Date: Sunday, March 22, 2015
Time: 3:45pm ET/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Stadio Luigi Ferraris; Genoa, Italy
Though Roberto Mancini and Sinisa Mihajlovic are good friends, for 90 minutes they will put those good feelings aside as they face off against each other for the first time. Inter travel to take on a high-flying Sampdoria side looking to give their fans something to smile about in this recent rough patch.
When the two sides faced earlier this season, Inter won 1-0 due to a 90th minute penalty scored by Icardi. It looks like it will be harder to get a victory away though, Sampdoria are undefeated at home this season winning 6 and drawing 7 of their 13 games at the Luigi Ferraris.
Sampdoria come into this match in very good form, winning their last 3 games including an impressive 2-0 win against Roma. They are currently in 6th place, only one point off 4th placed Napoli. This is a side doing well and looking to take a place in Europe next season.
Sinisa Mihajlovic will be missing four of his players heading into Sunday’s game, with Alessandro De Vitis, Fabrizio Cacciatore, Luca Rizzo, and Ezquiel Munoz all out with various injuries.
Inter have not won any of their last 3 Serie A matches, walking away with a dull 1-1 result against Cesena last time out. With AC Milan winning their match for this round, Inter are now in 9th place, 8 points from the 5th placed Fiorentina and the final Europa League place.
Mancini will have to deal with no Nagatomo, Santon, Vidic, and Jonathan for this match. Luckily, Shaqiri and Kovacic are likely to have recovered in time to play in the match.
With 11 matches left before the end of the season, there are 33 points left to play for so theoretically it is possible for the Nerazzurri to push and end up in one of the European places for next season. Though this is unlikely since numerous sides above them would have to collapse in these final games. Many fans are saying that the season is basically over, and it looks a little hard to argue against them.
But Thohir, Mancini, and the players have been insisting that with this many matches left to play for anything could happen so fans should trust and continue to support the team in these last games. Like I said before I don't really see the chances of the side ending up in those coveted position but there is a reason to still watch the team. Mancini has been insisting that next season the team will be fighting for the Scudetto, and if he is serious about this claim then the team needs to show that drive and ambition in these last few matches. If Inter is going to be considered a contender for the title next season the players should go out there and play these games with hunger and drive and show that they are ready for a fight next season. And if this attitude can push them to claw their way into European spots, then that's just an added bonus.
Official Starting XIs
SAMPDORIA: 2 Viviano; 29 De Silvestri, 26 Silvestre, 5 Romagnoli, 19 Regini; 30 Acquah, 17 Palombo, 21 Soriano; 23 Eder, 99 Eto'o, 24 Muriel,
INTER: 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio, 23 Ranocchia, 15 Vidic, 5 Juan Jesus; 13 Guarin, 18 Medel, 77 Brozovic; 91 Shaqiri; 11 Podolski, 9 Icardi.