Date: Sunday, May 31, 2015
Time: 14:45pm ET/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
A windmill of summer market rumours almost made us forget that the 14/15 Serie A season is - unfortunately - not finished yet and this Sunday Inter will have to take on Empoli, one of the most fun team to watch this year, thanks to a young and talented core of Italian players like Saponara, Verdi, Pucciarelli, Rugani, Tonelli, but also to the humble yet well prepared coach Maurizio Sarri.
The most surprising thing at this point of the season, after trying their worst to fall down into the standings, is that Inter has a chance, a slight one to be honest, to play in the Europa League next season. Why? Because Genoa was denied their UEFA licence, so they are out of the competition for that, and the other team fighting for the EL are Sampdoria, currently sitting just three points ahead of the Nerazzurri, against which they won one match and lost the other one, while they are down in goal difference 6 to 10. So, if Sampdoria lose against the already relegated and worst team of the tournament Parma tomorrow and Inter win, we would play in the Europa League next season.
Last time Inter and Empoli met each other this last January the match finished with a disappointing scoreless draw. This time the Nerazzurri hope at least to score, and one player will have an extra motivation to wish that: Mauro Icardi is tied 2nd with Carlos Tevez in the Serie A top scorers table, just one goal shy from Luca Toni, who may not play this week. It would be a great accomplishment for Maurito, who has been one of the few good notes of our season, and achieving that in such a young age could act as a springboard for his future success.
Mancini will have to do without D'Ambrosio (suspension), Jonathan, Dodò and Guarin (injury) this Sunday. Vidic is questionable for the match and, with Danilo out, Santon could start the game as right-back, while Nagatomo will operate on the left flank of the pitch. Ranochia and JJ should be the centre-back couple, hoping that they won't give us nightmares as they did all season long. Kovacic, Brozovic and Medel will be our midfield trio once again and Mancini shouldn't made changes to his offensive unit, with Hernanes playing behind the Argentinian Palacio and Icardi.
Official Starting XIs:
Inter: Handanovic; Nagatomo, Ranocchia, Felipe, Juan Jesus; Brozovic, Medel, Kovacic; Hernanes; Palacio, Icardi;
Empoli: Bassi; Laurini, Rugani, Barba, Hysaj; Vecino, Valdifiori, Croce; Saponara; Pucciarelli, Mchelidze;