One of the last quarterfinals berths on offer in this season’s Coppa Italia will be decided when an out-of-sorts Empoli attempt to end their rut against Serie A leaders Inter Milan on Wednesday.
Italy’s top team encounter a test from one of its biggest surprise packages this season, with Aurelio Andreazzoli’s side targeting their first win over Inter at the San Siro since 2004.
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Game Date: Jan. 19, 2022
Game Time: 2:50 p.m. ET
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That wait of almost 18 years looks less damning given Empoli spent much of their time since then outside Serie A, though a run of eight straight defeats in this fixture looks bad however one spins it.
Inter waltzed away as 2-0 victors when they visited the Stadio Carlo Castellani in October, and the unlikely pair of Danilo D’Ambrosio and Federico Dimarco came up with the telling touches:
Empoli have become more difficult to beat in the sense they’ve recorded only three losses in 13 outings since then, though they’re currently on their longest winless run of the season so far (five games).
Fortunately, Andreazzoli’s underdogs remain a difficult asset to topple away from home and are still unbeaten on the road since Nov. 22, suffering just two away losses all term.
Roma and Verona remain the only clubs to have bested a traveling Empoli until now, although newly crowned Supercoppa Italiana winners Inter will be hopeful of joining that elite list.
Teenage center-back Mattia Viti missed Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Venezia but could return to the Empoli defense after serving a suspension, but a hamstring complaint will keep Fabiano Parisi out of action.
Dimarco could be promoted back into Simone Inzaghi’s side as he hopes to make an impact against this opponent one more, and the manager could otherwise look to rotate a largely fit squad.
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