Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Time: 2:45pm ET/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
The first midweek round of the season sees Inter hosting Hellas Verona in a match that gives Mancini the opportunity to continue his perfect start. A fifth win in a row would be great for the team heading into a tough weekend fixture against Fiorentina, and Mancini knows that the longer he can keep this run going the better.
Many commentators have been saying that this match will be an easier encounter than last round's match against the Chievo Verona, and it is fairly easy to see why. Inter will be playing at home against a side that is in 15th place rather than 2nd. Also Hellas will be missing a number of key players for the match, including the player who tied with Icardi at the top of the Serie A scoring charts last season, Luca Toni. But despite all that, Inter will still have to do the work to earn a win. Offensively the team is going to have to start getting used to scoring multiple goals a game, and the defense will have to be on its toes to keep ex-Inter striker Giampaolo Pazzini at bay.
While Juan Jesus and Miranda have returned to the matchday squad, Murillo has replaced them on the injury table. Fortunately this absence should not be for too long, and there is the possibility he will be back by the Fiorentina game. Mancini has already spoke about planning to rotate the squad a bit for this match. Brozovic has a good chance of starting, and it looks like Adem Ljajic will finally get his first minutes as an Inter player. It will also be interesting to see if Mancini sticks with his successful combination of Melo as DM and Medel at CB or if he will give one/both of them a rest and start Ranocchia.
This is a game the team should win. Inter is at home riding a wave of confidence, and their opponents (while motivated) are not in the best of form. As said earlier this match is not just important to keep up the winning streak and staying at the top of the table, but also to keep the team in good spirits ahead of a challenging matchup at the weekend. Mancini will be hoping for a convincing victory, but in the end all that matters is another 3 points.
Projected Starting XI's
Inter: Handanovic; Santon, Miranda, Medel, Telles; Guarin, Melo, Brozovic; Ljajic, Icardi, Perisic
Hellas Verona: Rafael; Pisano, Bianchetti, Moras, Souprayen; Sala, Viviani, Greco; Silgardi, Pazzini, Gomes