When: Sunday, October 16th, 9:00 ET/ 15:00 CET
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy.
A wise man (Baraka) once (earlier this week, in this article) said that this international break came at a perfect time for Inter, because it allowed De Boer to spend more time with his players and grow the mental and tactical bond with them. I totally agree with what this wise man said and the fact that every Nerazzurro who was away to play with his respective National team came home without injuries made me appreciate this break even more.
Before the week off Inter certainly wasn’t in a perfect moment despite playing a fairly entertaining and fun football. The loss against Roma was deserved and exposed those aspects on which FdB will need to put the main focus during training, i.e. the defensive concentration from the very beginning of matches. Too many times his team has conceded goals in the first minutes, obviously making it harder to dominate the game like Frank – and I -- would like to, as he reiterated it many times during his conferences.
Every time I hear the name Cagliari I can’t help but think at that disastrous afternoon two years ago. It wasn’t totally unexpected though. The first signal that signaled the inevitable debacle was Mazzarri’s decision to give the captain armband to Yuto Nagatomo, who also was sent off during the first half of the match. To be completely honest, the fact that Mazzarri was our coach would have been enough to predict the bad loss. There is a silver lining in all this too though, because that game was maybe the main reason that convinced Thohir to replace Walter with Mancini, who may not have impressed in the year and a half he was in charge of the team but at least had a credible project in mind for the club and he worked hard for it.
A lot of things have changed in two years and hopefully the result of the match will be different too. Joao Pedro, who broke his leg two weeks ago won’t take part to the match, and this is “good” news for the Nerazzurri as he is the most creative and technically gifted player on the team. The Rossoblu, despite Joao’s absence, can still count on a very solid and expert core – Storari, Borriello, Bruno Alves, Isla, Sau -- and the ten points they collected so far are a clear signal that they plan to remain in Serie A after last year’s promotion and they have what it takes to reach that target. It would be very stupid to underestimate this team and our defense will need to be always alert to prevent Borriello from showing his top-notch finishing abilities.
Marcelo Brozovic has been reintegrated into the squad after five matches. It will be very difficult to see him in action this Sunday already but his presence on the bench against Cagliari will hopefully mean that the bad blood between him and De Boer have finally been resolved once and for all.
De Boer will probably stick with his usual starting XI this Sunday. Murillo and Miranda will start despite just arriving in Milan yesterday because Ranocchia and Andreolli, who just recovered from injury, are not in top shape. De Boer, answering a question during his pre-game conference, said that he is aware of the possibility of moving Medel back into the back four and he might consider doing it tomorrow. Ansaldi and Santon will probably be on the pitch from the first minute, while there is a slight chance Banega won't start the match and Eder should be the beneficiary if that happens.
Predicted Starting XIs
Inter (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; Ansaldi, Miranda, Murillo, Santon; Medel, Joao Mario; Candreva, Banega, Perisic; Icardi.
Cagliari (4-3-1-2): Storari; Pisacane, Ceppitelli, Bruno Alves, Murru; Isla, Tachtsidis, Padoin; Di Gennaro; Sau, Borriello.
How to Watch:
TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy); BT Sport 3 (UK); Rai International, beIN SPORTS (USA).
Online: SKY Go Italia (Italy); BT Sport Live Streaming (UK); beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA); FuboTV.
(For other countries' streaming and broadcasting options see here)