Date: Sunday, May 3, 2015
Time: 9.00am ET/ 15.00 CET
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
Inter may or may not be interested in an EL spot next season, this is unclear and we, fans, don't want to hear nothing about it from the club, but, what it's sure and what we want to see is a team that play hard every match, that show their supporters they have hunger for wins and they are not afraid to compete at their max to achieve the best result possible. It wasn't the case last Tuesday, against Udinese. Being up 2 men should be a huge advantage and we didn't capitalize on that,instead we made lots of mistakes - Mancini was really angry after the match - and we allowed them to play the ball too much. Anyway, not so long ago, we would have lost a game like that, and I believe that winning even when you deserve to lose it's something only teams with the right mentality can pull off, so we may be on a good path for that.
On Sunday we will play our third game in 8 days - something that hasn't happened since we left the Europa League - but we will also have 5 days of rest, so tiredness shouldn't bother us approaching the match. We will face Chievo, a side that has already achieved their goal for the season since they are mathematically safe and that has no interest in a sixth place push. This could affect the game in two different ways: they will play without the anxiety of the need of a win, making them calm and more focused, or they will approach the match with sloppiness, leaving us the chance for an easy win.
Below we can see the fixtures for all teams still running for an EL spot. We have the strongest schedule, having to face Lazio, Juventus and Genoa in three consecutive matches, so earning three points tomorrow will be crucial for our European ambitions. Fiorentina, instead, have the easiest of the pack and, for me, is the favorite to qualify for the cup, even though they have lost their last 4 matches.
JJ and Ranocchia will be available this Sunday and Mancini is planning to start them both, completing the defense with Vidic and Santon, that is returning after missing the last 4 matches. With all the speculation about Inter being very active on the market in search of young and talented defenders they all must end the season with impressive performances to prevail upon the management to not sell them. Shaqiri and Kovacic will come up from the bench to help the team in the 2nd half and this could affect their moral in a negative way, but I'm confident about Mancini's ability to keep the locker room quiet and happy.
Inter has been linked several times to Chievo's left-back Zukanovic and he would probably be a part of a deal involving Schelotto - currently playing for them on loan - but the Bosnian player is doubtful to play due to a slight right leg injury, so we probably won't be able to see his aerial dominance or his ability at shooting free kicks.
Inter: Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, Ranocchia, Vidic, Juan Jesus; Guarin, Medel, Brozovic; Hernanes; Palacio, Icardi;
Chievo: Bizzarri; Schelotto, Dainelli, Cesar, Frey; Christiansen, Radovanovic, Isco, Hetemaj; Paloschi, Meggiorini;