Jumat, 20 Maret 2009

Preview: Inter - Reggina

It's first against last on Sunday afternoon as leaders Inter host rock-bottom Reggina in hopes of stretching their lead over second-placed Juventus, who travel to face Roma this weekend.

Inter Getting Ready For Final Stretch

With ten matches to go before the end of the Serie A season, Inter are in complete control of things and seem to be cruising toward their third consecutive Scudetto on the pitch. José Mourinho’s arrival may not have brought the expected improvements on the European stage, but Inter remain by far the strongest team in Italy, and winning the title this year would allow them to tie the scores with city rivals Milan, who have won 17 Scudettos to Inter’s 16.

Last week the team responded well to their elimination from the Champions League by beating fourth-placed Fiorentina 2-0 at San Siro thanks to a brace by (who else?) Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose Serie A form this season has been dynamite. Inter may depend too heavily on the Swedish star, and their football may be mostly unimpressive - indeed, it has proved insufficient to triumph in Europe - but the fact remains that in the last two rounds the Nerazzurri have beaten two of the league’s highest-ranked teams. Two weeks ago, in fact, they inflicted the first home defeat of the season on Genoa, in a match they never looked like losing.

The relative ease with which they won these tough matches shows how dominant Inter are in Serie A, but sadly for Italian football it also says something about the quality of the league. Although they missed a number of chances in the second leg, Mourinho’s side were definitely second best to Manchester United over the two matches, and it seems clear that they still lack something both in their mental approach to do-or-die clashes, as well as a bit of creativity in the middle of the park and a creative player to link the midfield and attack.

However, in Italy Inter’s combination of a steely midfield and defence, and the individual qualities of the likes of Ibrahimovic and Maicon, is continuing to prove more than enough for success. With ten matches to go they hold a seven-point lead over second-placed Juventus, which is not quite enough yet to consider the title won. Last season at this point they had a six-point lead over Roma, but still had to wait until the final matchday to capture the Scudetto.

Mourinho will want to avoid that happening this time around, and so will the fans and the players. Inter have shown much more strength and consistency than any other team in Serie A, and their injury crisis has not been as bad as last season, when they were missing Ibrahimovic for the decisive final stretch, so they should be able to wrap up the Scudetto without too much suffering.

With Juventus travelling to Rome for an always tough fixture against Roma this weekend, the match against Reggina could represent a great opportunity to stretch their lead on top of the table to nine points again.

First Against Last

It will be a true David vs. Goliath match as the league leaders take on rock-bottom Reggina on their home turf. This is typically the type of match where only one team has anything to lose, and of course in this case it’s Inter. Although the Amaranto are still harboring hopes of staying in Serie A, their situation seems pretty desperate by now and they certainly won’t fancy their chances of escaping San Siro unbeaten.

Many times in the past Reggina have been able to secure their stay in Serie A in near-miraculous circumstances, completing comebacks from seemingly hopeless situations. However, this time it seems all hope is lost. Currently they are six points removed from the safety zone, so only an unlikely winning streak would allow them to escape the drop.

Coach Nevio Orlandi has done what he could with a modest squad, and lately the team have been battling bravely, as they’ve lost just one of their last five matches. He made a terrible start to the season, and was replaced in December by Giuseppe Pillon, who did even worse, and in January Orlandi was called back to the Reggina bench.

The team’s main problem seems to be a lack of firepower in attack, with only Bernardo Corradi having managed to score with some regularity. Reggina have the worst attack in Serie A and the third worst defence. Those are the kind of statistics
that spell doom for a team.

Their past encounters against Inter at San Siro also don’t give much reason for optimism. In eight meetings with the Nerazzurri they have lost five, and never won, conceding 16 goals and scoring just two. However, they did obtain one of the most notable results of their season against Inter’s city rivals Milan in the same stadium, drawing 1-1 on 7 February. Milan youth product Davide Di Gennaro opened the score for Reggina with a well-taken goal in the 34th minute, but a Kaká penalty allowed the Rossoneri to equalise in the 67th minute.



15/03 (Serie A): Inter-Fiorentina 2-0

11/03 (Champions League): Manchester United-Inter 2-0

07/03 (Serie A): Genoa-Inter 0-2

04/03 (Coppa Italia): Sampdoria-Inter 3-0

01/03 (Serie A): Inter-Roma 3-3


15/03 (Serie A): Reggina-Napoli 1-1

08/03 (Serie A): Lecce-Reggina 0-0

01/03 (Serie A): Reggina-Fiorentina 1-1

22/02 (Serie A): Catania-Reggina 2-0

15/02 (Serie A): Reggina-Palermo 0-0



Mourinho has something of a defensive crisis to deal with, as currently Marco Materazzi, Nicolas Burdisso, Ivan Cordoba, and Christian Chivu are all out injured, while Walter Samuel is suspended. Meanwhile, Luis Figo is also out injured.

Possible formation (4-3-3): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Cambiasso, Rivas, Santon; Zanetti, Muntari, Stankovic; Balotelli, Adriano, Ibrahimovic.


Defender Antonio Giosa, midfielder Emil Hallfredsson, goalkeeper Andrea Campagnolo, and Bernardo Corradi are all out injured, while former Inter defender Bruno Cirillo is suspended.

Possible formation (3-5-1-1): Puggioni; Lanzaro, Valdez, Santos; Sestu, Barreto, Carmona, Barillá, Costa; Cozza; Brienza.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter)

There are rumours the ambitious Swede wants to leave Inter to have a better chance of winning the Champions League, which in a way is understandable because he is getting used to winning league titles every season. The last time he wasn’t part of a league-winning squad was in 2003, as in 2004 he won the Eredivisie title with Ajax, in 2005 and 2006 he won the Serie A title with Juventus (although those two titles were later revoked), and of course in 2007 and 2008 he led Inter to the Scudetto. In Serie A his form has been highly impressive this season, and he has already equalled his goalscoring record of last season of 17 goals; and with just two goals fewer than top scorer Marco Di Vaio, he is also competing for the Capocannoniere title.

Francesco Cozza (Reggina)

With Corradi unlikely to make it for this match, Reggina will rely heavily on their captain’s creativity to trouble Inter. The 35-year-old is a true Reggina veteran, having spent nine season in Calabria, including four years in Serie B. In this final stage of the season, which is unlikely to end well for the Amaranto, he will surely be the last to give up the fight.


Time for Inter to get a convincing home victory again. This season they have failed to win any of their home matches by more than two goals, although they twice won 3-0 away from home (against Lecce and Lazio) and also beat Roma 4-0 in Rome.

Inter-Reggina 3-0

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5 komentar:

  1. Wow.. Fans Inter juga yach..

    URL berisi karakter yang tidak sah <-- parah :((

  2. @luzman
    baru 2-0 nih kang luzman..
    go ibra !! go ibra!!!!
    yoooi interisti gituu.
    maksud dari URL karakter yang tidak sah ???

  3. wah mantep banget nih prediksinya 100 % tepat
    inter 3-0 reggina

    bravo ibrakadabra!