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Serie A Week 28 - 16/3/08 (14.00 UK)
Inter - Palermo

Stadio Meazza

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Inter must knuckle down and focus on putting the Scudetto under lock and key after their Champions League elimination and Roberto Mancini’s shock quit announcement, but Palermo cannot afford to slip up either.

The Nerazzurri’s planned glorious centenary campaign seems to have hit a brick wall in the past few weeks, as their lead at the top of Serie A has been cut to six points, they were unable to overturn the 2-0 first leg deficit against Liverpool and Coach Mancini announced he was leaving at the end of the season. The advantage from Roma would have been smaller had it not been for the heroics of Julio Cesar and a controversial penalty against Reggina last week, but that 2-0 victory ended a run of two draws and a defeat at Napoli.

The injury problems are starting to take their toll with Olivier Dacourt, Walter Samuel, Ivan Cordoba, Cesar Aparecido and Maxwell sidelined. Marco Materazzi returns after missing the Liverpool game on a ban, so Cristian Chivu could move back to midfield or be rested entirely. Hernan Crespo was on the bench midweek, so ought to get his chance upfront with Luis Jimenez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

If the pressure is on Inter, then Palermo are feeling the heat too, as they have picked up one win in their last four and were extremely disappointed to manage only a 1-1 draw at the Barbera with Udinese. Their problems are upfront, where Amauri is struggling to carry the team on his shoulders. Edison Cavani has been preferred to Fabrizio Miccoli recently, though that could change if President Maurizio Zamparini can get his message across to Francesco Guidolin.

Federico Balzaretti returns from a ban to bolster the defence and Bosko Jankovic could be given his chance in attack after changing the game as a substitute when he came on against Udinese. Goalkeeper Alberto Fontana – who represented Inter for four seasons – celebrates his contract renewal until 2009.

The Sicilians will be boosted by last season’s 2-2 draw here, in which they were actually leading 2-0 before Julio Cruz and Adriano completed the comeback in the final 20 minutes. Other than that, their record against Inter is nothing to write home about, having lost 14 of the 20 trips to San Siro without a single victory.

Keep an eye on: Julio Cesar (Inter) – The goalkeeper has been exceptional of late and is single-handedly keeping Inter afloat with his saves, so he’ll have to be on form when faced with Amauri.

Last season: Inter 2-2 Palermo

Form guide: Inter (W D D L W) Palermo (W L W D D)

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Inter (probable): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi, Zanetti; Vieira, Cambiasso, Stankovic; Jimenez; Crespo, Ibrahimovic

Palermo (probable): Fontana; Rinaudo, Barzagli, Biava, Zaccardo; Guana, Migliaccio, Simplicio, Cassani; Amauri, Cavani

Ref: To follow...

channel4
 

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looking forward to a determined inter destroying the rest of the league after all that has happened this past month

NO MORE RED CARDS

Burdisso is not starting material either
 

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Must win seeing as Roma will rip apart a very mediocre Milan side on Saturday.

FORZA INTER !!! :fero:
 

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I want to see a strong team, Hopefully see Jimenez start, he hasn't played 90 minutes in a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
3/14/2008 6:03 PM
Serie A Preview: Inter Milan-Palermo
What: Serie A - Matchday 28
Who: Inter Milan (1st, 64 points) vs Palermo (8th, 36 points)
When: Sunday 16 March 2008 15:00 CET
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan

Critical Times For Inter

It’s been another troubled week at Inter, to say the least. After the unsurprising elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Liverpool, who held a 2-0 lead from the first leg at Anfield Road and won the return 1-0 (although it must be said Inter finished both games with ten men), coach Roberto Mancini made a shocking announcement.

“I’m leaving Inter and Italy at the end of the season, despite still having four years left on my contract,” he revealed. Asked whether this was because of the defeat to Liverpool, he answered: “No, it was a decision I had made beforehand.”

Many were skeptical about whether these statements reflected reality or if the coach was just looking for a way to express his disappointment. It turned out that the latter case was the truth. The next day, following some talks with president Massimo Moratti, Mancini took back what he said and stated his desire to stay on as Inter coach. He admitted that his ‘announcement’ was due to the disappointment of the Liverpool defeat.

All this has clearly left the team and the fans in disarray. Will Mancini really still be the coach next season? Are there internal problems between coach and players or, as has also been suggested, between the coach and the club doctors? Would it actually be better if someone else came in?

Certainly Mancini has given a sign of weakness and instability with this behaviour, and his credibility, as well as that of Inter’s club structure, has been tarnished. It remains to be seen what will happen in the remainder of this season. But the positive thing is Inter still have two important objectives to fight for: the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia.

Important Objectives Still Possible

Especially the league title is a must for Inter, who still hold a six point lead over Roma. Should they fail to win it, then Mancini would almost certainly have to leave the club. Considering also that Inter have profited from a number of dubious penalty decisions throughout the season, the backlash from the media and the fans would be overwhelming if they lose out in a title race where they were at one point 11 points ahead of Roma. Ironically, this was just before the first leg match against Liverpool, after which things started to go downhill.

This weekend could be an opportunity for the Nerazzurri to get a much-needed morale boost. Roma are hosting their arch-rivals Milan, who are in the hunt for a Champions League spot, while Inter are hosting inconsistent Palermo. But the match against the Rosanero is the first in a series of tricky games for the leaders, as they are also meeting the likes of Juventus, Fiorentina, and Lazio in the near future.

