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Lecce logo
Serie A | Gameweek 26
Feb 25, 2024 at 5pm UK
Stadio Comunale Via del Mare
Inter logo

0 - 4
Inter Milan

Sansone (2')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Martinez (15', 56'), Frattesi (54'), de Vrij (67')
Asllani (38'), Mkhitaryan (63')

Preview: Lecce vs. Inter Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Lecce and Inter Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Imperious in Serie A and with one toe in the Champions League quarter-finals, Inter Milan seek a 10th straight win on Sunday, when they visit Lecce at Stadio Via del Mare.

While Inter are red-hot Scudetto favourites following their superb start to 2024, the hosts have lost five of their last six matches and are slipping closer to the trapdoor.

Match preview

Inter Milan's Marko Arnautovic celebrates scoring their first goal on February 20, 2024© Reuters

After Tuesday's 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid, in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, Inter are one small step closer to reaching the final of Europe's top competition for the second time in as many seasons.

Thanks to a late Marko Arnautovic strike at San Siro, the Nerazzurri not only have a precious lead to take into next month's return in Madrid, but they have also lost just one of their last 14 Champions League matches - to Manchester City in the 2023 decider - while keeping nine clean sheets in the process.

Following slip-ups from title rivals Juventus and AC Milan last week, Simone Inzaghi's side are also well clear at the Serie A summit, and with 63 points on the board already, only in 2007 have the second-city giants posted more points at this stage of a campaign.

After victory over Juve in the Derby d'Italia, Inter's most recent victims have been Roma and rock-bottom Salernitana, both of whom were hit for four goals: last weekend, Arnautovic joined captain and top scorer Lautaro Martinez on the scoresheet in a 4-0 defeat of the latter.

Bouncing back from December's Coppa Italia loss to Bologna, the Nerazzurri have swept to a third straight Supercoppa Italiana since the turn of the year and appear to be on course for more silverware.

Inzaghi's men will now aim to maintain their nine-point lead when journeying south in pursuit of another club record: having scored in 19 consecutive away Serie A matches, they could now reach 20 for the first time in Inter's long history.

Lecce coach Roberto D'Aversa reacts on January 21, 2024© Reuters

Not only are their visitors in frankly frightening form coming into Sunday's game, but precedent does not favour Lecce either: the Salentini have tasted just one success in their last 15 league meetings with Inter, losing 11.

In fact, they have failed to even score in eight - including the last two, which both ended 2-0 in favour of the Nerazzurri - so there is little expectation that an upset can be produced at Via del Mare.

After playing out the final fixture of their February schedule, Lecce will face a potentially decisive trio of matches - versus Frosinone, Hellas Verona and Salernitana - that could prove the difference between avoiding relegation or heading back to Serie B.

First, though, Roberto D'Aversa must steel his troops for an assault by the league leaders, following a truly dismal run of results.

Over the last nine Serie A matchdays, no other team have lost more matches than Lecce (seven) or accrued fewer points (four), and they have inevitably slid towards the drop zone. Though the Puglian club can rarely be written off on home turf, that makes toppling mighty Inter all the more unlikely.

Lecce Serie A form:

Inter Milan Serie A form:

Inter Milan form (all competitions):

Team News

Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi reacts on February 4, 2024© Reuters

With one eye on next Wednesday's clash with Lombardy rivals Atalanta BC - one of Italy's form sides - Inter boss Simone Inzaghi may make some changes to the XI that started against Atleti last time out.

Fringe players such as Alexis Sanchez, Davide Frattesi and back-up goalkeeper Emil Audero may feature for the visitors, while wing-backs Denzel Dumfries and Carlos Augusto could come in on the right and left flank respectively.

If not rested, Lautaro Martinez will lead the line: 'El Toro' is one goal away from both notching his 100th in Serie A and matching his best tally in a league season (21). However, strike partner Marcus Thuram will not be present, having sustained an adductor injury on Tuesday, joining Francesco Acerbi (calf) and Juan Cuadrado (Achilles) on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Lecce will be missing two defenders this weekend, as Patrick Dorgu and Marin Pongracic must both serve suspensions - the former for yellow-card accumulation, the latter for being sent off against Torino.

Battling it out with Nikola Krstovic to start up front, Roberto Piccoli - who scored his first Serie A goal versus Inter, back in December 2020 - has four to his name so far this season; three have come in home games, including the recent 3-2 thriller against Fiorentina.

Lecce possible starting lineup:
Falcone; Gendrey, Touba, Baschirotto, Gallo; Kaba, Ramadani, Rafia; Almqvist, Krstovic, Banda

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bisseck, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Frattesi, Asllani, Mkhitaryan, Augusto; Sanchez, Martinez

SM words green background

We say: Lecce 1-2 Inter Milan

Via del Mare is not a place to venture without caution, but Lecce are on a downward slope and Inter have been simply irresistible this year. Even accounting for some squad rotation, Inzaghi's boys can post another win and inch closer towards the title.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
CInter Milan37296287206793
2AC Milan37228773462774
5Atalanta BCAtalanta362061067392866
13Hellas VeronaHellas Verona37910183649-1337

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