San Siro, Milan, Italy
January 19, 2011, 01:15 AM IST
Four out of Four
Inter have been very impressive at the turn of the new year. They have won all their matches in 2011, thanks to their new coach and manager Leonardo. The Nerazzurri have won 4 out of 4 matches in all competitions, including the Serie A and Coppa Italia. They have not only won their matches, but have won them convincingly under the Brazilian, which is even more impressive considering their debacles in the first half of the season.
Off the pitch, Inter have been involved in all kind of transfer news, with Alexis Sanchez’s move still on the cards. One of their own players, Sulley Muntari, has handed in a transfer request due to the lack of playing time he has had with the World Champions.
Biggest Test Yet
Cesena sit one place above the drop zone with 19 points and are level with fellow relegation contenders Lecce. After an encouraging start to the season, the Seahorses are now struggling for survival and face a daunting task against a rejuvenated Inter Milan. Coach Ficcadenti has called for new strikers during the winter market in a hope to avoid relegation in their first season back in Serie A, and will face his biggest test this season when they visit the World Club Champions at the San Siro.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Sneijder, Coutinho, Samuel and Julio Cesar are still injured and will not feature. Thiago Motta and Dejan Stankovic are expected to be given a rest by Leonardo. Colombian Ivan Cordoba suffered a minor injury against Bologna and although it isn’t serious, Leonardo would want to rest him for the weekend against Udinese. New signing Andrea Rannochia should partner Lucio in the centre of defense.
In midfield, the ever present Javier Zanetti will start alongside Argentine Esteban Cambiasso and Kenyan International Mcdonald Mariga who comes in for Thiago Motta. Dejan Stankovic should continue his role as the playmaker behind strikers Diego Milito and Inter’s top goalscorer this season Samuel Eto’o.
Possible Line-up: Castelazzi, Maicon, Lucio, Rannochia, Chivu, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Mariga , Stankovic , Milito, Eto’o.
Coach Massimo Ficcadenti will know fully well that a Inter are a formiddable opposition at the San Siro and should stick with his 4-3-3 formation. He will be without the services of Yuto Nagatomo, who has been one of Cesena’s best players this season and one of the best fullbacks in Serie A. Former Roma goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli should take his place in between the sticks. In defense, Swiss International Steven Von Bergen and Maximiliano Pellegrino will be looking to keep Eto’o on a tight leesh. Maurizio Lauro will replace Nagatomo at left back.
The midfield should consists of captain Giuseppe Colucci, Fabio Casserta and Paolo Sammarco who will look to limit Dejan Stankovic’s influence. Albanian International Erjon Bogdani will be looking to cause problems to Inter’s defense using his height and strength. He should be flanked by Cesena’s best player this season Emmanuele Giaccherini and Dominique Malonga.
Possible Lineup: Antonioli, Ceccarelli, Pellegrino, Von Bergen, Lauro, Caserta, Colucci, Sammarco, Malonga, Bogdani, Giaccherini.
Inter Milan: W-W-W-W-W
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Samuel Eto’o (Inter)
Eto’o has been in inspirational form this year for the Nerazzurri. The former Barcelona hitman made a mockerey of Bologna’s defense last weekend with two well taken goals and will be providing the main attacking threat for Inter Milan.
He is also up there in the race for the Capocannoniere with 11 goals this season in Serie A.
Inter Milan 3-0 Cesena
Inter will rightly start this game as favourites and should not disappoint. Cesena have been abysmal away from home and in all likelihood would succumb to the Nerazzurri pressure.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST