Date: Saturday, April 4, 2015
Time: 9:00am ET/ 15:00 CET
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
Parma is the weakest and least motivated side of the Serie A right now: they are dead last with only 9 points and, to aggravate the bad sport results, they went bankrupt in the latest weeks. No match should be easier for Inter, especially thinking how much the team need a victory to keep with the race for 6th place, the one that would give us the possibility to play in the Europa League next year.
Last time Inter faced Parma we played at our worst, losing 2-0 against a team that didn't have so much economic problems, but they already were among the worst of the league. Now they are last, 12 points away from the 19th club, Cesena, having conceded 53 goals (Serie A worst) and scored 21 (Serie A worst).
Two interesting stats about these two teams jump out: Alessandro Lucarelli is banned for the next three Serie A matches and Parma never won without their captain this season; Mauro Icardi will miss this match - after picking up his fourth yellow card against Sampdoria - and Inter lost 3 of the 4 matches he hasn't started this season. Palacio has scored 9 goals in 10 matches against Parma, with 3 doubles, so even without their best scorer the Nerazzuri will have someone to rely on given the good feeling Rodrigo has playing against this team.
Felipe should make his debut today, against his former team, and Juan Jesus, who played well as left-back against Sampdoria, could start again in that role.
Two draws, two losses. Two points in four matches, 0.5 points a game. This is how much Inter picked up in their latest matches and as you can see it's clearly not enough and surely too little for a team that is aiming for the scudetto next season. It's useless to repeat once again how much a victory is important in this precise moment for us and how much a defeat right now, against such a bad team could turn a not-so-good season (yes, I'm too soft, I know) into an absolute nightmare. We were promised a great season, we were promised a long run in the Europa league and the Serie A top spots. We are 8th, we are out of the Europa League and out of the Coppa Italia too. But we are still here, cheering for a team that mean so much for us and in which we believe so much. The least we are asking is to winwithout problems a match that, on paper, is the easiest of our season.
Acquiring three points this Saturday could mean for Inter to overtake three teams - Milan, Genoa and Torino - landing in 7th place, 6 points behind Fiorentina and the 6th spot.
PROJECTED STARTING XIs:
Inter: Handanovic; Santon, Ranocchia, Felipe, Juan Jesus; Guarin, Medel, Brozovic; Shaqiri; Palacio, Podolski
Parma: Mirante; Cassani, Mendes, Costa, Gobbi; Nocerino, Jorquera, Lila, Varela; Coda, Belfodil