It’s clear that results in these next few games will be crucial in the title race. It’s here that Inter will need to show everyone they are still the best team in Italy. Despite their recent troubles, surely the worst must be over now and they are still the favorites to win the title, considering also Roma’s involvement in the Champions League. Now is the time for Mancini’s team to step up a gear and show why they have been the dominant side in Italian football these last few years.

Palermo Hoping In Uefa Cup Spot?

With 11 games to go before the end of the season, Francesco Guidolin’s Palermo can still aim for a place in next season’s Uefa Cup. They are only three points away from Sampdoria, who are currently in 7th place, but Guidolin prefers to be cautious and wisely urges his team to ensure their Serie A survival first.

However, Palermo certainly are good enough to aim for more than just that. At various stages during the season, especially after a defeat, the coach has said the fans should not expect to see the team reach the same objectives as it had in previous seasons. But perhaps he over-reacted, as for all their inconsistency, they are still only a handful of points away from a European spot.

The Rosanero are the kind of team who can win against practically anyone on a good day, but also lose to anyone on a bad day. They beat Milan and Fiorentina at home, but also lost to the likes of Siena, Empoli, and went down 5-0 away to Juventus. That’s just to indicate that just about anything’s possible when Palermo are involved.

Considering Inter’s current form, Guidolin’s side are certainly capable of springing a surprise at San Siro. They will go there with nothing to lose (it’s a cliché, but it’s true) and the pressure will be all on Inter.

FORM GUIDE

Inter Milan

11/03 (Champions League): Inter-Liverpool 0-1

08/03 (Serie A): Inter Milan-Reggina 2-0

02/03 (Serie A): Napoli-Inter Milan 1-0

27/02 (Serie A): Inter Milan-Roma 1-1

24/02 (Serie A): Sampdoria-Inter Milan 1-1

Palermo

08/03 (Serie A): Palermo-Udinese 1-1

02/03 (Serie A): Reggina-Palermo 0-0

27/02 (Serie A): Palermo-Empoli 2-0

24/02 (Serie A): Milan-Palermo 2-1

17/02 (Serie A): Palermo-Cagliari 2-1

09/02 (Serie A): Roma-Reggina 2-0

TEAM NEWS

Inter Milan

Olivier Dacourt, Walter Samuel, Ivan Cordoba, Aparecido Cesar, and Maxwell are all out injured.

Possible formation (4-3-1-2): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Rivas, Materazzi, Chivu; Vieira, Cambiasso, Zanetti; Jimenez; Ibrahimovic, Crespo.

Palermo

Ciro Capuano is the only unavailable player due to injury.

Possible formation (3-5-2): Fontana; Biava, Rinaudo, Barzagli; Zaccardo, Guana, Migliaccio, Simplicio, Balzaretti; Miccoli, Amauri.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan)

Unfortunately he was not able to shake off the reputation of a player who lacks nerves of steel on the biggest stage during the recent games against Liverpool. However, in Serie A he has proved unstoppable, scoring 15 goals so far, which makes him the third best scorer in the Italian league (behind Marco Borriello and David Trezeguet). Many of these goals were penalty kicks, his last goal from open play coming in injury time of the match against Parma on 20 January. Against Palermo, he’ll hope to lead Inter to a much-needed victory, preferrably without the help of the usual dubious penalty.

Amauri (Palermo)

The 27-year-old Brazilian is surely one of the most skilled strikers around in Serie A, and he’s even been compared to Didier Drogba in some quarters. According to rumors, Milan are very keen to sign him for next season, and with a legion of Brazilians already present at Milanello, he would probably fit in very well. With 9 goals scored already, he looks set to break his goalscoring record of 11 goals in a single season which he established during his time at Chievo.

PREDICTION

Inter will be motivated to put in a strong performance in this one, and I think Palermo will suffer from the backlash of the Nerazzurri’s defeat against Liverpool.

Inter-Palermo 2-1

Danilo Pochini

goal.com
 

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Mourinho & Cassano!!
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Boy I wonder everytime I watch a Roma game or Lazio game HOW THE F DO YOU SEE ANYTHING FROM THE STANDS???
 

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I said earlier I was rooting on Roma but now I changed my mind cuz Mancio is going to make this Serie A f-in close.
 

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Gattuso got f'ed up in the first minutes...what a clown
 

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LOL Seedorf had the worst cross ever after a brilliant move into the box...

And then Pato singlehandly wins a corner with 5 Roma players around him and with not a single Milan player in the screen other than him :eek:
 

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Kaka goes down...FK from 34 m

It was indirect so passed to Seedorf who dribbles and shoots, but deflected out for GK
 

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Long ball to Pato, too long
Long ball to Manicni, too long
 

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Milan are passing the ball around very well, until the whole sequence was ruined by a Favalli cross that he bulleted into the chest of a forward five yards from him lol
 

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Pato got tackled in the box- too close to see if it was a PK but looked clean
 

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Panucci have some respect for the 17 year old kid :nono:
 

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Okay no one is here watching with me so I will quit discussion commentary for this game. Adios
 

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me... watching Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid ;)

0-0 atm

go Depor !
 

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I am watching the very exciting Milan-Roma match
Hoping Milan will win! but Roma have been the better team

overall, both teams are not playing all that great, the keepers have been bad, and neither team has finished any of their great chances they have had

The passing has been beautiful though!

FOrza Inter, LUIGI FIGO~Ibracadabra!
 

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NO MAN

Let Milan win

They won't win any other games, they only SHOW UP for big games, remember, that is their Serie A mojo
 
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