Jumat, 13 Maret 2009

Serie A Preview: Inter - Fiorentina

Inter will be desperate to bounce back from yet another early Champions League exit as they entertain fourth-placed Fiorentina..


Kick Off: Sunday 15 March, 20:30 CET, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan.


How Will Inter React?

Inter’s Champions League jinx continued on Wednesday night as they went down 2-0 against reigning European and Club World Champions Manchester United at Old Trafford, after the 0-0 draw at San Siro in the first leg. It was the Nerazzurri’s third consecutive elimination at the last 16 stage, after the ones against Valencia two years ago and Liverpool last year.
Unlike on those two occasions, Inter were not favorites heading into the clash against the Mancunians, so perhaps it would be harsh to say their season is a failure already. Still, there can be no denying that president Massimo Moratti brought in coach José Mourinho to win in Europe, as his predecessor Roberto Mancini was alleged to lack the necessary experience and know-how in the most prestigious club competition.



While Inter were ultimately eliminated once again, there are some positives to take from their meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. Their performance in the first leg at home was forgettable at best, but in the second leg they showed some good football and it was clear they gave it their all. In fact, they missed some clear chances and even hit the woodwork twice, although they conceded the kind of goals they never concede in Serie A. Most important of all, however, is that Inter were not disgraced, did not get involved in any post-match rumbles, their fans did not misbehave, and the team competed on the same level with United for large portions of the tie.



Luck was not on their side, but there is certainly the feeling that for once Inter did not get knocked out because of their own failure or because they couldn’t handle the pressure. That is an important step forward for them, and to an extent this can be attributed to Mourinho, who should certainly be given another chance to make a more lengthy run in this competition. To do that, however, Inter must certainly avoid making another lousy start to their European campaign, as the reason they met a strong side like United so early on was their abysmal performance in the group stage, where they finished second to Panathinaikos in the weakest group of the competition.

Of course, now it will be interesting to see how they react in this final part of the season. Inter are still well on course to become Italian champions for the fourth time in four seasons, as they prepare to defend a seven-point lead over Juventus with 11 matches to go. We all remember what happened last season, when the Nerazzurri nearly threw away an 11-point lead over Roma following the defeat to Liverpool, beating the Giallorossi to the title only on the final matchday. No Inter fan will want that to happen again.



If the last few years are anything to go by, however, the fans should not worry that the elimination from the Champions League will have an immediate negative effect on the next league match. In the last four seasons, in fact, Inter always managed to win their next game after getting knocked out of the Champions League.



Tough Times For Fiorentina



Cesare Prandelli’s Fiorentina are going through a rough period. Although they are still in fourth place, lately their football has lacked the confidence and consistency we are used to seeing from the Viola. This negative period culminated last weekend in perhaps their worst performance of the season against Palermo, who won 2-0 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. It was only their second home defeat of the season, after the one against Lecce in January.



It’s hard to say why they are having problems. Their list of injured players is not that huge, alhough perhaps the decision to let go of a strong young striker like Giampaolo Pazzini, who has been doing very well since joining Sampdoria in January, was not a very smart idea. The team relies heavily on the potentially devastating attacking duo of Alberto Gilardino and Adrian Mutu, but both have had their ups and downs this season, and when they are not at their best, the team struggles to find other ways to score.



Recently Prandelli has also expressed his discontent with the excessive criticism by the Florence press, which came down hard on the club after their elimination at the hands of Ajax in the UEFA Cup. Fiorentina were particularly unlucky in those matches against the Dutch giants, as in both legs they showed an evident superiority, but they were unlucky in their finishing (as has been the case for many Italian sides in Europe this season).



A period of bad luck or poor form should not be enough to diminish Fiorentina’s achievements over the past few years. They have been one of the few sides who have consistently managed to challenge for a Champions League spot, but due to various consequences of the Calciopoli scandals, they were only able to take part in the tournament this season.



They will certainly relish the opportunity to participate in the tournament again and build on their performance of this season, which certainly wasn’t a complete failure, as they finished third in a group containing Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyon, champions of Germany and France, respectively. The race to finish fourth in Serie A this season will probably be more interesting than the Scudetto race, as Genoa and Roma are hot on Fiorentina’s heels, both just one point below the Viola.



Their recent tradition against Inter hasn’t been too good, although this season they managed to end a string of four successive league defeats by them with a scoreless draw in Florence. With Genoa travelling to Cagliari and Roma to Genoa to face Sampdoria, all teams aiming for the Champions League have tough matches this weekend, but Fiorentina play on Sunday night so by then they will know what they have to do to maintain fourth place in the table.

FORM GUIDE



Inter



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

24/02 (Champions League): Inter-Manchester United 0-0



Fiorentina



08/03 (Serie A): Palermo-Fiorentina 0-2

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

26/02 (Uefa Cup): Ajax-Fiorentina 1-1

22/02 (Serie A): Fiorentina-Chievo 2-1

19/02 (Uefa Cup): Fiorentina-Ajax 0-1




TEAM NEWS



Inter



Some defensive problems for Mourinho as Nicolas Burdisso, Marco Materazzi, and Christian Chivu are all out injured.



Possible formation (4-3-1-2): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Samuel, Cordoba, Santon; Muntari, Cambiasso, Zanetti; Stankovic; Adriano, Ibrahimovic.



Fiorentina


Midfielder Mario Santana is out injured while defender Dario Dainelli is suspended.



Possible formation (4-3-1-2): Frey; Comotto, Gamberini, Kroldrup, Vargas; Kuzmanovic, Jorgensen, Montolivo; Felipe Melo; Gilardino, Mutu.




