Competitive action is right around the corner for Al Nassr, but not before they take on Champions League finalists Inter in their final pre-season friendly of the summer.
It’s been a hectic period for the Saudi Pro League club, who have played five friendlies this month and most recently held Paris Saint-Germain to a stalemate. They were, however, swatted aside by both Benfica and Celta Vigo previously.
Ronaldo’s side have the Arab Club Champions Cup to focus on in the wake of Thursday’s friendly, with Inter taking part in just their second game of the summer. The Nerazzurri emerged as one of the form teams in Europe down the stretch last season and they’re expected to make a strong push for the Scudetto in 2023/24.
Here’s our preview of Thursday’s pre-season game in Osaka.
TV channel/Live stream
United Kingdom / United States / Canada
Sky Sport 251, SKY Go Italia, DAZN, Sky Sport Calcio
With Ionut Radu potentially joining Andre Onana through the exit door, Inter will likely line up with young Filip Stankovic between the sticks on Thursday.
New signings Davide Frattesi, Juan Cuadrado, and Marcus Thuram are all set for starts, with the latter poised to join Lautaro Martinez in Inzaghi’s front two. Yann Bisseck should also retain his place in the starting XI.
Inter predicted lineup vs Al Nassr (3-5-2): Stankovic; De Vrij, Bisseck, Bastoni; Cuadrado, Frattesi, Asllani, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez.
The Saudi Pro League club have embarked on a busy schedule this summer ahead of the Arab Club Champions Cup. Al Nassr’s campaign in that competition begins on Friday, so it’ll be interesting to see how strong they go for Thursday’s friendly.
Nevertheless, Ronaldo as well as new arrivals Marcelo Brozovic, who’ll face up against his former club, Seko Fofana, and Alex Telles will all play a part in Osaka.
Al Nassr predicted lineup vs Inter (4-2-3-1): Al-Aqidi; S. Al Ghannam, Oujami, Al-Amri, Telles; Brozovic, Fofana; K. Al Ghannam, Talisca, Ghareeb; Ronaldo.
Why Al Nassr have decided to cram in a bunch of pre-season games ahead of the Arab Club Champions Cup is unclear, but Inter could have a very enjoyable time on Thursday.
The Nerazzurri are relatively fresh having played just once against distinctly inferior opposition this summer, and they’ll be taking on a side who have a competitive game to play the following night.
While Al Nassr now boast an impressive enough core following their summer spending, Inter should win pretty comfortably here.