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Serie A

  • February 16, 2011
  • • 17:30
  • • Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze
  • Referee: A. Damato
  • • Attendance: 31595
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Serie A Preview: Fiorentina - Inter

Serie A Preview: Fiorentina - Inter

The Nerazzurri will hope to recover from their defeat to Juventus in the Derby d'Italia at the weekend...

Brimming With Confidence

Fiorentina's 4-2 defeat of Palermo in Sicily at the weekend was the Viola's first away win of the season in the league. In what was one of the most exciting games in the Italian top flight, Sinisa Mihajlovic's side displayed a refreshing performance and further increased the distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

At the moment the Florence-based side are 10th in the league standings with 32 points from 24 matches, and are a massive ten points above the dropzone. Fiorentina have collected seven points from a possible nine in their last three fixtures and are unbeaten at home since the first week of October.

Coach Mihajlovic is looking forward to today's match and is hopeful of a victory and said on Tuesday, “Tomorrow is a very important match against a great team that can give us a sense of consistency in our results.

"Winning would be wonderful and I hope to prepare for it well, but will try to stay out of the emotional sphere surrounding this fixture for me. I am concentrated and calm, so I hope the lads are too.”

“I know Inter well,” he continued. “We must stop them playing to their best, especially those three up front. Wesley Sneijder, Samuel Eto’o and Giampaolo Pazzini are very dangerous, as are those less visible talents.

“We’ve got to learn to watch our opponents when defending and not just the ball. Eto’o and Sneijder pass it quickly and then continue their runs, so we can’t follow the ball. The same is true of crosses for Pazzini.”

Getting Back On Track

Juventus always tend to lift themselves for the Derby d'Italia and the Bianconeri did exactly that on Sunday evening as they defeated Inter 1-0 in Turin to refurbish their top-four chances and dealt a blow to the Nerazzurri's title hopes.

The defeat left Leonardo's side eight points behind league leaders Milan in the Serie A table with 44 points from 24 matches. Inter have played a game fewer than the Rossoneri but that match is today against Fiorentina; originally slated for December but rescheduled because of the Italian and European champions' Club World Cup commitment, the encounter in Florence could prove to be decisive in the title race.

Leonardo knows the significance of today's match but is insistent that the Beneamata are not out of the title race and said on Tuesday, "Everything is still open, no-one can claim to have won. We're playing well and we're the best team in the world. I can't get involved in these dramas, either accept me as I am or leave me alone.

"Often people exaggerate, I'm asking for a bit of coherence. I defend the team, talking about me won't change much. It makes me angry to hear people talk about this team as they have been, there's no [Diego] Milito issue or Eto'o issue or an issue with anyone, I can't accept this.

"I don't intend to hide a problem, we struggled also against Palermo but look at the numbers. I would sign on the dotted line for seven wins in our next nine matches, I'd like to see where we will be and where the others will be."


TEAM NEWS

Fiorentina

Vargas, Kroldrup, Jovetic and Frey are injured for the Viola.

Inter

Thiago Motta is suspended and so is Chivu. Lucio, Samuel and Milito are injured.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
31Artur BorucGoalkeeper
23Manuel PasqualDefender
-Michele CamporeseDefender
5Alessandro GamberiniDefender
25Gianluca ComottoDefender
85Valon BehramiMidfielder
4Marco DonadelMidfielder
18Riccardo MontolivoMidfielder
-Adrian MutuStriker
82Alberto GilardinoStriker
17Mario SantanaMidfielder
1Neto Goalkeeper
14Cesare NataliDefender
9Khouma BabacarStriker
10Gaetano D'AgostinoMidfielder
8Adem LjajicStriker
-Marco MarchionniMidfielder
29Lorenzo De SilvestriDefender
1Julio CésarGoalkeeper
55Yuto NagatomoDefender
-Iván Ramiro CórdobaDefender
23Andrea RanocchiaDefender
13MaiconDefender
10Dejan StankovicMidfielder
5Esteban CambiassoMidfielder
4Javier ZanettiDefender
10Wesley SneijderMidfielder
9Samuel Eto'oStriker
11Giampaolo PazziniStriker
-Luca CastellazziGoalkeeper
17McDonald MarigaMidfielder
-Houssine KharjaMidfielder
23Marco MaterazziDefender
20J. ObiMidfielder
10CoutinhoMidfielder
27Goran PandevStriker
Players to Watch
Alberto Gilardino
Alberto Gilardino
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 82
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

Alberto Gilardino will be the main striker for Fiorentina against Inter and the veteran Italian will be buoyant to make his mark. Gilardino will be deployed as the main targetman and having scored at the weekend he will be keen to find the target again.

Wesley Sneijder
Wesley Sneijder
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

Wesley Sneijder's return to the midfield from injury has given Inter's Scudetto title hopes a lift and the Netherlands international will have to turn on the style and raise his game today in Florence. Sneijder is the link between the midfield and the attack and the former Real Madrid attacking midfielder will be crucial in setting up his side's chances.

Prediction

Fiorentina won at the weekend and will be keen to follow that up with a victory at home. Inter lost at the weekend and need maximum points to bounce back. It will be a close encounter and one suspects that the Nerazzurri will eventually win it.

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

Editor's Prediction
Inter 2

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