PLAYERS TO WATCH



Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter)



Against United he performed better than in previous do-or-die Champions League clashes, hitting the crossbar, setting up Dejan Stankovic alone in front of Edwin Van Der Sar, and missing a number of chances by a whisker. Still, in the end it was Cristiano Ronaldo who won the personal duel with the Swede, as he scored the Reds’ crucial second goal while Ibrahimovic once again failed to find the net in a knockout match. That shouldn’t take anything away from his impressive domestic season, which has seen him score 15 goals so far, making him a contender for the Capocannoniere title.



Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina)



After a few frustrating seasons at Milan, the 26-year-old striker seems reborn since joining Fiorentina last summer. With Mutu he forms an at-times deadly partnership, and so far he has scored an impressive 15 goals, just like ‘Ibra’. While he has been known to stutter on the biggest stage with both Milan and the Italian national team, and he sometimes misses chances that seem impossible to miss, if he keeps up this goalscoring rate it will be hard for Italy coach Marcello Lippi to ignore him.





PREDICTION



A hard-fought but convincing win for Inter.



Inter-Fiorentina 2-1



THANKS TO:FORM GUIDE



Inter



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

24/02 (Champions League): Inter-Manchester United 0-0



Fiorentina



08/03 (Serie A): Palermo-Fiorentina 0-2

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

26/02 (Uefa Cup): Ajax-Fiorentina 1-1

22/02 (Serie A): Fiorentina-Chievo 2-1

19/02 (Uefa Cup): Fiorentina-Ajax 0-1




TEAM NEWS



Inter



Some defensive problems for Mourinho as Nicolas Burdisso, Marco Materazzi, and Christian Chivu are all out injured.



Possible formation (4-3-1-2): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Samuel, Cordoba, Santon; Muntari, Cambiasso, Zanetti; Stankovic; Adriano, Ibrahimovic.



Fiorentina


Midfielder Mario Santana is out injured while defender Dario Dainelli is suspended.



Possible formation (4-3-1-2): Frey; Comotto, Gamberini, Kroldrup, Vargas; Kuzmanovic, Jorgensen, Montolivo; Felipe Melo; Gilardino, Mutu.




PLAYERS TO WATCH



Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter)



Against United he performed better than in previous do-or-die Champions League clashes, hitting the crossbar, setting up Dejan Stankovic alone in front of Edwin Van Der Sar, and missing a number of chances by a whisker. Still, in the end it was Cristiano Ronaldo who won the personal duel with the Swede, as he scored the Reds’ crucial second goal while Ibrahimovic once again failed to find the net in a knockout match. That shouldn’t take anything away from his impressive domestic season, which has seen him score 15 goals so far, making him a contender for the Capocannoniere title.



Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina)



After a few frustrating seasons at Milan, the 26-year-old striker seems reborn since joining Fiorentina last summer. With Mutu he forms an at-times deadly partnership, and so far he has scored an impressive 15 goals, just like ‘Ibra’. While he has been known to stutter on the biggest stage with both Milan and the Italian national team, and he sometimes misses chances that seem impossible to miss, if he keeps up this goalscoring rate it will be hard for Italy coach Marcello Lippi to ignore him.





PREDICTION



A hard-fought but convincing win for Inter.



Inter-Fiorentina 2-1

FORM GUIDE



Inter



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

24/02 (Champions League): Inter-Manchester United 0-0



Fiorentina



08/03 (Serie A): Palermo-Fiorentina 0-2

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

26/02 (Uefa Cup): Ajax-Fiorentina 1-1

22/02 (Serie A): Fiorentina-Chievo 2-1

19/02 (Uefa Cup): Fiorentina-Ajax 0-1




TEAM NEWS



Inter



Some defensive problems for Mourinho as Nicolas Burdisso, Marco Materazzi, and Christian Chivu are all out injured.



Possible formation (4-3-1-2): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Samuel, Cordoba, Santon; Muntari, Cambiasso, Zanetti; Stankovic; Adriano, Ibrahimovic.



Fiorentina


Midfielder Mario Santana is out injured while defender Dario Dainelli is suspended.



Possible formation (4-3-1-2): Frey; Comotto, Gamberini, Kroldrup, Vargas; Kuzmanovic, Jorgensen, Montolivo; Felipe Melo; Gilardino, Mutu.




PLAYERS TO WATCH



Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter)



Against United he performed better than in previous do-or-die Champions League clashes, hitting the crossbar, setting up Dejan Stankovic alone in front of Edwin Van Der Sar, and missing a number of chances by a whisker. Still, in the end it was Cristiano Ronaldo who won the personal duel with the Swede, as he scored the Reds’ crucial second goal while Ibrahimovic once again failed to find the net in a knockout match. That shouldn’t take anything away from his impressive domestic season, which has seen him score 15 goals so far, making him a contender for the Capocannoniere title.



Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina)



After a few frustrating seasons at Milan, the 26-year-old striker seems reborn since joining Fiorentina last summer. With Mutu he forms an at-times deadly partnership, and so far he has scored an impressive 15 goals, just like ‘Ibra’. While he has been known to stutter on the biggest stage with both Milan and the Italian national team, and he sometimes misses chances that seem impossible to miss, if he keeps up this goalscoring rate it will be hard for Italy coach Marcello Lippi to ignore him.





PREDICTION



A hard-fought but convincing win for Inter.



Inter-Fiorentina 2-1

Thanks TO DANIEL POCCINI FROM GOAL.COM






3 komentar:

  1. english ente manteb juga cuy :p

    BalasHapus
  2. inter okeh!

    salam kenal yah! :)

    BalasHapus
  3. kwakakakka... suka juga yah ama milan??
    kayaknya banyak banget ne pecinta milan^^

    BalasHapus