Date: Sunday. February 8, 2015
Time: 2:45pm ET/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
The defeat to Napoli earlier in the week has only left two fronts for Inter to fight on, and one of them is not currently going too well. Inter are now in 13th place and 13 points off the final Champions League place. Their opponents for this weekend, Palermo, are currently in 7th place and are 4 points above Inter going into this round.
Inter will be without the suspended Isaac Donkor whilst Marco Andreolli is still out injured with Vidic getting injured this week as well. Yuto Nagatomo could return to the starting line up but other than that Mancini has close to a full squad available. Kovacic and Icardi should return to the starting 11 after being on the bench against Napoli in midweek. Ranocchia is available to play but his place is likely under threat after his mistake that cost Inter the match, with Juan Jesus finally available to play in the league again.
Maresca looks to be the only doubtful player for Palermo. The good partnership between Vasquez and Dybala will likely continue in this match which will put the shaky Inter defense on its toes.
An interesting note is that the two most prolific young strikers in Serie A will be playing on Sunday. Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala are both the top scorers for their teams with 11 goals each.
So many of the players and staff have been saying this week that a turnaround is just around the corner, and that all they need is just one win to jump-start the second half of the season. Well that win needs to come this weekend. European football is slipping away, and though promising new signings have come in, results have not turned to match the increase in quality. Though Palermo is higher in the table than Inter on paper Mancini's men have the quality to win the match. This was also true for the Torino and Sassuolo matches though. If things are going to get better the players are going to have to knuckle down and grind out wins however they can until more free flowing attacking football can be played. All I want on Sunday is a win. I don't care how it comes, if it is an ugly win or what, I just want the 3 points. We can worry about style later, just get the win.
Projected Starting XIs
Inter: Handanovic, Nagatomo, Juan Jesus, Ranocchia, Dodo, Guarin, Medel, Kovacic, Shaqiri, Podolski, Icardi
Palermo: Sorrentino, Vitiello, Gonzalez, Andelkovic, Morganella, Bolzoni, Barreto, Jajalo, Lazaar, Vazquez, Dybala
(Projected lineups from Forza Italian Football-they had Ranocchia in the starting 11 but I just can't see him starting this match-well now that Vidic is injured I guess he has to.)