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Inter look to Icardi, Perisic to stay perfect at Bologna

Milan (AFP) – Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti is counting on Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic to add to their goal scoring tallies and make it five Serie A wins out of five at Bologna.

Inter travel the short journey south to the Emilia-Romagna region for Tuesday’s only Serie A fixture with the remainder of the Italian league matches being played on Wednesday.

Spalletti’s side proved they are credible title challengers after a 2-0 win at Crotone at the weekend kept them top but behind Napoli and champions Juventus on goal difference.

In a gruelling week Inter’s trip to Bologna will be followed by a visit by Genoa in the San Siro on Sunday.

Spalletti wants to keep his defence solid with an unrivalled tally of just one goal conceded this season by Inter who last won the title in 2010.

But he is looking for “a dynamic midfield .. (to) make the team less predictable” and give more freedom to the strikers.

“I still need to decide who will play in the middle against Bologna,” he said. 

But he will be looking to Icardi, with five goals, and Perisic, on three, to earn the three points.

“Leaders show themselves when the team needs them and Ivan (Perisic) has shown that he is important in these opening matches,” said Spalletti.

But the Inter coach warned: “Icardi and Perisic have been praised a lot in these weeks but as much as we need them, they need us and the team as a whole.

“All of the great teams know how valuable individual players are but if they can’t make the difference, only collective play allows you to win matches.”

Spalletti added: “Everyone has recovered well after the Crotone match which was played on a pitch where the players tired more than usual with the weather and pitch conditions against a very tough, stubborn opponent.”

“Everybody is in the right condition to face Bologna.”

Bologna are coming off their second defeat of the season — falling 2-1 at Fiorentina — to sit in 13th position.

Leaders Napoli face a tough journey north to Lazio on Wednesday with the Romans sitting fourth just two points behind the leading trio.

Six-time defending champions Juventus, second behind Napoli on goal difference, will host Fiorentina in another classic.

Fresh from his second hat-trick of the season, Argentine Paulo Dybala can add to his Serie A leading eight goals against the Tuscany side who are eighth with six points.

AC Milan, in fourth after a loss among their three wins, host promoted SPAL, who are 14th.

AS Roma, in ninth but with a game in hand, will be expecting nothing less than three points as the travel to tailenders Benevento.

Fixtures (all times 1845GMT unless stated):


Bologne v Inter Milan


Benevento v AS Roma (1600), Atalanta v Crotone, Cagliari v Sassuolo, Genoa v Chievo, Verona v Sampdoria, Juventus v Fiorentina, Lazio v Napoli, AC Milan v SPAL, Udinese v Torino

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