NEWS
Saturday December 16 2017
Line-ups: Inter-Udinese

Inter aim to extend their stay at the top of the Serie A table and trust Marcelo Brozovic against a revitalised Udinese.

It kicks off at San Siro at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

The Nerazzurri are the only Italian side still unbeaten this season and it’s also an opportunity for Luciano Spalletti to set a new personal record: he has never previously stayed at the top of the Serie A table for three consecutive rounds.

Joao Mario is out of action with tonsillitis, but Brozovic maintains his position in the supporting trio behind Mauro Icardi, joined by Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva.

This moves Borja Valero to a deeper role with Matias Vecino, leaving Roberto Gagliardini on the bench.

They might be unbeaten, but Inter had a wake-up call on Tuesday night when forced to a penalty shoot-out in the Coppa Italia Round of 16 by Serie C outfit Pordenone.

Udinese have been revitalised since Massimo Oddo took over from Gigi Del Neri, winning three on the bounce between Serie A and the Coppa Italia, including an 8-3 thriller with Perugia.

Emil Hallfredsson returns from injury for a place on the bench, though Gabriele Angella and Samir are still on the treatment table.

There’s an extra layer to this fixture, as Icardi comes face-to-face with Maxi Lopez, his former teammate, former friend and former husband of Icardi’s wife Wanda Nara.

The tension hit new heights recently when Wanda and Maxi Lopez went to court over child maintenance payments and they famously refused to shake hands before kick-off in their last meeting on the field.

However, this week the pair were in the same room together for one of his son’s birthdays.

Udinese have lost each of their last five meetings with Inter, home and away, but only failed to score in one of those. The run of losses stretches back to a 2-1 victory at San Siro in December 2014.

Inter: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Santon; Vecino, Borja Valero; Candreva, Brozovic, Perisic; Icardi

Inter bench: Padelli, Berni, Gagliardini, Joao Cancelo, Ranocchia, Karamoh, Eder, Dalbert, Nagatomo, Pinamonti

Udinese: Bizzarri; Larsen, Danilo, Nuytinck; Widmer, Barak, Fofana, Jankto, Ali Adnan; De Paul, Lasagna

 

Udinese bench: Scuffet, Bochniewicz, Pezzella, Balic, Behrami, Hallfredsson, Ingelsson, Ewandro, Matos, Perica, Bajic, Maxi Lopez

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk