Stadio Mario Rigamonti, Brescia, Italy
March 12, 2011; 01:15 AM, IST
With a crucial trip to Germany on Tuesday, Inter will play their match early this time around as they travel to Brescia on Friday night. The corresponding fixture did not turn out to be a game to remember as the Nerazzurri were held to a 1-1 draw in Milan. However, they would desperately look to avoid any such upset and pile the pressure on leaders Milan, who play on Saturday.
Inter have collected 56 points from 28 league games and are 2nd in the table behind their arch-rivals, who are 5 points clear with 18 wins so far. With just 10 games remaining in the season, the Champions cannot afford to lose any more points and, with the Milan derby syill to be played, must stay within striking distance. Ranocchia has also expressed confidence stating the Nerazzurri will play for the Scudetto in the Milan Derby.
Meanwhile, Brescia is virtually rock bottom with the exception of Bari who is a further 8 points behind Brescia. The home side has just scored 25 points in 28 games and is a sure shot candidate for relegation unless they turn the tables. A victory against the reigning champions would not only get them 3 points but also a massive psychological advantage. Easier said than done, though. A draw would not be a bad result either which would take them just 2 points behind the safe zone.
Off the pitch, Inter have been linked with Tottenham’s Luka Modric which has seen a positive response from Inter’s captain Zanetti. Inter have also been lined with Real Madrid’s Kaka who is a possible summer target.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Brescia caused a lot of problems to their opponents last time out and held them for a 1-1 draw. However, they will know that this Inter side is different from the one managed by Rafa Benitez. This will leave them to shape up with a cautious 5-4-1 formation while looking to hit the champions on the counter-attack.
Arcari will play between the posts while Mareco, Kone and Hetemaj will stick to their centre-back roles. Zebina and Zobol will line-up on the flanks and try to support their frontmen whenever a chance is presented.
Zambelli, Vass, Berardi and Caracciolo will form a compact midfield and push Inter wide and deal with crosses along with their defenders. Diamanti will be the lone man up front and will be Brescia’s threat on the counter.
Possible Line-up: Arcari; Zebina, Mareco, Zobol; Zambelli, Kone, Vass, Hetemaj, Berardi; Diamanti, Caracciolo
Cambiasso, Milito and Samuel are still out injured. Winter signing Ranocchia was stretchered off against Bayern Munich and will be out for a considerable amount of time. However, the medical staff have confirmed the injury to the young Italian isn’t as bad as it was initially feared to be.
Genoa and Inter played out a highly entertaining game in the previous fixture. With Inter playing such a high line of defense, the same can be expected against Brescia. Julio Cesar will be hoping to keep a clean sheet with the help of Lucio and Cordoba ahead of him. Maicon and Chivu will be expected to provide the width in the opposite half.
Zanetti and Stankovic will play in a three-man midfield along with Motta, who will provide cover to his centre backs in a counter attack. Sneijder will again be the key for Inter to provide the creativity up front along with Eto’o who will play his normal free role. Pazzini will drop behind the defenders and make his late runs.
Possible Line-up: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Cordoba, Chivu; Zanetti, Thiago Motta, Stankovic; Sneijder ;Pazzini, Eto’o
Inter Milan: W–W-L–W-W
1. Inter have not played out a draw since Leonardo took over in January (11 wins and two defeats).
2. Brescia has scored just 6 goals since the winter break.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Samuel Eto’o (Internazionale)
It is not surprising that Eto’o features in yet another “Player to Watch Out For” bracket after scoring 2 goals against Genoa in the Nerazzurri’s previous fixture. The Cameroonian has been in sensational form from the inception of the season and could well end up being the winner for the Serie A golden boot.
However, Eto’o himself has emphasized that it is winning trophies with the team are his priority than the individual honors. Samu scored the equalizer for the Nerazzurri in the corresponding fixture and helped them gain a point in a tough encounter. If he can replicates the same form he showed in the return fixture, Inter will have no problems in gaining all three points.
BRESCIA 1-3 INTER
Although Brescia held Inter to a draw at the San Siro, it is nearly impossible to even contemplate the possibility of the Nerazzurri dropping points, especially when they are closing in on Milan every game. It is also hard to see Inter keeping a clean sheet, though, as they have changed their game under Leonardo. An entertaining win for Inter would be a safe bet.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST