MILAN – Inter host Empoli at the Stadio Meazza on Friday in what will be their second-last home game of the 2021/22 season and last before next Wednesday's Coppa Italia final against Juventus.
Simone Inzaghi's come into the fixture on the back of Sunday's 2-1 victory over Udinese while Empoli were beaten 3-1 by Torino last time out.
Inter and Empoli are facing off in Serie A for the 28th time. The Nerazzurri are unbeaten in 24 of the 27 previous meetings, winning 21 and drawing three.
Inter have not lost any of their last 13 league fixtures against Empoli and have won the last eight, averaging two goals per game. The last time the Tuscan outfit triumphed over the Nerazzurri was on 30 April 2006, when a Marco Materazzi own goal was the difference.
Inter are the team that have Empoli have lost most games (21) and conceded most overall goals (56) against in Serie A, as well as the most goals away from home (34).
These two sides have never drawn in Serie A with Inter as the hosts. In 13 previous Inter v Empoli fixtures, there have been 12 home wins and just one away victory – Tommaso Rocchi striking late on to snatch the spoils on 18 January 2004.
Inter v Empoli is a match-up between the team that has scored the most headed goals in the current Serie A campaign (Inter, 18) and the team has scored the fewest (Empoli, three). Simone Inzaghi's men netted two headers against Udinese last weekend, taking their tally to 18 for the season – just two short of the 20 they scored in 2004/05 and 2019/20.
BROZOVIC'S FIRST GOAL FOR INTER
Marcelo Brozovic notched his first Serie A goal for Inter against Empoli in a 4-3 win back on 31 May 2015.
DIMARCO AND EMPOLI
That 4-3 victory over Empoli in 2015 was also the day Federico Dimarco made his league debut for Inter.
Dimarco later spent a season on loan at Empoli, making 12 Serie A appearances for them in 2016/17.
The full-back has already scored against Empoli this term, when Inter triumphed 2-0 in the reverse fixture.
HANDANOVIC, DZEKO AND OTHERS
Samir Handanovic 's next Serie A appearance will be his 550th in the top flight, making him the eighth player to reach this landmark – the fourth goalkeeper and the first foreign shotstopper – after Gianluigi Buffon, Paolo Maldini, Francesco Totti, Javier Zanetti, Gianluca Pagliuca, Dino Zoff and Pietro Vierchowod.
Since making his league debut in 2004/05), Handanovic is the only goalkeeper to have played at least one game in each of the last 17 seasons.
Lautaro Martínez has been involved in four goals in his last four league outings, with three goals and an assist. He currently has 17 Serie A goals to his name this season equalling his best-ever league return from 2020/21.
Ivan Perisic has had a hand in at least one goal in each of his last five Serie A matches (two goals and four assists). Only once has he had a similar run lasting six games, between May and September 2017. The Croat has been involved in three goals in four Serie A meetings with Empoli, with a goal and two assists between January and May 2016.
Edin Dzeko currently has 98 Serie A goals to his name. He could become the third-oldest player to reach the 100-goal mark (36 years, 50 days on Friday), after Goran Pandev (37 years, 68 days, 21/04/2021) and Sergio Pellissier (37 years, 243 days, 11/12/2016).
Matias Vecino is the other Nerazzurri player besides Dimarco to have played for Empoli. The Uruguayan made 36 Serie A appearances for them in 2014/15.
Empoli: Stojanovic (1), Verre (1).
ONE BOOKING AWAY FROM SUSPENSION
Empoli: Marchizza, Pinamonti, Tonelli.
Inter: Bastoni, Inzaghi (allenatore), Perisic, Vidal.