Inter welcome back Radja Nainggolan to the bench, but Marcelo Brozovic is suspended for the trip to an Empoli side missing two key figures.
It kicks off at 14.00 GMT at the Stadio Castellani.
The Nerazzurri are right back in the race for second after beating Napoli 1-0 with a last-gasp Lautaro Martinez strike, but that victory was overshadowed by controversy.
Kalidou Koulibaly and Lorenzo Insigne were sent off at San Siro, with the Senegal international pelted by racist abuse, which prompted a two-match ban on the Curva Nord.
There were also ugly clashes between supporters outside before kick-off, seeing a Napoli fan stabbed and an Interista killed when run over by a minivan.
Nainggolan returns to the squad, as he was frozen out for the Napoli match for disciplinary reasons, as he was repeatedly late to training and also fined €100,000.
His punishment is over, but he is only on the bench, so Matias Vecino steps in for suspended Brozovic, while Keita Balde Diao gives Ivan Perisic a rest.
Empoli had been on a strong run of form, but that disappeared with three consecutive defeats.
Coach Beppe Iachini has both Rade Krunic and Giovanni Di Lorenzo suspended, plus Domenico Maietta has a muscular issue.
Antonino La Gumina returns to the starting XI with Ciccio Caputo after he was rested on Boxing Day.
Inter have won nine of their last 10 Serie A meetings with Empoli, drawing the other, since a 1-0 defeat here in April 2006.
Empoli: Provedel; Veseli, Rasmussen, Silvestre; Untersee, Traorè, Bennacer, Acquah, Pasqual; Caputo, La Gumina
Inter: Handanovic; Vrsaljko, Skriniar, De Vrij, Asamoah; Vecino, Borja Valero, Joao Mario; Keita, Icardi, Politano
Ref: La Penna