San Siro, Milan, Italy
May 08, 2011; 06:30 PM, IST
It’s been more than six years and more than a massive 2190 days since Inter found themselves in this kind of a situation; losing the Scudetto. Thirty five match-days into the Serie A title race, fierce rivals Milan are the toast of Italy. Inter however, are looking for all three points when they will square off against Fiorentina.
Has the Red Side beaten the Blue Half??
Talking about Fiorentina, they won their last two matches comfortably, scoring 7 goals in the process and conceding 3. However, Fiorentina should be worried since Inter are on a 11 match winning streak at the San Siro and they themselves having failed to beat the Nerazurri for the last 9 attempts. The Viola have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe and they will be having an eye on that one.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Fiorentina are coming off an amazing 5-2 victory over Udinese from last weekend. The prodigious talent of Cerci was there for all to see and D’Agostino joined the party too. Gilardino and Vargas are known to create troubles all the time and how the Inter backline manages to contain them will determine the outcome of this fixture. Serbian winger, Stevan Jovetic, who has been out for much of this season, was supposed to play in this match, but is likely to sit out as a precautionary measure. Fiorentina are currently seeded 9th, and would like to end the season with a European berth.
Sinisa Mihajlovic will have to do without long term absentee Mutu. Boruc starts in goal shielded by the back four of Gamberini, Kroldrup and De Silvestre. Behrami, D’Agostino and Montolivo will form the mid three while Cerci, Gilardino and Vargas are the three strikers.
Possible Lineup: Boruc; De Silvestri, Gamberini, Kroldrup, Pasqual; Behrami, D’Agostino, Montolivo; Cerci, Gilardino, Vargas
Inter go onto this match knowing very well that even a draw will dash all hopes for the retention of their coveted Scudetto, which has been their prized possession for quite sometime. In their last match against Cesena, they had to wait till the very end for the win to come. Pazzini had been their saviour in that match and it looks like the blue side of Inter will continue to look up to him to provide the goals along-with Eto’o. In his press-conference, Leonardo had this to say “We’re disappointed we weren’t able to overtake all the teams that were ahead of us but the eventual winners always deserve to win. We gave it our all in games that turned out to be decisive, while dealing with the various problems Inter have had to cope with this year, and just trying to push on. It’s been a long, hard slog of a season but, as I said, today we are still a very competitive team”. Coppa Italia are the only realistic target for Inter now, knowing very well that even a draw at Stadio Olimpico will see Milan through to their 18th League title, bringing Milan on par with them.
After sitting out the last match through a suspension, Julio Cesar is back under the bars while the back four of Maicon, Lucio, Ranocchia and Nagatomo will sit in-front of him. Zanetti, Cambiasso, Motta and Kharja will form the midfield. The in-form Pazzini and Eto’o will form the front-line for Inter. It remains to be seen how Maicon and Nagatomo hope to keep the dynamic duo of D’Agostino and Cerci quiet for much of the match, since both of them have a tendency to gallop forward at every opportunity, thereby leaving the back-line seriously depleted of men.
Possible Lineup: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Ranocchia, Nagatomo; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Thiago Motta; Kharja; Pazzini, Eto’o
- Inter are on a 11 match winning streak at the San Siro in the league.
- Fiorentina are yet to win against their rivals for the last 9 times.
- Fiorentina have lost only one of their last ten matches. Incidentally that came against the other Milan.
- Inter have scored 29 goals in their last 10 matches in the league.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Pazzini (Inter): Having scored four goals in the last two matches, Pazzini is definitely the man in form for the defending champions. If Milan drops points, can he inspire Inter to a last gasp attempt at the Scudetto? Don’t bet against it.
Cerci (Fiorentina): Like Pazzini, Cerci has been the man for the Viola after inspiring them to two successive wins scoring four goals in the process. If Fiorentina are to pull off an upset, they will be looking to this man for inspiration.
Internazionale 3-1 Fiorentina
While both teams are enjoying great runs of form in the league, it will no doubt be Inter who will start as the favorites. By the time this game kicks off, Milan might have won the title, but Inter will be looking to end the season on a strong note. Fiorentina will be good, but not good enough. Expect Inter to entertain and excel.