Inter-Livorno Preview: Zanetti in line for return as Nerazzurri seek just fourth win in eight
The Argentine veteran is vying for a place in the side after recovering from an Achilles injury as Walter Mazzarri's men look to narrow the gap to the top three
By Jack Davies
Walter Mazzarri's men sit fourth, six points adrift of Napoli and Juventus in second and third respectively, having only manahed two victories in their last six outings, including last week's 3-0 triumph over Udinese.
However, history suggests the hosts can be confident of picking up all three points this weekend, having won nine of the previous 11 meetings between the sides, scoring 24 goals compared to Livorno's four.
Visiting coach Davide Nicola has been under pressure in recent weeks after the club went on a winless streak of seven matches, which included four straight defeats.
But that run was broken last time out with a 1-0 victory over 10-man Atalanta, courtesy of Paulinho's early strike, and Nicola will be keen to build on that triumph, with his side occupying 14th spot.
Inter recorded a comprehensive 3-0 win in Udine their last match but goalkeeper Samir Handanovic knows they can take nothing for granted against Livorno.
"We have to forget about the Udinese match and focus on the next one against Livorno, a dangerous team," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"This season is an interesting one with a lot of balance at both ends of the table.
"Is our schedule is getting easier? It depends on how you face the matches.
"And in football you never know, since games can be decided by individual incidents.
"What we need to do is keep up this attitude."
Inter will be boosted by the return of the experienced Javier Zanetti, who is back from an Achilles injury that has kept him out since April, though he was on the bench for the Udinese match.
"On Saturday we face Livorno and I hope there can be the opportunity for me to play a few minutes. We'll see," he told Radio RTL.
Hugo Campagnaro (muscle strain), Diego Milito (thigh), McDonald Mariga (knee) and Cristian Chivu (foot) remain doubtful for the hosts, while Mauro Icardi is expected to be out for a month after a hernia operation.
Livorno, meanwhile, could be without Luca Belingheri (calf) again, while Marco Biagianti is a doubt after missing the win over Atalanta with a muscular problem.
Top 3 Predictions
Inter 3-0 Livorno
- 27.12 %
Inter 4-0 Livorno
- 19.82 %
Inter 2-0 Livorno
- 11.03 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||10-Nov-2013||Inter 2 - Livorno 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||25-Mar-2010||Inter 3 - Livorno 0|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||17-Dec-2009||Inter 1 - Livorno 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||01-Nov-2009||Livorno 0 - Inter 2|
|09-Mar-2014||Inter 1 - Torino 0||SR-A|
|02-Mar-2014||AS Roma 0 - Inter 0||SR-A|
|23-Feb-2014||Inter 1 - Cagliari 1||SR-A|
|16-Feb-2014||Fiorentina 1 - Inter 2||SR-A|
|10-Feb-2014||Inter 1 - Sassuolo 0||SR-A|
|-||George Alexandru Puşcaş||Striker|