The Nerazzurri are back in full throttle for the Scudetto and will hope to defeat Sampdoria in Genoa...
Sampdoria’s 2010-11 campaign is as good as over. The Blucerchiati are currently stationed in the bottom half of the table with 31 points from 26 matches; with eight points the difference between them and the relegation zone and 11 points the gulf between them and a place in Europe, Samp are now part of the also-ran contingent.
Last weekend Domenico Di Carlo’s side were involved in a goalless draw with Fiorentina in Florence and prior to that they had lost the Derby della Lanterna to Genoa 1-0. Sampdoria have been in mixed and inconsistent form in the new year, and with hopes of European qualification having long withered, they are destined to finish in mid-table.
Sampdoria, though, have a strong record at home as they have lost just three of the 13 league encounters in front of their own supporters this campaign. Samp will also be encouraged by the fact that in the reverse fixture in October they held Inter to a 1-1 draw in Milan.
Returning To Winning Ways
With Inter’s European campaign having been almost deflated beyond repair, the Nerazzurri will turn their attention back onto to the league action. Midweek’s 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich at San Siro in the first-leg of their last 16 clash in the Champions League means that they are one foot into the waters, with hopes of a treble evaporating fast.
In Serie A, though, Leonardo’s side are going strong and having recovered from a disaster-sewn Rafael Benitez tenure, the Beneamata are in realistic chance of successfully retaining the Scudetto. Last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Cagliari placed them third in the table on 50 points, two points behind Napoli, who are second, and five behind leaders Milan.
The encounter against Sampdoria in Genoa on Sunday evening will also mark the return of striker Giampaolo Pazzini to the club he left in January to join the defending Italian and European champions.
The Italy international forward has been in good form for Inter in 2011 and ahead of the clash enthused on Thursday: "It will be a particularly tough game for me. I had two great years in Genoa. The emotion will be high when I arrive at the ground, let alone get on the pitch.”
Semioli, Pozzi and Tissone are injured for Sampdoria and will miss the visit of Inter.
Samuel, Milito, Cordoba, Thiago Motta, Cambiasso and Ranocchia are injured and are set to miss the trip to Genoa. Maicon is suspended.