Pescara - Inter Preview: Nerazzurri open campaign against newly-promoted Delfini
Andrea Stramaccioni begins his first full season in charge with a tricky trip to the Adriatico to take on a side that are back in the top flight after a 19-year absence
By Mark Doyle
Zanon, Romagnoli, Capuano, Balzano
Nielsen, Colucci, Cascione
Weiss, Abbruscato, Caprari
Zanetti, Silvestre, Ranocchia, Nagatomo
Guarin, Cambiasso, Mudingayi
Antonio Cassano is poised to make his Inter debut in his new club’s Serie A opener against Pescara on Sunday evening.
The Italy international completed a surprise cross-town switch from AC Milan earlier this week as part of a swap deal that saw Giampaolo Pazzini move in the opposite direction and, with Rodrigo Palacio suspended, the Barese is expected to play alongside Diego Milito in attack, with Wesley Sneijder tucked in behind the front two.
Gaby Mudingayi picked up a knock in Thursday night's Europa League win over Vaslui but it is not thought that the injury will prevent the midfielder from making his first Serie A appearance for the Nerazzurri following his summer move from Bologna.
Another summer signing, Matias Silvestre, formerly of Palermo, is expected to line up alongside Andrea Ranocchia at the heart of the Inter defence, but Uruguay midfielder Walter Gargano, who has been prised away from Napoli, is likely to have to make do with a seat on the bench. Wing-back Alvaro Pereira is unavailable for selection, with his move from Porto not having been completed in time.
With Julio Cesar on the verge of joining QPR, Luca Castellazzi will deputise for injured goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, who arrived from Udinese during the off-season. Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu, Ricky Alvarez and Dejan Stankovic have also been ruled out of the clash against the Delfini.
Speaking of the hosts, new coach Giovanni Stroppa, who has succeeded Zdenek Zeman at the helm, is to field new arrivals Gianluca Caprari, Elvis Abbruscato and Vladimir Weiss in a three-man attack, with fellow debutant Giuseppe Colucci likely to line up in the middle of the park.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Pescara finished level on points with Torino in Serie B last season but were crowned champions because of their superior head-to-head record, losing 4-2 in Turin but winning 2-0 at the Adriatico.
- Nerazzurri captain Javier Zanetti made his 800th appearance for the club in all competitions in Thursday night's Europa League win over Vaslui.
- Inter failed to pick up silverware last season for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.
- Pescara conceded more goals than every other side that finished in the top six in Serie B last season, 55, nearly twice as many as second-placed Torino, 28.
- The Delfini, though, scored a staggering 90 goals, 27 more than the next most prolific side, Reggina, who netted 63 times.
- However, star striking duo Ciro Immobile (28 goals) has joined Genoa, Lorenzo Insigne (18 goals) has returned to Napoli, while veteran forward Marco Sansovini (16 goals) has moved on to Spezia.
- Antonio Cassano netted seven times in 33 Serie A appearances for Milan, after joining from Sampdoria during the 2011 January transfer window.
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Top 3 Predictions
Pescara 0-3 FC Internazionale
- 26.03 %
Pescara 0-2 FC Internazionale
- 16.65 %
Pescara 1-3 FC Internazionale
- 8.91 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 12, 2013||FC Internazionale 2 - Pescara 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Aug 26, 2012||Pescara 0 - FC Internazionale 3|
|Apr 17, 2014||Ternana 1 - Pescara 0||ITA2|
|Apr 12, 2014||Pescara 1 - Cittadella 1||ITA2|
|Apr 5, 2014||Brescia 3 - Pescara 0||ITA2|
|Mar 29, 2014||Pescara 2 - Reggina 2||ITA2|
|Mar 25, 2014||Latina 0 - Pescara 2||ITA2|
Pescara return to the top flight as champions of Serie B but they do so without the man who masterminded their promotion, Zdenek Zeman, who departed for Roma, and a plethora of key players, including principal playmaker Marco Verratti. Consequently, while they are likely to prove stiff opposition to overcome, not least because of home advantage, expect an Inter side that appears to be taking shape under Stramaccioni to eek out a narrow win.