Story behind the game
Lecce will welcome Internazionale to the Via Del Mare on Sunday afternoon with the Nerazzurri looking to keep pace with Juventus for first place in the standings. Antonio Conte has done well in his first season with Inter Milan as they have gone unbeaten in their last thirteen matches in Serie A. Their last loss dates back October when they lost 2-1 to Juventus.
In their recent match up, Inter tied Atalanta 1-1. Inter had a strong first half and a good start to the match as Lautaro Martinez scored within the first three minutes, yet failed to do anything more. Atalanta came out as the strong side in the second half with Robin Gosens tying the match. La Dea had a late chance to take the lead, however, Samir Handanovic stopped Luis Muriel on a penalty shot to preserve the tie and extend Inter’s unbeaten streak.
For Lecce, their struggles continue this season as they come off a 2-0 loss against Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini. This was the Giallorossi’s fourth loss in a row and they have failed to pick up a victory in their last six matches. With Lecce struggling to win games recently, the club has dropped further down the standings and are one point above Genoa from relegation. Although scoring has been a problem for Lecce, their defense has given the club further worries as they have allowed a league-high 38 goals tied with Genoa. This is an area of concern and one which the Salentini will need to fix quickly if they are to stay in Serie A.
The last time Inter Milan and Lecce played was at the San Siro back in August and Inter won in convincing fashion 4-0. During that match, Romelu Lukaku scored for the Nerazzurri.
Inter Milan injuries: Kwadwo Asamoah (Doubtful), Danilo D’Ambrosio (Doubtful)
Lecce Injuries: Zan Majer (Out Indefinitely), Marco Calderoni (Out Indefinitely), Diego Farias (Doubtful), Yevhen Shakhov (Doubtful), Marco Bleve (Doubtful)
Lecce (4-3-1-2): Gabriel – Donati, Meccariello, Lucioni, Rossettini – Petriccione, Tachtsidis, Deiola, Mancosu, Babacar, Lapadula
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Handanovic – Skriniar, Bastoni, De Vrij, Candreva, Biraghi, Sensi, Barella, Brozovic – Lukaku, Martinez
Lukaku’s first half to the season has gone well for the striker as he’s scored 14 goals and has two assists in 19 games in Serie A. The forward has adjusted under Conte and continues to produce. The striker has scored four goals and one assist in his past three games and has consistency this season. With Lecce failing to keep clean sheets and conceding a league-high 38 goals, expect Lukaku to have a strong game against the Giallorossi.
Lecce have failed to keep clean sheets this season, yet produced one in their match against Fiorentina. The club will need to depend on scoring if they are to have a chance of competing against an Inter side which has been strong this season. Forward Gianluca Lapadula will be relied upon this Sunday as he’s scored four goals this season. While he has not scored in his past two matches, he previously scored in four straight Serie A matches. The striker will need to perform if Lecce are to have a chance of tying or avoiding a loss.