Having enjoyed a winter break over Christmas and the New Year period, Italian football is back in full swing this weekend. Whereas the likes of Juventus, Roma, Napoli and AC Milan will be aiming to secure their place at the top of the table, there are two other in-form teams in Serie A, who have aspirations of their own. Inter Milan head to the Dacia Arena, to take on Udinese on Sunday morning and both teams have been in great form.
In fact, the winter break came at the wrong time for both these clubs and Inter Milan will be travelling in the hope they continue in their push towards the Champions League qualifying places. Inter enjoyed a tremendous 3-0 win over Lazio heading into the break and this result should breathe confidence into the team. It’s now three Serie A matches in a row without conceding a goal for Inter and they will hope the solidity at the back continues.
In their last away Serie A match, Inter recorded a 1-0 win at struggling Sassuolo. This was their first away win in the league in six attempts and first clean sheet on the road since the 21st September. Stefano Pioli will be hoping his team can make it back-to-back away wins at Udinese but having lost at Napoli, Sampdoria, Atalanta and Roma, it is going to take a good performance from Inter, to come away with maximum points.
This match starts a tough looking run of home fixtures for Udinese, with Roma and AC Milan the next two visitors to the Dacia Stadium. Much like Inter, Udinese hit a patch of good form and would not have wanted the break to come. Three wins and a draw have lifted them up the Serie A table and they now sit in the top half. Following a sticky start to the season at home, Udinese’s results have improved and they lost only one of their last five home games, which came against Napoli.
Similarly to Inter, the improvement in Udinese’s results has come not because of scoring more goals but it’s in defence where the major improvements have taken place. Udinese have conceded 1 goal in their last four Serie A games and with Inter having kept three clean sheets on the bounce, we could be in for a match with few goals. The under 2.5 goals betting market is looking particularly tempting.
Interestingly, there has only been one draw in the last sixteen meetings between Udinese and Inter Milan in Serie A. However, between 2006 and 2008 the teams shared the points in four games in a row, so we can’t read too much into this information.
Given current form and the improvements made defensively, this match could easily end in a low scoring draw, with both teams extending their unbeaten run of games.