Joe Hart should be afraid, very afraid. The England goalkeeper faces Italy’s most in-form attack on Saturday when his Torino side welcomes Champions League-chasing Inter Milan to the Stadio Olimpico.
Inter, which has won four of its past five Serie A matches, has 12 goals in its past two games, including a 7-1 humiliation of high-flying Atalanta last weekend.
Captain Mauro Icardi netted a nine-minute hat trick in that match to take his tally to 20 league goals.
Torino has its own lethal striker in Italy forward Andrea Belotti, the league leader on 22.
“In the end, Icardi will be above Belotti,” Inter coach Stefano Pioli said. “Belotti is very good but Mauro has all the abilities to be top goal-scorer.
“He is always decisive even when he doesn’t score. We count on him a lot and his first thought is always the good of the team.”
Inter is fifth, six points behind third-place Napoli and the final Champions League spot.
It plays Napoli at home on April 30 and visits Lazio in its penultimate match. Lazio is currently fourth, two points above Inter.
“We’ve had a look at last season’s final league table and 80 points was the tally required to secure Champions League football,” Pioli said. “Given the rate other teams are going at however, it could be even higher this year. We have to produce something exceptional to reach that total and we must take things one game at a time.
“We don’t have an easy run-in but we have the chance to fight for it in some direct battles. We mustn’t make mistakes and need to take things game by game.”
Hart is looking forward to the strike force coming his way on Saturday.
Torino lost its last match 3-1 at Lazio, but Inter is in for a difficult time.
Torino has an impressive home record, having lost only once at the Stadio Olimpico, to league leader Juventus.
Hart promises to frustrate Inter.
“Inter is a really good team, they’re coming from a great win, but it won’t be an easy match against us,” he said. “They are going through a really good period and they are very strong. Lately our results haven’t been of the heights of the beginning of the season, but we are focused on this challenge.”
Hart, who is on loan from Manchester City, is loving life in Turin and he was greeted by around 500 cheering fans, yelling “Stay Joe,” at a sponsorship event in the city on Tuesday.
“I am very happy with the affection at the club and from the fans and my relationship with my teammates,” Hart said. “My choice will take everything into account, even if now I’m thinking about Saturday’s match.”