Sampdoria v Inter preview
Tomorrow is an important day for Inter as AC Milan and Napoli, the two teams above them play each other so it’s a fantastic opportunity for Inter to close in on Milan and even move up to second place if the result falls in our favour. Ideally we could do with that ending up a draw for us to get the most benefit. That being said we need to take all 3 points from our game against Sampdoria to take full advantage.
Goalkeepers: 1 Julio Cesar, 12 Luca Castellazzi, 21 Paolo Orlandoni;
Defenders: 4 Javier Zanetti, 6 Lucio, 15 Andrea Ranocchia, 23 Marco Materazzi, 26 Cristian Chivu, 55 Yuto Nagatomo, 57 Felice Natalino;
Midfielders: 5 Dejan Stankovic, 8 Thiago Motta, 10 Wesley Sneijder, 14 Houssine Kharja, 17 MacDonald Mariga, 20 Joel Obi, 29 Philippe Coutinho, 56 Sebastian Carlsen;
Forwards: 7 Giampaolo Pazzini, 9 Samuel Eto’o, 27 Goran Pandev, 31 Denis Alibec.
The three Primavera players are currently involved in the 63rd edition of the Viareggio Cup, World Football Tournament, Coppa Carnevale, and will travel from Viareggio to join the first team tomorrow.
Leonardo’s pre match press conference
In his press conference Leonardo answered the press’s questions on subjects from the mid week defeat to whether the Milan v Napoli game is critical, the seasons injury crisis and Pazzini’s return to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Nerazzurri colours.
Week 27 of Serie A is played this weekend and Leonardo can see the season’s finale taking shape: “The next few games, the next three or four, will be very important as they’ll give us a better idea of which teams are really in the race for the Scudetto, although this year I think things will go on as they are until the end. It will go down to the wire. AC Milan v Napoli? I don’t think one match can change the outcome of this competition, even if it ends in a draw.”
“We lost a game against Bayern Munich but that doesn’t mean we have to start over; just continue what we’ve been doing. It’s important that we stay focused on our targets and don’t lose sight of our league target; that mustn’t change.” That is what Leonardo demands of his players ahead of Sampdoria v Inter – “a game that won’t be easy” according to the Nerazzurri coach, “both for the atmosphere and the ground we’ll be playing at. Sampdoria have lost some important players and a lot has changed for them – different individuals, a different playing system – but one thing they haven’t lost is the spirit that helped them qualify for the Champions League.”
Tomorrow, wearing the black and blue of Inter, Giampaolo Pazzini will return to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris: “He’s settled in here very quickly, in footballing terms and on a personal level with the others, and I think that’s been a big help for him. Pazzini was a big part of Sampdoria. Tomorrow he’ll go back to that stadium and it will be an emotional experience for him, but I think the lad knows how to make sure it doesn’t get the better of him; he’ll be able to give 100% for his current team.”
Inter will be making the trip to Genoa without Esteban Cambiasso: “He’s going to need a bit longer but Thiago Motta, Andrea Ranocchia and Ivan Cordoba are all close to a return and might even be available for tomorrow’s game.” And on the subject of injuries, Leonardo was quite clear: “It’s a long story and I have no intention whatsoever of going into who is right and who is wrong. All I will say is that lots of things have happened this season. It’s been a troubled year, but that happens to many teams. When the season runs perfectly, without injuries or other problems, you can achieve great things. When you do get problems you try to manage them the best you can. I don’t want to talk about the past but I think it’s a combination of many different factors. One thing is for sure: since 29 December, my first day at the club, the players have had to go through a lot. I don’t know if it’s a question of how you prepare them but I do know that immense demands have been put on all the players.”
“The hardest part was when I arrived,” replied Leonardo when asked whether this was the most difficult period for him since he took over, “because in January I still had to come to terms with everything – the club, the team and so on.”
The coach also fielded questions about Julio Cesar (“his way of dealing with problems is to take all the blame, but he has been the team’s saviour on many occasions in many games”), Goran Pandev (“he’ll find his best form again”) and Coutinho (“he’s a true talent who will blossom”).
Finally, Leonardo commented on a disastrous few weeks for Italian sides in Europe, which has had newspapers preaching doom and gloom and talking about the loss of a European place for Italy in future seasons, without considering the fact that the second legs are still to be played: “I think Inter, AC Milan and Roma will all reach the next round.”
Sampdoria Coach Domenico Di Carlo: I Hope Giampaolo Pazzini Doesn’t Score Against Us
Sampdoria coach Domenico Di Carlo believes his side will be fully motivated for the Sunday evening clash with Inter, as striker Giampaolo Pazzini takes on his former club for the first time since his winter move to San Siro.
“We are playing against the world champions, it is the maximum stimulus,” Di Carlo explained during a press conference.
“We have to find continuity. It will not be easy, but the team is trying to resolve the negative situation as soon as possible and achieve safety [from relegation].”
Regarding Pazzini’s return to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Di Carlo only hopes that the Italian international will not be at his best.
“To score, I hope he waits for next week,” joked the 46-year-old tactician.
Pazzini, with four goals in six appearances at Inter, has already revealed he would not celebrate if he were to score against the Blucerchiati.
Sampdoria currently reside in 14th place in the Serie A standings, eight points above the relegation zone, but have only won once in their last eight attempts.
Judging by the press conference by Sampdoria Coach Domenico Di Carlo it shows they are really worried about the threat of Pazzini, and so they should but then of course there’s Eto’o, Sneijder and a host of other threats in our team, plus given the fact they’ve won only once in eight games this should be a walk over for the Nerazzurri, so my prediction for tomorrow night is Sampdoria 1 – 2 Inter with Pazzini & Eto’o scoring our goals.
– Posted by The Nerazzurri Outlaw