Parma will host Inter at the Stadio Ennio Tardini on Saturday. Parma are hit and miss at the moment but overall I think you can view their season so far as a success. They've shown that defending deep and hitting teams on the counter is an effective strategy for them. Inter, on the other hand, are not reaching their potential.
At the time of writing Parma are 12th in Serie A with 15 points safety from the relegation zone. So, if this continues, they'll still be in the Serie A next season. Parma have a bit of an oddball squad, consisting of veterans and unusual characters.
The defence with Bruno Alves and co. have shown that they've still got it, and Gervinho and Inglese have also been impressive. At home, Parma have a tight defence, but it's away from home that their counter attacks have really worked well; so even if they don't let in as many goals at home, they score even fewer.
Their goal average of 1.00 scored and 1.18 conceded demonstrate this. Seven of Parma's eleven home games have ended with under 2.5 goals. The drawback with this is that they've not been able to dominate worse teams but the positive is that they have managed to hold their own against the big boys. According to their expected goals, they have scored a few more goals than they should have.
Their home form isn't convincing at the moment, even if they are keeping it tight at the back. There are a few questions marks around the team but they should be able to field their desired first XI.
- League Position: 12
Spalletti's job is in the balance at the moment, even if they are currently third in the table. The major reason for this is that they are scoring too few goals and are under-performing away from home. At home, at the San Siro, Inter are strong and often come away with the three points. Away from home it's another story. Out of their last six away matches they've won one and only scored five goals.
Inter's away matches often finish 0-0, 1-0 or 1-1
Only four out of Inter's eleven matches have ended with over 2.5 goals. They are averaging 1.27 scored and 1.00 conceded, some of the lowest stats in the league. Inter's attackers don't seem to be getting the service they need, and the goals have dried up for players like Icardi and Balde.
To make matters worse, despite the fact that they have scored so few goals away from home, their expected goals suggest that they have actually put away more than expected! When the two teams met in the autumn, Parma won 0-1.
Politano is suspended and it's uncertain if Keita is fit to star, which will further hamper Inter's offence.
- League Position: 3
It seems like every time I've watched Inter play away from home this season, it's been a slow, lethargic affair. Parma's style of play works better away from home, where they take advantage of their opponents' hubris. But, at home it doesn't work as well.
All stats suggest this will be a goal-shy affair. Each respective team have had issues with scoring, but each team certainly know how to defend. I'll bet on under 2.5 goals in the game at odds of 10/11.