Date: Wednesday. January 25, 2015
Time: 9:00am ET/ 15:00 CET
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
After a strong performance in the Coppa Italia against Sampdoria, attention shifts back to Serie A where 9th placed Inter will be taking on 13th placed Torino. The two sides met on the opening day of the season and it ended in a 0-0 draw, and this time the Inter players will be hoping to take all 3 points from the Turin-based side.
Torino are on a 6 game unbeaten streak with 4 draws and two wins, so they will be in fairly high spirits coming into the match. However, they do have a pretty serious problem in attack, with only two clubs scoring less than their 16 league goals. They have their full compliment of players available for this match, and Fabio Quagliarella does enjoy scoring against Inter, so they can still be dangerous.
In the game against Sampdoria fans saw what they hope to be the new attacking quartet of Podolski, Kovacic, Shaqiri (I still haven't settled on a nickname for him yet), and Icardi. It took a little while for them to get going together but the signs are very promising. Also, with Shaqiri getting his first Nerazzurri goal, he will be hoping to get his first league goal I'm sure Podolski is itching to score his first goal as well so the attackers will be very hungry going into the game on Sunday.
Inter have two players unavailable for this match, Nagatomo is still away on international duty (though Japan just lost to UAE so he should be returning soon) and Juan Jesus is serving the 3rd of his 4 match suspension.
Like I said before the Coppa Italia match, Inter are 7 points back from 3rd place and the last Champions League spot. While the team hasn't been losing recently Mancini knows that if a push will be made for that spot, he needs to start converting draws into wins. With some of the new reinforcements in the side, the chance of accomplishing that goal is starting to increase. With Mazzarri as the coach, this match ended as a dull scoreless tie; now it is time to see if Mancini can start the second half of the season on the right foot.
Projected Starting XIs
Inter: Handanovic; Dodo, Ranocchia, Vidic, D’Ambrosio; Guarin, Medel; Shaqiri, Hernanes, Podolski; Icardi
Torino: Padelli; Maksimovic, Jansson, Moretti; Bruno Peres, Benassi, Gazzi, Farnerud, Darmian; Martinez, Quagliarella
(Projected lineups from Forza Italian Football- I don't know why but most of the places I looked for a prediction for the lineup had Kovacic on the bench)