Palermo-Inter Preview: Nerazzurri travel to Sicily hoping to revive top-three challenge

The Milan-based club are aiming to get their European qualification hopes back on track with a win over their relegation-threatened opponents on Sunday afternoon

A 1-0 victory over Parma last weekend allowed Inter to move above Rome into fifth place in Serie A and kickstart their challenge for a Champions League qualification place. Palermo, meanwhile, drew 1-1 away to Catania which means they sit in the relegation zone in 18th, with just five league matches left to play.

Despite that victory, the pressure continues to mount on Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni, with his team having endured a poor run of form in recent months. They currently sit five points off fourth-placed Fiorentina.

Tommaso Rocchi is expected to continue up front for the Nerazzurri after scoring the vital late goal that sealed their victory last week, while Samir Handanovic will start in goal despite rumours this week linking him with a move to Barcelona.

The San Siro side have a huge injury list to contend with ahead of their match against an in-form Palermo, with a number of first-team players still on the sidelines. Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito, Rodrigo Palacio, Esteban Cambiasso and Walter Gargano are all still out.

Josip Ilicic netted Palermo's 95th minute equaliser against Catania in their last league game, and should retain his place in attack for the hosts.

The Sicilians are without the suspended Andrea Dossena, but are otherwise largely at full strength as they seek to clamber out of the relegation places.

  • Stramaccioni (pictured right) has won just five of hist last 17 Serie A matches as Inter coach.
  • Palermo have fared no better during that time, with Giuseppe Sannino's team winning only three of their last 20 league games.
  • However the hosts' hopes of avoiding relegation into Serie B have been boosted by their very recent form - they have won two and drawn two of their last four games.
  • Inter have lost just once in their past 15 encounters against Palermo in all competitions.
  • The visitors' three top scorers in the league - Cassano, Palacio and  Milito - are all unavailable through injury.
  • Palermo have won just four times at home all season.