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February 19, 2011 7:45 PM GMT
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza — Milano
Referee:‬ D. Celi‎
Attendance:‬ 57000‎

Serie A Preview: Inter – Cagliari

The Nerazzurri are back on track in the Scudetto race and will aspire for maximum points against Cagliari...

By Subhankar Mondal

Alberto Aquilani (J), Javier Zanetti (I), Milos Krasic (J) - Juventus-Inter - Serie A (Getty Images)

Back Up And Running

Last weekend's Derby d'Italia defeat to Juventus in Turin appeared to have caused a dent in Inter's Scudetto aspirations. However, the Italian and European champions had a game in hand and they won that in Florence in midweek.

Wednesday evening's 2-1 victory over Fiorentina has placed Leonardo's side in third place in the Serie A standings with 47 points from 25 matches, just five behind league leaders and city-rivals Milan.

Under Leonardo in 2011, Inter have lost just two competitive matches and have drawn none. Momentum is firmly on the Beneamata's side, who will be confident of defeat Cagliari at home.

Pushing For Europe

Cagliari commenced the 2010-11 campaign as an also-ran in Serie A and struggled in the bottom half of the table for much of the season. However, the Sardinians have improved encouragingly since January and are actually in with a chance of a top-six finish.

Last weekend's 4-1 demolition of Chievo in Sardinia placed Cagliari ninth in the league table with 35 points from 25 matches, just six points off a Europa League slot. It is not realistic for the Isolani to qualify for Europe next term especially as the teams above them are stronger.

Cagliari will also have revenge on their mind as in the reverse fixture earlier this season Roberto Donadoni's side lost 1-0 to Inter at home. However, the Rossoblu have a modest record on the road as they have won just three league games away from home this season.



Lucio, Samuel and Milito are out injured for the Nerazzurri. Chivu is suspended.


There are no injury or suspension worries for the Sardinians.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
30Julio CésarGoalkeeper
55Yuto NagatomoDefender
-Iván Ramiro CórdobaDefender
23Andrea RanocchiaDefender
4Javier ZanettiDefender
8Thiago MottaMidfielder
-Houssine KharjaMidfielder
19Goran PandevStriker
11Giampaolo PazziniStriker
29Samuel Eto'oStriker
12Luca CastellazziGoalkeeper
23Marco MaterazziDefender
19Esteban CambiassoMidfielder
77McDonald MarigaMidfielder
10Dejan StankovicMidfielder
20Joel ObiMidfielder
-Michael AgazziGoalkeeper
33Alessandro AgostiniDefender
13Davide AstoriDefender
-Michele CaniniDefender
14Francesco PisanoDefender
21Andrea LazzariMidfielder
5Daniele ContiMidfielder
-Davide BiondiniMidfielder
7Andrea CossuMidfielder
12Robert AcquafrescaStriker
22Ivan PelizzoliGoalkeeper
24Gabriele PericoDefender
-Lorenzo AriaudoDefender
-Simon LanerMidfielder
7Simone MissiroliMidfielder
23Radja NainggolanMidfielder
-Daniele RagatzuStriker
Players to Watch
Giampaolo Pazzini
Giampaolo Pazzini
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
13 1 1 0

Giampaolo Pazzini was on target again in midweek and his second-half goal saw Inter defeat Fiorentina 2-1. The Italy international striker has been a hit for the Nerazzurri since joining them in January and will be a major threat against Cagliari at San Siro as he will be keen to add to his tally and continue his good run of form.

Andrea Cossu
Andrea Cossu
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
26 0 6 0

Andrea Cossu was crucial in Cagliari crushing Chievo 4-1 last weekend and the playmaker will be important against Inter in Milan. Leonardo's side have continued to concede goals and Cossu will have to take advantage of this by creating chances for his team's strikers.

Probable Lineups
Julio César 30
Yuto Nagatomo 55
Iván Ramiro Córdoba 0
Andrea Ranocchia 23
Maicon 13
Javier Zanetti 4
Thiago Motta 8
Houssine Kharja 0
Goran Pandev 19
Giampaolo Pazzini 11
Samuel Eto'o 29
Michael Agazzi 0
Alessandro Agostini 33
Davide Astori 13
Michele Canini 0
Francesco Pisano 14
Andrea Lazzari 21
Daniele Conti 5
Davide Biondini 0
Andrea Cossu 7
Nenê 18
Robert Acquafresca 12

Inter returned to winning ways in midweek and will be too big a match for Cagliari. A comfortable victory for the Beneamata seems a logical result.

Think you know the score? Visit William Hill to bet on this match now.

Editor's Prediction
Inter 2
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
19 0
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
17 5
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Hellas Verona
17 2
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
15 0