Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, Verona, Italy
20 November 2010, 19:30 IST
Mid Table Achievers
Chievo have had a tremendous start to the season by their standards. Considered as a relegation candidate, they lie in mid-table at 11th position. The Flying Donkeys have an interesting record in their Serie A campaign with 16 points in 12 games including 4 wins, 4 defeats and 4 draws. They gained yet another important point against Sampdoria last weekend. The men from Genoa are just 4 points behind Inter which shows how tough Serie A has become this season.
In a Crisis
Champions Inter travel to Verona after a disappointing Derby Della Madonnina which saw their rivals AC Milan beat them with a 1-0 score-line. Although Inter produced a decent second half performance against the 10-men Milan, it wasn’t simply enough for the Nerazzurri to come out with a single point let alone all three points. President Morratti has emphasized that his players have to show more character and has also backed manager Rafa Benitez. International break came at the right time for Inter Milan as all the National sides took the media attention and some of their players got a refreshing break from their heavy schedule in Italy.
Inter, surprisingly have won only one encounter in their last 6 endeavors in all competitions. All the players have backed Rafa Benitez to start producing the goods with the injuries easing through time. A win against Chievo would be an early Christmas present considering their current complications.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Luciano is out for the Flying Donkeys, who are likely to opt for a 4-3-1-2 system that will have Thereau alongside Pellissier in attack and Bogliacino as the creative midfielder just behind them.
The Flying Donkeys will be trying to exploit the wounded and fragile Inter defense that has shipped in a lot of goals off late. On the other hand, they need to keep the ball well to hurt their opposition which can be done by Rijoni who will look to dictate the play for Chievo. Flanks covered by Fernandes and Constant will be very important as that is where the Nerazzurri are struggling in the wide areas.
Possible Starting Lineup: Sorrentino, Sardo, Andreolli, Cesar, Mantovani, Fernandes, Rijoni, Thereau, Constant, Pellissier, Bogliacino.
Coutinho, Chivu, Mariga, Milito, Muntari, Maicon, Thiago Motta, Obi and Samuel all are out of the trip to Verona. With so many players on the treatment table, this can well be termed as an injury crisis for the Nerazzurri. But, they do have enough quality on the pitch to produce the performance.
With Milito out, Eto’o will be the focal point yet again which could be a blessing in disguise as he has been the man for Inter throughout the campaign. Eto’o will be partnered by Pandev with Sneijder sitting in the hole behind them and providing assists to the forwards who will leave Stankovic and Zanetti on the wings with Cambiasso protecting the fragile back four. With Julio Cesar back in contention, Centre backs Lucio and Materazzi will have a morale boost surrounded by Chivu and Cordoba on the full back slots.
Sneijder has to prove his worth as he is the only one on the pitch capable of unlocking Chievo’s defense and Eto’o will be hoping his team-mate does exactly that.
Possible Lineup: Cesar, Cordoba, Lucio, Materazzi, Chivu, Zannetti, Cambiasso, Sneijder, Stankovic, Pandev, Eto’o.
1. Chievo have won 4, lost 4 and drawn 4 of their 12 matches in Serie A this season.
2. Inter have won 3 of their last 4 matches against Chievo.
3. The last time Chievo won against their opposition was way back in 2003 with a 2-1 scoreline at their Stadium.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Wesley Sneijder: Without a doubt, the Dutchman is a master on the pitch when he is on verve but that hasn’t been the case this season as Sneijder has struggled for form and fitness. A bit of off the field distractions regarding his contract have ended and Wesley has got to start pulling his team out of the blues with the help of his team mates.
The Ballon D’or contestant has been given a huge boost after Iniesta stated Sneijder deserves the coveted individual trophy. The Dutchman is too good a talent to be fading in his prime and he has to lift his team from their frustrating campaign.
Cheivo 1-2 Inter
Chievo have been a decent team at home with 2 wins, 2 losses and 2 draws attached against them. With Inter having their own problems, the home side will be looking to add more salt to Inter’s injury. They would certainly fancy a win but a draw is a more realistic result.
Inter, on the other hand are the wounded animal having been a shadow of themselves for the last month. They have had big problems with their key players’ injuries but should have enough quality to come away with all three points against an enthusiastic but inexperienced Cheivo side.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST: