MILAN – Off the back of the Super Cup success over Juventus and the goalless stalemate away to Atalanta in the league, next up for Inter is a last-16 Coppa Italia tie with Aurelio Andreazzoli’s Empoli, who got the better of Hellas Verona in the previous round.
Inter are unbeaten in ten Coppa Italia ties against Empoli, in which they have registered nine wins and one draw, making them the side that the Nerazzurri have faced the most in the competition without tasting defeat. In those ten ties, Inter have registered 16 goals and conceded just three. Only against Juventus (nine in 33 games) have they kept more clean sheets than against the Tuscan side (seven).
HISTORY AT THE MEAZZA
Inter have come out on top in all five home ties with Empoli in the Coppa Italia, scoring nine goals and conceding just two.
In Serie A and the Coppa Italia, the Nerazzurri have only lost one out of 18 home games against Empoli, winning the other 17. The visitors’ only success at the Meazza came in 2003/04.
Inter have only been knocked out in one (a 1-0 loss to Udinese in January 2014) of their previous 18 Coppa Italia last-16 ties. The Nerazzurri failed to win their last two Coppa Italia games (D1, L1). You would have to go back to 2017 for the last time that the club went three cup ties without a win.
Empoli have scored 19 goals in their last six Coppa Italia ties, finding the net at least twice in each of them with an average of 3.1 per game. That figure is just one fewer than the tally recorded in their previous 13 cup ties.
The Tuscan side has got through the Coppa Italia last 16 on three previous occasions (1986 against AC Milan, 1988 against Roma and 2006 against Genoa), while the club’s last four appearances at this stage have ended in defeat.
Alexis Sanchez’s goal in the 120th minute in the Supercoppa Frecciarossa 2021/22 against Juventus was the latest goal scored by a Serie A team this season. The Nerazzurri have kept seven clean sheets in all competitions since 25 November, which is more than any other side in Europe’s top five leagues in that period.
Four of Empoli’s last five Coppa Italia goals were scored in the final 30 minutes of games. Only Fiorentina (11) have scored more goals than Empoli (eight) in this season’s Coppa Italia, with four against Vicenza in August and the same number against Verona in December. Andreazzoli’s side’s last 20 goals have been scored from inside the penalty box. The previous goal from outside the area was converted by Szymon Zurkowski against Genoa in Serie A in November.
Since joining Inter, Nicolo Barella is the player with the most Coppa Italia appearances (eight) to his name. Since 2019/20, the midfielder has been directly involved in four goals in the competition (scoring one and providing three assists), a return which no other Inter player can better in that period of time.
Edin Dzeko has scored eight of his 11 goals so far this campaign at home.
Lautaro Martinez is Inter’s top goalscorer this season with 12 goals, while top of the assist charts are
Hakan Calhanoglu and Barella, with seven apiece. Dzeko has had a hand in the most goals overall with 11 goals and four assists.
Matias Vecino made 36 appearances for Empoli in Serie A in 2014/15, scoring two goals.
Marcelo Brozovic’s first Serie A goal came against Empoli in an enthralling 4-3 win in May 2015.
Federico Dimarco made his Serie A debut against Empoli in May 2015 and went on to play 12 times for the Tuscan side in Serie A in 2016/17.
Inter: Brozovic (1).
Empoli: La Mantia (1).