Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Time: 2.45pm ET/ 20.45 CET
Venue: Stadio Friuli; Udine, Italy
Last time we faced Udinese in the Serie A we were at the end of a very bad spell with 5 games without a single win, but, if that time we were in search of redemption, now we are instead looking for validations about our qualities. Winning a match, even if it was against the third best team of the league, doesn't mean nothing if it is not backed up by other victories.
Too many times this season I was excited by a win or a good performance that was just a rare event in a sea of disappointments and missed opportunities. This time I want to be cautious to escape a possible disappointment if we end up losing again against Udinese.
Many things have been very good lately for Inter:
- Hernanes looks like he is on top of his form and the position in which he plays seems to be congenial to his skills; many have criticized Mancini for keeping Shaqiri too much on the bench, but, with il Profeta playing like he has lately, it's hard to not agree with the coach.
- Vidic is the defensive rock he once was at Manchester United.
- Gnoukouri went from "who is this weird-named guy" to "why we haven't started this weird-named guy before" in just two games and he showed a lot of confidence along with great technique on the field; he can play both as a defensive midfielder or as back-up for Guarin and Brozovic and he could be our secret weapon until the end of the season.
Now Inter find themselves just 4 points behind the sixth-placed Fiorentina, but, as we already said before, is it really our goal to play in the EL next year? Wouldn't be better to have the opportunity to play at our best in the Serie A, without many distractions, and to qualify for the Champions League in the next season already? I think so and I would like to hear your opinion on this matter in the poll below.
Udinese currently has 38 points, 7 less than Inter, and, even if they are in a solid position to avoid relegation, this should not be seen as an easy win. Stramaccioni wants his team to build upon the win against Milan to end the season in style, overtaking last year's record of 44 Serie A points. The tireless Allan and the ageless Di Natale will be the men to keep an eye on for the Nerazzurri this week.
Both Ranocchia and Juan Jesus won't be available for this fixture and Mancini will probably replace the first with Felipe, even if is also thinking of pairing Vidic with the returning Medel, who has shown great defensive skills this season, and could play as center-back just like Cambiasso did back in the days. Santon should finally start on the right defensive side in place of a mediocre D'Ambrosio, while the other positions shouldn't see much changes, apart from Kovacic who may replace his fellow countryman Brozovic.
Inter: Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, Felipe, Vidic, Santon; Guarin, Medel, Kovacic; Hernanes; Palacio, Icardi;
Udinese: Karnezis; Piris, Danilo, Widmer, Domizzi; Guilherme, Allan, Pinzi, Badu; Thereau, Di Natale;