Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
07 November 2010, 00:15 AM IST
Week 10 in Serie A kicks off with champions Inter hosting promoted side Brescia at the San Siro in the opening match of the round. The Nerazzurri are currently second in the league standings, four points behind an impressive Lazio. If Inter can gain three points against relegation candidates Brescia, they will put pressure on Lazio to get a result in the Rome derby on Sunday.
Rafa Benitez’s side had a terrible midweek encounter against the men from England Tottenham Hotspurs. Gareth Bale was destroyer-in-chief as he decimated Inter’s defense, pretty much on his own. Some experts argued on Benitez’s naivety as he failed to set up tactics that could have nullified the flying Welshman, while others insisted that Inter need reinforcements in the winter transfer window.
Whilst Gareth Bale has been considered a possible target for the Italian Giants, Club president Massimmo Moratti has rubbished the rumours. Meanwhile, Inter defender Maicon who is under the fire has conceded that it was impossible to control Gareth Bale and has promised a better performance from his team in the Italian Championship this weekend.
Relegation candidates Brescia have had a bad start to their campaign as expected. Rondinelle are struggling for points as they lie in the wrong half of the table in sixteenth place, with just points against their name in the same number of matches. Brescia have always been a club which has played the swansong between Serie A and Serie B in the recent years. They were promoted this season via the play-offs, beating Torino in May.
Last week saw Brescia lose to Napoli at home in a game that produced only one goal as the Argentinian hotshot Lavazzi grabbed the headlines. Coach Giuseppe Iachini admitted that he was happy with his team’s performance against Napoli but concerned with the lack of points they currently have. Facing a wounded lion will not be an easy task for the Biancoazzurri but they will be hoping to snatch a point from Inter’s troubles.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Inter: Inter are still struggling with injuries to key players like Thiago Motta, Stankovic, Mariga and Suazo. Off late, Julio Cesar and Cambiasso suffered injuries in the last league game against Genoa. Whilst it is difficult to predict the extinct of the injuries to all these players, the Nerazzurri will be hoping to have them back sooner than later.
Since the return of Milito, Eto’o has been asked to drop back in support of the main striker along with Sneijder and Pandev. In defense, Inter are free of injuries as Samuel and Lucio, along with a less attack-minded Chivu, will be guarding their goal. Meanwhile, Maicon will be hoping to slowly erase the scar carved by Bale and provide support for his front men, and at the same time improving defensively.
Muntari, who scored the only goal against Genoa will sit deep to help Lucio and Samuel to patch the leaky Inter defense. With Milito back, Inter have the extra man in attack to cause problems to their humble opponents. Pandev and Eto’o will provide the width for the Nerazzurri with Eto’o drifting-in to fill the hole behind the striker. Sneijder will be the key player in this match as he will have to supply the goods to Milito and Eto’o.
Possible Lineup: Castelazzi : Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu : Zannetti, Sneijder, Muntari : Pandev, Milito, Eto’o.
Brescia: Veteran Goalkeeper Matteo Sereni and Victor Hugo Mareco are out for the Rondinelle while star man Diamanti returns from suspension which had ruled him out of the Napoli fixture.
The Leonessa play a 4-3-1-2 formation, which is similar to their illustrious opponents. Their primary objective will be not to concede against Inter and one can expect Iachini’s men to park the bus and hit the Champions on the break. Defensively, Brescia have to be very focused not to let Eto’o any room as the man from Cameroon is on fire at the moment.
Holding midfielder Cardova along with ex-Juventine Zebina will be given the role to double mark Eto’o and stop him from tearing their defense. Whilst Milito hasn’t been in the greatest of forms, he is still too dangerous to be allowed the space as Brescia will use the physical power of Vidal to stop the diminutive Argentine.
Brescia must force Inter to the touchlines, rather than let them dictate play down the middle. In the attack, the return of Diamanti will be a massive boost as the Brescia starman will provide the ammunition to Carraciollo and Eder. One would expect Brescia to turn to a 4-5-1 formation and pack the midfield in an attempt to suffocate Inter. Vass and Hetemaj will provide the width, while simultaneously shielding the full backs.
Possible Lineup: Acari: Berardi, Zebina, Vidal, Dallamano: Hetemaj, Cardova, Diamanti, Vass: Carraciollo, Eder.
1. The two sides have met only twice in history.
2. Inter have won all their games against Brescia.
3. The record scoreline for this match is 3-0; a match which Inter won in 2004.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Samuel Eto’o (Internazionale)
A constant in every Inter preview is the same of the Cameroon international, Samuel Eto’o. He is grabbing all the headlines for Inter; wonder what Barcelona make of it? When his team-mates have collapsed in numerous circumstances, Eto’o has been the stand out guy for the Nerazzurri every time. He has scored a mammoth 16 goals already this season with 7 each, coming in the league and the Champions league.
If the Nerazzuri are to get anything out of the game, Eto’o has to be at his usual best in scoring goals. Although he will have to play second fiddle after Milito’s return, very few will bet against him hitting the back of the net.
Inter 2-0 Brescia
By no means is this a glamorous fixture, yet fans from both the sides will be hoping for an entertaining game. Inter, having been on the back foot against Spurs in the midweek will be gearing to get back to winning ways again. Brescia will be hoping to get a point out of this game; a point that could be significant in shaping the rest of their season.
The Nerazzurri might be having tough times but they will have too much quality for their opponents on Saturday. A comfortable victory with a couple of goals and a clean sheet would do Inter’s confidence no harm as they breathe down Lazio’s necks.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST