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Preview: Inter – Udinese


Who: Inter v Udinese

What: Serie A Week 38

Where: Stadio G. Meazza, Milano

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013

Time: 20:45 CET local time, 2:45 pm EST


Called Up: Handanovic, Belec, Carrizo; Pasa, Pereira, Juan Jesus, Nagatomo, Ferrara, Spendlhofer; Schelotto, Kovacic, Alvarez, Guarin, Kuzmanovic, Cambiasso, Benassi; Rocchi, Forte, Palacio

Probable Formation: 4321

Handoanovic; Pereira, Juan, Pasa, Nagatomo; Cambiasso, Kuzmanovic, Kovacic; Guarin, Alvarez; Rocchi

Injuries/Suspensions: Milito, Samuel, Silvestre, Zanetti, Mudingayi, Jonathan, Castellazzi, Obi, Chivu, Mbaye, Stankovic, Gargano


Notes: This is it for the 2012-2013 season, long may it be forgiven, but never forgotten. The defense for this game will be interesting, as Juan is the Grandpappy of the centerbacks at 22 years old. He is older by years the next oldest central defender, assuming that Strama doesn’t make Cambiasso sit on the back line like he did last game. That makes me smile. If Cambiasso sits on the back line than there is an opening for Benassi in the midfield, and having Kovacic and Benasso start together makes me smile too. I like having options to play who are younger but have shown that they can do something. In a perfect world that would be my ideal bench – young guys hungry to play with some proven ability.

But let’s move on to this game. Once again, for what seems like the billionth time there is a “he better win this one or else…” vibe from the morons in the media. Let me tell you something that you can take to the bank, if there was a win or else moment it’s not now that every game is meaningless and the team is already booking vacation travel at the last game with nothing to play for, okay? If Moratti was so enraged with Strama that he wanted to can him, it would have been done. Moratti isn’t shy on this account.

So it’s a glorified friendly and I will be watching it, because that’s what I do. I will eager to see what the kids, if any can do with no pressure and all eyes on them. I will be watching to see how those players on the bubble will play – hard running or ready to accept transfer, and I am looking at you Ricky Alvarez.


Probable Formation: 3511

Brkic; Benatia, Danilo, Domizzi; Zielinski, Basta, Allan, Pinzi, Silva; Pereyra, Di Natale

Injuries/Suspensions: Lazzari


Notes: Udinese will do what Udinese always does – they will play everyone back, clog the midfield and then try to hit on the counter. They are masters at it and they have perhaps the perfect forward for the job. He’s not too tall or good with the head, but that’s okay because his team generally won’t work the ball down the field to the byline. He’s not too fast, but he doesn’t have to be because his first touch will be just outside or just inside the box. He’s not great technically, but that’s okay because he only touches the ball a couple of times before he shoots. He’s active, he’s willing to use the whole width of the field, he’s very accurate and he’s smart. He’s also paired up with the perfect coach for his strengths. He’s the one to watch.

I alternate between thinking he’s a master at his work and thinking that he’d never make it as a forward on any team with any ambition – hence his National team career. Whatever he is, he’s the best player on that team and if Inter want to do anything on Sunday, friendly or no, someone’s going to have to shut him down.

If I have a prediction, though… I’m thinking Udinese win.