Inter Milan vs Villarreal: Preview and Prediction￼
Inter Milan will take on La Liga side Villarreal on August 7 in their final pre-season fixture before the Serie A 2022-23 gets underway. The Nerazzurri will open their league campaign with an away trip to Lecce on matchday 1.
Before that, however, all eyes will be on the friendly against Villarreal as Inter look to pick up some momentum before the domestic action resumes. Simone Inzaghi’s side has had some mixed results in their pre-season fixture so far, and they’d like to finish things on a high.
Comparatively, Villarreal has had a much better pre-season so far, having played more games than the Serie A giants, they’ve also tasted more success. Unai Emery’s side looks all pumped up to get the domestic campaign underway as they will be on the road to face Valladolid on matchday 1 in La Liga 2022-23, but before they face a stern challenge in Inter.
When Inter won the Serie A back in 2020-21, they would have expected to build upon it, however, they were pipped to the title by arch-rivals AC Milan last year. Thus, the Nerazzuri must be raring to go for the upcoming season to reclaim the bragging right and the Serie A trophy as well.
Although for some strange reason Inter played their pre-season fixtures against modest sides, such as Lugano, among others. The Italian giants won their first friendly 4-1 with Lautaro Martinez grabbing a double. Next up they faced Monaco, and the two sides couldn’t be separated as the match ended 2-2, with Roberto Gagliardini and Kristjan Asllani on the scoresheet.
Inzaghi’s men suffered their first defeat of the pre-season against Lens, followed by another 2-2 stalemate against Lyon, with Romelu Lukaku and Nicolo Barella both finding the back of the net.
Villarreal began their pre-season with a draw against Sporting Lisbon, but then they found their groove as victories against PSV, Borussia Dortmund, Reims and Southampton followed before Fulham brought the Yellow Submarine juggernaut to a halt with a 1-1 draw. They defeated fellow La Liga side Levante 2-0 recently and head into the fixture against Inter in a truly rich vein of form.
Head to Head Record
The previous three meetings between Inter and Villarreal have resulted in two wins for the Italian side while the Spanish club have won just once.
The Nerazzurri prevailed the last time these two sides faced off in a friendly back in 2017, while the two meetings before that came in the UEFA Champions League in 2006. Inter won the first match 2-1, while the return leg ended in a 1-0 win for Villarreal.
Inzaghi won’t tinker too much with the playing XI which featured against Lyon. Lukaku and Martinez could be the two strikers up front, while Milan Skriniar might have to sit out again given the speculation regarding his future. Henrikh Mkhitaryan could start, while Robin Gosens and Gagliardini are also expected to feature in the playing XI. There are no major absentees for Inter.
Villarreal played against Levante on August 3 so Emery could rotate some of his players to give them some rest, but he will nonetheless name a competitive side with Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Geronimo Rulli, and Etienne Capoue all expected to feature for the Spanish club. Fer Nino and Morales were on the scoresheet on Wednesday, so they could feature too, albeit from the bench.
Villarreal: Gerónimo Rulli, Pepe Reina, Pau Torres, Jorge Cuenca, Aïssa Mandi, Raúl Albiol, Pervis Estupiñán, Alfonso Pedraza, Juan Foyth, Kiko Femenía, Francis Coquelin, Étienne Capoue, Manu Trigueros, Dani Parejo, Manu Morlanes, Álex Baena, Javi Ontiveros, Yéremy Pino, Samuel Chukwueze, Gerard Moreno, Boulaye Dia, Paco Alcácer, José Luis Morales
Inter Milan: André Onana, Samir Handanovic, Alex Cordaz, Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni, Stefan de Vrij, Federico Dimarco, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Raoul Bellanova, Matteo Darmian, Marcelo Brozovic, Kristjan Asllani, Lucien Agoumé, Nicolò Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Roberto Gagliardini, Denzel Dumfries, Robin Gosens, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Joaquín Correa, Lautaro Martínez, Romelu Lukaku, Andrea Pinamonti, Edin Dzeko, Eddie Salcedo, Alexis Sánchez
Even though Villarreal has had a much more impressed pre-season than Inter, the Serie A giants are a much stronger side on paper. There’s plenty of firepower on both sides so we’re predicting an intense performance from both sides.