We all know how the first game against this squad ended earlier this season. It was awful, and fortunately it was only an isolated case at the time. Inter's defense wad still reliable after that complete debacle and a defeat, even a bad one, wasn't a big deal since the Nerazzurri had total control on the rest of Serie A. Right now though, things are completely different. Both teams have gone a bit off the track with their performances lately, and if they were the top teams in the league at the time of their first encounter, now they found themselves behind two -- or three if we consider the points earned by Roma yesterday against Carpi -- other squads by more than just a few points.
This game is a very crucial one since it could determine which team has the best shot to finish the season in third place. Plus, it will tell us a lot about not only their manager's tactical approach to big games like this one, but it will also tell us which squad has the best mental approach when the stakes are high. Inter already proved that they often cringe when the match is important (the games against Fiorentina, Juve, and Milan prove that) and the attitude in such occasions is what I think keeps this Inter squad the most from being a great team.
Mancini knows the importance of this match, he knows that the final placement of the team depends in good part on the result of this Sunday's challenge and he told in his pre-game press conference is 100% sure about which players he will choose to break the Viola wall. But he won't tell us. The Nerazzurri currently don't have players out with injuries and the only one unavailable is Felipe Melo, who will have to serve a one game suspension after picking up his 5th yellow of the season against Verona last week. So Mancio has the hard task to pick the best players to obstruct Fiorentina's thick net of passes and punish them by taking advantage of their biggest flaw: quickness.
I believe it will be another entertaining match like the first one between these two teams was, but let's hope that this time the result will make Inter fans smile. What would be more appropriate for the Pazza Inter than winning an important match against one of the top team of the Serie A just a week after conceding three goals to a squad that had scored the least amount of goal and was sitting in last place?
Projected Starting XIs
Fiorentina (3-4-2-1): Tatarusanu; Roncaglia, Rodriguez, Astori; Bernardeschi, Vecino, Borja Valero, Marcos Alonso; Ilicic, Tello; Kalinic;
Inter (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Telles; Brozovic, Medel; Biabiany; Eder, Perisic; Icardi;
How to Watch
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. & Canada), Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), Sky Sport 1 (Italy), PremiumSport HD (Italy), RAI International
Online: Fubo TV, beIN Sports Connect (U.S. & Canada), Sky Go Italia (Italy