Fresh off their first trophy of the season, a Supercoppa Italiana win, Inter Milan plays host to Empoli in the Coppa Italia Round of 16.
Inter Milan, unsurprisingly, is the heavy online gambling favorites at -515 odds. Empoli has played spoiler a couple times before this season and is looking for a signature upset.
- Game: Inter Milan vs Empoli F.C.
- Location: Stadio San Siro, Milan, Italy
- Date/Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET
Inter Milan vs Empoli Preview
Head to Head
Empoli last defeated Inter Milan in 2006 and has failed to pick up three points in any of the last 13 meetings. Inter has won eight straight vs Empoli, including a 2-0 away win earlier in the season. Both of Inter’s goals were scored by defenders.
Inter Gets First Trophy of Season
Inter Milan has been the best soccer pick in Italy this season, and among the best soccer picks in any of Europe’s top five leagues. Inter had a great start to the new year, kicking it off by getting revenge on the only Italian team to defeat them this season.
Lazio beat Inter 3-1 earlier in the season, but Inter managed a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture a couple weekends ago. Then, midweek, Inter won a dramatic extra-time match over Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana final.
Heading into extra time level at 1-1, Alexis Sanchez broke the deadlock in the last minute to give Inter its sixth Supercoppa title.
It would have been reasonable to expect Inter to underperform away vs a dangerous Atalanta side after the title, but the Nerazzurri came away with a point in Bergamo. The favorites to win Serie A and the Coppa Italia as well, Inter could pull off an unlikely domestic triple this season.
The Nerazzurri have standout performers in nearly all positions. Captain Samir Handanovic has been a steady pair of hands in net while Alessandro Bastoni, Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij have been brick walls on defense. Inter has conceded the fewest goals in Serie A.
Attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu has made a seamless switch from rivals AC Milan while Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolo Barella are two of the best midfielders in the league. Up front, Edin Dzeko has defied father time and Lautaro Martinez is among Serie A’s top scorers.
There’s a lot to like about Simone Inzaghi’s Inter Milan. They’ve played incredibly well this season despite losing Achraf Hakimi, Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen and former manager Antonio Conte.
Erratic Empoli: No Room for Error
Tuscan side Empoli has had some very good stretches for betting online this season, but is winless in three 2022 matches. The biggest problem for the Serie A newcomers has been defense.
They have conceded an unacceptable 13 goals in their last four matches and have kept just one shutout since September. In all fairness, a point on the road at Venezia wasn’t a bad result, but Empoli blew a lead in the process.
On the bright side, they’ve scored in 13 consecutive matches in all competitions, and Inter Milan was actually the last team to shut them out.
To get to the Coppa Italia Round of 16, Empoli defeated Hellas Verona in a wild 4-3 shootout. With two goals from backup forward Leonardo Mancuso and a goal apiece from Andrea La Mantia and Nedim Bajrami, Empoli led 4-1 at the 70-minute mark. Verona got two late goals back, and La Mantia picked up a red card to make things more complicated than they needed to be.
That’s the danger with an Empoli team that often pull off impressive results but can easily lose concentration. They’ll have little room for error vs an Inter Milan team that thrives on punishing mistakes.
Inter Milan is the team to beat in Italy, and there’s no reason it can’t put a few goals past a vulnerable Empoli defense.
The Nerazzurri are two-goal soccer betting favorites, and I could easily see them winning by two or three in this match. Take Inter to cover the spread and inch closer to its second title of the season.