Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena, Italy
April 30, 2011; 09:30 PM, IST
With just 4 rounds remaining in the Serie A, Inter take on a resurgent Cesena who have won 2 of their last 4 matches whilst drawing the other two. Inter have notched up 66 points in 34 games and are 8 points behind Milan in the Serie A table. The two Milanese sides are first and second. A win against Cesena will pressurize Milan who play only on Sunday against Bologna. However, things are easier said than done as the hosts are enjoying their best form of the season beating Bologna and Bari in the last two rounds.
Cesena will also be aware of their points tally in the league and a drop to the second division is still possible. With 37 points and 2 points above the relegation zone, Cesena have to collect another 3 points to consider that they are safe. A win against Inter would definitely be not too bad. But, the Nerazzurri are themselves in need of a win meaning a point for the home side would be good.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Captain Giuseppe Colucci will miss the match through suspension while Ivan Fatic, Felipe and Erjon Bogdani are all injured. The hosts will line up a 4-3-3 cum 4-5-1 formation switching between each of these formations depending on the possession. Antonioli will guard his posts with support coming from Pellegrino and Von Bergen. Ceccarelli and Lauro, the two side backs will be restricted to fewer adventures than they can afford against the dynamic Maicon and Nagatomo. Gorobsov, Caserta and Parolo will pack the midfield restricting room in the middle for the Nerazzurri. Upfront, Malonga will be supported by the two wide men Jimenez and Giaccherini in splitting a very vulnerable Inter defense.
Cesena, like many teams know that Inter are playing with a high backline and are always susceptible to counter attacks and long balls. This is what exactly the hosts must take advantage of and trouble the visitors.
Possible Line-up: Antonioli, Ceccarelli, Pellegrino, Von Bergen, Lauro, Caserta, Gorobsov, Parolo, Jimenez, Malonga, Giaccherini
Inter will be without primary goalkeeper Julio Cesar who saw red against Lazio. Stankovic and Motta are also out with the knocks they picked up last week. Long term absentee Samuel is slowly returning to the first team but this game comes too early for the Argentinian.
Concerns are there about Sneijder who picked up a knock on Thursday in the training session but the playmaker should be back in time on Saturday.
With Julio Cesar absent, Castellazzi will get his chance between the sticks. The Centre Back pairing of Lucio and Ranocchia should continue with the absence of Samuel. Maicon and Nagatomo will play the full back roles like they did in the previous encounter. Zanetti and Kharja will line up alongside the destroyer in chief Cambiasso in the middle.
Sneijder is a little bit of a doubt but should be ready to play the architect role behind Eto’o and Pazzini.
Inter will go out all guns blazing like they’ve been doing under Leonardo with the likes of Nagatomo and Maicon exploiting the width from their sweeping positions. Zanetti provided the assist for the winner against Lazio, so the veteran will once again run his legs off and support Nagatomo on the left side. Kharja will team up with Cambiasso in breaking the play and linking the defense with the attack. Sneijder, with his intelligence and composure with the ball will be looking to dictate the play and create spaces and scoring opportunities for Eto’o and Pazzini who will lead the attack. Inter are always vulnerable to counter attacks and this should be no exception but their strength in attack should cause problems for the home side.
Possible Line-up: Castellazzi, Maicon, Ranocchia, Lucio, Nagatomo; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Kharja, Sneijder, Pazzini, Eto’o
- Cesena haven’t beaten Inter for more than 35 years in the Serie A. Their last victory against the Nerazzurri came in March 1975.
- Inter have scored two or more goals in six straight away matches against Cesena.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale)
Dutch midfielder Sneijder produced a glorious moment in the last match against Lazio when he blasted a brilliant freekick from the edge of the area. However, things haven’t been as rosy for the ex-Real Madrid man compared to last season under Mourinho at Inter. Wesley has probably suffered a burn out after all the football he has played over the last couple of years.
Yet, he boasts a very good record of 7 goals in 35 games despite his lack of fitness and form. Sneijder was instrumental for the Nerazzurri last season and with time running out and Milan racing ahead, Inter have to win this match with Sneijder spearheading their title charge.
Cesena 2-3 Inter
Cesena have been a tough nut to crack in the last month. They have won their last 2 matches whilst drawing the prior encounters. Their last defeat in the Serie A came under Lazio with the latter being defeated by Inter last week. Inter too have had a good couple of games against two tough opponents Lazio and Roma.
Cesena present a different danger for the Nerazzurri as the home side will be desperate for a win which would take them to that safety 40 points mark. However, Inter will also be wary that any let down here would be handing the title to Milan. So, expect an open game with both sides going for the win with a lot of goals.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST