Udinese’s Struggle for Survival Against Inter Milan

Udinese’s recent form in Serie A has left them teetering on the edge of the relegation zone. Their draw against Sassuolo in the last matchday only added to their woes. With just two wins in their last ten matches, the prospects for the hosts look bleak. The upcoming fixtures pose an even greater challenge, with four of their next five games against the top-eight teams in the league.

A Tough Start Against Inter Milan

Udinese’s tough run of fixtures begins with a daunting clash against Inter Milan, the runaway league leaders. Inter Milan has dominated their recent encounters, winning five out of the last six league head-to-head matchups. Playing at home in Udine hasn’t been a source of strength for Udinese either, as they have failed to secure a victory in their last six home matches.

However, if Udinese can defy the odds and upset Inter Milan, it would mark a significant achievement. It would be their first consecutive top-flight home victory against the Milan giants since the year 2000. Their previous encounter in September 2022 saw Udinese emerge victorious with a 3-1 scoreline.

Inter Milan’s Dominance

Inter Milan responded to a brief dip in form with a convincing 2-0 win over Empoli in their last outing. This victory marked their 25th league win of the campaign and maintained their commanding 14-point lead at the top of the table. With only 24 points left to play for, Inter Milan’s grip on the title is looking increasingly secure.

What sets Inter Milan apart is not just their results but also their defensive prowess. They have kept an impressive 19 clean sheets this season, a joint-highest record for a visiting team at this stage of a top-flight campaign. In their previous encounter with Udinese, they secured a comprehensive 4-0 victory, further highlighting their defensive strength.

Inter Milan’s dominance extends beyond their defensive solidity. They have won eight out of their last 12 top-flight head-to-head matches, keeping clean sheets in the majority of those games. Their away form has been particularly impressive, with five consecutive league victories by a combined scoreline of 15-3.

Key Players to Watch

Florian Thauvin has been Udinese’s main source of goals this season, with five league strikes to his name. Interestingly, all of his goals have come in the second half of matches. In contrast, the reverse fixture against Inter Milan saw Hakan Çalhanoğlu make a significant impact. He scored and assisted Inter Milan’s first two goals, both of which came in the first half. Remarkably, Inter Milan has won all 16 league games in which Çalhanoğlu has found the back of the net.

A Stat to Note

In their recent head-to-head encounters, Inter Milan has consistently taken the lead by scoring first. This trend has continued in the last six matchups between the two teams.

As Udinese prepares to face the formidable challenge of Inter Milan, they find themselves in a precarious position. However, football is known for its unpredictability, and a victory against the league leaders could provide the much-needed boost for Udinese in their battle for survival.

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