Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy
February 28, 2011; 01:15 am, IST
In No Man’s Land
Sampdoria have had a dreadful second half of the season so far, as they sit in No Man’s Land in the Serie A table. 8 points away from relegation and 11 points behind the coveted European spot, La Samp are stuck on prioritizing their season goals.
A European spot is a little farfetched considering their current form, so, they will have to look to hold the grip on their current position and stay out of relegation battle. Three points would be a dream result against Inter. But that certainly wouldn’t be the case, unless all their players play out of their skin. A draw would be likely considering they got a point in the reverse fixture.
In what was a rematch of last year’s Champions League final, Bayern did get their sweet revenge in front of a packed San Siro. Inter weren’t too bad themselves, as they created plenty of chances; but to their bad luck, Kraft was simply unbeatable between the posts for the Germans. The Nerazzurri were the third and final Italian team to suffer a home defeat in Europe.
In the domestic circuit though, Inter have looked good and are closing in on Milan, who have a Monday night match against second placed Napoli. This gives Inter a great chance to further reduce the gap and march towards another title. Leonardo has also indicated that the title will not be decided when Milan take on Napoli.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Semioli, Pozzi and Tissone are injured for Sampdoria and will miss the visit of Inter.
It will be interesting what formation La Samp will employ against Inter this Sunday. A 4-4-2 will be the favourite as they are the home side. But the manager could well end up switching to a 4-5-1 formation to protect the back four. The former Roman youth product Curci will be keeping the posts, whilst Gastaldello and Vidal will be helping their goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet. Volta and Zeigler will be providing the width from the full back positions. Inter target Poli will be set up alongside Palombo in the Central Midfield, and will be looking to dictate the play and spread the ball to the wingers Dessenna and Koman. With both Cassano and Pazzini out of Sampdoria’s striking positions, Maccarone and Guberti should be filling these two slots.
Possible Lineup: Curci, Volta, Gastaldello, Vidal, Zeigler, Dessenna, Poli, Palombo, Koman, Maccarone, Guberti
Samuel, Milito, Cordoba, Thiago Motta, Cambiasso and Ranocchia are all injured and are set to miss the trip to Sampdoria. Maicon will also be unavailable through suspension.
Inter played with a loan striker against Bayern Munich on Wednesday in the Champions League. That will be expected to change come Sunday as Leonardo will revert back to the two striker formation. Julio Cesar will resume guarding his posts after a forgetful evening in Europe. However, Brazilian Maicon will be out due to suspension, which pushes Zanetti to the right and lets Nagatomo takes the left back position. Lucio should be back to partner Ranocchia in the back.
Kharja has been more than impressive since he joined the Italian champions, and will start in the midfield alongside Cambiasso and Sktankovic. This leaves Sneijder to sit in the hole and dictate the play. Eto’o, who has been brilliant this season, should start up front alongside Pazzini and will probably probably play a free role to trouble Sampdoria defense.
Possible Line-up: Cesar, Zanetti, Lucio, Ranocchia, Nagatomo, Stankovic, Cambiasso, Kharja, Sneijder, Pazzini, Eto’o
Inter Milan: L–W-W-L-W
1) Inter have won 5 matches in their last 10 against Sampdoria
2) Sampdoria have managed to beat Inter thrice and drawn 4 times in the last 10 matches.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Giampolo Pazzini (Internazionale)
It’s a homecoming for Pazzini, as he plied his trade with the team from Genoa before he was eventually transferred to Inter in January. This young Italian has been an instant hit with the Nerazzurri, but had to sit out against Bayern on Wednesday.
However, he will surely get a chance against his former side, and will be looking to show what his ex-employers are missing currently. Having already scored a handful of goals for the champions, he will be looking to add more to the kitty and help his new side overcome La Samp.
Sampdoria 1-2 Internazionale
This fixture is always hard to predict and will certainly be a tough and tricky trip for the Nerazzurri. But, having said that, Sampdoria have been in a miserable form, and Inter will know the importance of getting all the three points and pressurize Milan. A narrow victory would be a very good result for Inter.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST