured, Simone Inzaghi will have an entire squad, including the newly acquired Tajon Buchanan (expect to see him get some minutes late in the match). Last year, Inter visited Monza in early January and was able to only garner a 1-1 draw.

Projected Monza lineup (3-4-2-1): Sorrentino; D’Ambrosio, Mari, Caldirola; Ciurria, Pessina, Gagliardini, Perreira; Colpani, V. Carboni; Colombo.

Projected Inter Milan lineup (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Çalhanoğlu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez.

Monza-Inter is set to kick-off on Saturday, January 13 at 20:45 CET / 14:45 EST.