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Serie A

  • January 6, 2013
  • • 11:30
  • • Stadio Communale Friuli, Udine
  • Referee: A. Giannoccaro
  • • Attendance: 17000
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Udinese - Inter Preview: Nerazzurri look to reap Friuli fruits

Udinese - Inter Preview: Nerazzurri look to reap Friuli fruits

AFP

After an inconsistent end to 2012, Andrea Stramaccioni's side will hope to return refreshed from their two-week winter break and start the new year in impressive fashion

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

UDINESE

Juventus
Brkic
Angella, Danilo, Domizzi
Basta, Merkel, Allan, Lazzari, Pasquale
Pereyra
Di Natale
INTER


 Handanovic
Samuel
, Chivu, Juan Jesus
Zanetti, Guarin, Gargano, C'biasso, Pereira
Milito, Cassano

For all the exchanging of gifts over the festive period, the only present of concern to Andrea Stramaccioni on Sunday will be three morale-boosting points.

The Nerazzurri ended 2012 in disappointing fashion; defeat to Lazio was remedied with a 2-0 win over Verona in the Coppa Italia, but a 1-1 draw at home to Genoa was a far from ideal way to head into the two-week break.

The impending departure of midfielder Wesley Sneijder has dominated much of the fortnight ceasefire and though his absence at the weekend will be entirely down to off the field issues, injuries to Dejan Stankovic, Joel Obi, Luca Castellazzi, Yuto Nagatomo, Coutinho and Ricky Alvarez, amounts to a lengthy injury list.

Udinese sit in 10th position heading into the encounter - 11 points adrift of their visitors - and will be without Willian, Paulo Barreto, Mehdi Benatia and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • It has been a case of win or bust for Inter on the road so far this season. Of their nine away trips, six have ended in victory while the other three have resulted in defeat.
  • Argentina international Diego Milito hit the back of the net eight times prior to the winter break and will be hoping to continue that goalscoring form on Sunday.
  • Andrea Stramaccioni's men have 30 goals to their name in Serie A so far this season - the sixth best total in the division.
  • Developing a ruthless streak at home may well have been Udinese's number one New Year's resolution - four of their eight games have ended in draws.
  • He may be 35 years old but there are still few defences capable of stopping Antonio Di Natale. He has 10 Serie A goals already.
  • The Zebrette finished in an impressive third place last season and will hope their current occupation of 10th spot is a temporary stay.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Zeljko BrkicGoalkeeper
5DaniloDefender
-Dušan BastaDefender
11Maurizio DomizziDefender
26Giovanni PasqualeDefender
75Thomas HeurtauxDefender
3AllanMidfielder
21Andrea LazzariMidfielder
-Roberto PereyraMidfielder
10Antonio Di NataleStriker
9MurielStriker
30Daniele PadelliGoalkeeper
-Wojciech PawlowskiGoalkeeper
-Gabriele AngellaDefender
16Andrea CodaDefender
6Marco FaraoniDefender
34Gabriel SilvaDefender
8WilliansMidfielder
94Piotr ZielinskiMidfielder
-Alexander MerkelMidfielder
10Paulo Vitor BarretoStriker
-Mathias RanégieStriker
-MaicosuelMidfielder
1Samir HandanoviçGoalkeeper
4Javier ZanettiDefender
-Walter SamuelDefender
11Á. PereiraDefender
5Juan JesusDefender
2JonathanDefender
13Fredy GuarínMidfielder
5Esteban CambiassoMidfielder
23Walter GarganoMidfielder
8Rodrigo PalacioStriker
99Antonio CassanoStriker
-Vid BelecGoalkeeper
-Raffaele Di GennaroGoalkeeper
-Matías SilvestreDefender
33Ibrahima MbayeDefender
17McDonald MarigaMidfielder
-Marco BenassiMidfielder
-Joseph DuncanMidfielder
-Daniel BessaMidfielder
9Tommaso RocchiStriker
-Marko LivajaStriker
Players to Watch
Antonio Di Natale
Antonio Di Natale
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
2 2 0 0
While some players drift into obscurity in their mid-30s, the veteran striker appears to have blossomed with age. 10 Serie A goals make him Serie A's joint-third top scorer and Udinese's danger man on Sunday.
Diego Milito
Diego Milito
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 22
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Two years Antonio Di Natale's junior, the Inter striker has also shown age is no barrier with a further eight Serie A strikes to his prolific tally at San Siro. Having said that, he will hope to improve on a run of just one goal in his last seven league games.
Prediction
It will be a case of rusty or refreshed for the two sides on the back of the two-week winter break, but though Inter ended 2012 in unconvincing fashion, they will do just enough to scrape a first victory of 2013 at Stadio Friuli.
Editor's Prediction
Inter 2

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