MILAN – With the Coppa Italia last-16 victory against Empoli put to one side, Inter return to league business to take on Venezia, who were beaten in the reverse fixture thanks to goals from Hakan Calhanoglu and Lautaro Martinez. Paolo Zanetti’s team come into this off the back of a 1-1 draw against Empoli after two defeats in a row against Lazio and Milan. Venezia sit on 18 points after 21 games (19 goals for, 38 against).
Inter have kept a clean sheet in seven out of their last eight league games, conceding just once. For the Nerazzurri that is as many clean sheets as in the previous 25 Serie A games. Since the weekend of 27-28 November the Nerazzurri have had the most clean sheets out of any other side in the top five European leagues.
Inter’s last home defeat in Serie A came against AC Milan in October 2020. Since then the Nerazzurri have had 24 victories and three draws on their home patch – their best unbeaten home run since going 46 games between 2008 and 2010.
After the 0-0 draw against Atalanta last time out, Inter could end up drawing a blank for the second Serie A game in a row – something which hasn’t happened since February 2019.
Venezia haven’t won any of their last eight league matches, notching up a miserly three points from them. No other side has picked up fewer points in Serie A since the weekend of 27-28 November. During this same period the Venetians have conceded three goals in a match on more occasions than any other side (four times, level with Genoa).
Inter have the best attack in the league – 51 goals scored so far. Venezia on the other hand have scored just 19 goals, with only Salernitana worse (13).
Inter are the side with the most headed goals this season (13). Only Salernitana and Spezia (one) have scored fewer headers than Venezia (two). The Nerazzurri scored a total of 14 headed goals in the whole of last season.
No other side has had as many different scorers as Inter (16) - exactly twice as many players as Venezia this season.
No team has scored fewer goals than Venezia in the second half this season (10) whilst no side has scored more than Inter in the last half hour of games (18).
Inter and Venezia are the two teams which have on average had the most and the fewest shots on goal per match – 17 and 9.4 shots respectively.
HEAD TO HEAD
After the 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture, Inter could register a clean sheet in both league encounters against Venezia for only the second time, after doing so in the 1962/63 season. The Nerazzurri haven’t lost against a newly promoted Serie A side since September 2018 (1-0 against Parma). Since then they have won 17 times and drawn three. This was bettered by the Nerazzurri only once between 2012 and 2016 (27 games undefeated).
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS AT THE MEAZZA
Inter have beaten Venezia nine times at home in Serie A (with two defeats and one draw). Only against Juventus have Venezia lost more games away from home in the top flight (10). Their only victory against the Nerazzurri away from home came back in 1943 (4-1).
Inter have won all of their last eight games at the Meazza in Serie A against newly promoted sides. In those the Nerazzurri scored 29 times (3.6 per match) and kept four clean sheets.
Lautaro Martinez, who found the net in the reverse fixture, has scored 11 goals in 19 appearances this season. This is his best return after 19 games played in Serie A (better than the 10 goals in 2019/20).
Venezia are one of three teams that Edin Dzeko has played at least 90 minutes against in Serie A without finding the back of the net (Spezia and Parma the other two). In the reverse fixture the Bosnian played the full match and had five shots on goal without finding the net.
Samir Handanovic could make it 537 games in Serie A, which would put him level with Silvio Piola as the player with the 9th most appearances in Serie A history.
Out of all the goalkeepers in Serie A this season who have made more than three appearances, Handanovic leads the way with the highest save percentage (79%).
In Serie A, seven of Inter’s last eight goals have been scored by different players and only two by strikers. The only player to have scored twice was Denzel Dumfries, with all three of his league goals coming in the last six games, in contrast to the previous 12 games which saw him make only two assists.
No player has started more moves which have ended in a shot (25) than Marcelo Brozovic.
In the reverse fixture Hakan Calhanoglu got on the scoresheet. The Turkish player has already been involved in 13 goals this Serie A season (six goals and seven assists) – the same amount as the whole of last season with AC Milan.
Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella are two of only four players to have already played seven assists in Serie A this season.
Matias Vecino is set to make his 100th appearance in an Inter shirt in the next match.
The only previous encounter between Simone Inzaghi and Paolo Zanetti in the dugout in Serie A came in the reverse fixture.
That match was also the only time the two coaches have faced their respective opponents in the league.
PLAYERS SUSPENDED OR CLOSE TO SUSPENSION
One yellow away from suspension
Inter: Brozovic, Lautaro Martinez, Vidal
Venezia: Aramu, Ceccaroni, Heymans