Inter will be looking to kick-off life under new boss Antonio Conte with a victory over Lecce on Monday night. The Nerazzurri will be big favourites to start the season with a victory.
Inter (Odds of 2/9 to record a victory)
Inter have enjoyed a summer of changes, both and off the pitch. Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has arrived to replace Luciano Spalletti in the head coach’s position. The Nerazzurri also signed the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Diego Godin to strengthen their squad for a push for the Scudetto this season.
Inter finished fourth place in the Italian top-flight last season to seal a Champions League spot. However, with Conte at the helm, the expectations will be even bigger for the new season.
Inter finished last season on an inconsistent run of form, but have lost just once in nine Serie A games.
The home side are also unbeaten in five matches at the Giuseppe Meazza in Serie A, having won their last two matches on home soil. The Nerazzurri have also suffered two home defeats in 17 games in the Italian top-flight, which is not a terrible record.
Inter’s recent home games in Serie A have been low-scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in ten of their last 12 games on home soil in the Italian top-flight. Inter have a good recent record against the visitors, winning seven of the last nine matches between the two teams. However, Lecce won the last game between the pair in 2012.
Lecce (Odds of 12/1 to record victory)
Lecce won promotion last season from Serie B and will be featuring in the Italian top-flight for the first time in seven years. They finished second in Serie B and will be hoping to retain their top-flight status under former Lazio midfielder Fabio Liverani.
The visitors will need to produce stronger displays than they did in their last stint in the Italian top-flight. In fact, Lecce finished their last spell in Serie A with a six-game run, which saw them lose four of their last five top-flight games. Their games towards the end of that season were low-scoring, with five of their six producing under 2.5 goals.
Lecce will also need to improve their poor away record in the Italian top-flight, as they record just one win in their last six matches on their travels in the Italian top-flight.
There is no doubt about it, expectations are high at Inter this season. However, the team will take a while to become accustomed to Conte’s style and methods. Striker Romelu Lukaku may also take time to adjust to Serie A.
With those factors in mind, Inter may not blow the visitors away in this opening game. The Nerazzurri should have enough to win the clash with the Serie A new boys.
Inter were involved in a number of low-scoring games on home soil last season. This game may follow a similar trend, so the under 2.5 goals at odds of 11/8 looks like an enticing bet.
Verdict: Inter to win at odds of 2/9 and/or back the under 2.5 goals at odds of 11/8 (all odds taken from Bet365)
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Will Inter kick-off the Antonio Conte era with a victory?