The Coppa Italia semi final 1st leg against Roma is tonight and the reality of the situation is that this is Inter’s last chance of silverware this season (Not including the Supercup & World cup) unless a miracle occurs in the Scudetto. So what are our chances of beating Roma across the two legs? Well we’ve been really out of form since our defeat in the derby which isn’t being helped by the fact Leonardo doesn’t see anything wrong with how his tactics are affecting the team, there are rumours going around that tonight is Leo’s last chance and Baresi is waiting to take over until the end of the season if he does get the boot, but i’m not going to go on about Leo anymore as i don’t like to be negative about anything to do with my beloved Inter. The important thing is that Inter perform without dwelling on recent bad results and Roma have had a bad season too sitting down in 6th just 1 point above Juve, so on that Inter hasn’t had that bad a season really! It also means we have got a very good chance of knocking them out of the cup, especially as we have got Maicon back in the squad the bad news though is that Eto’o is out for tonights match with a foot injury, hopefully though this will give Milito & Pazzini a chance to get the goals and be Nerazzurri’s heroes tonight.
Leonardo has called up 22 Nerazzurri for Roma v Inter, semi-final first leg of the Coppa Italia 2010/11 scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday 19 April, at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome (kick-off 20:45 and live on Rai Uno).
1 Julio Cesar, 12 Luca Castellazzi, 21 Paolo Orlandoni;
4 Javier Zanetti, 6 Lucio, 13 Maicon, 15 Andrea Ranocchia, 23 Marco Materazzi, 26 Cristian Chivu, 37 Marco Davide Faraoni, 55 Yuto Nagatomo;
5 Dejan Stankovic, 8 Thiago Motta, 10 Wesley Sneijder, 14 Houssine Kharja, 17 MacDonald Mariga, 19 Esteban Cambiasso, 20 Joel Obi, 29 Philippe Coutinho;
7 Giampaolo Pazzini, 22 Diego Milito, 27 Goran Pandev.
At the time of writing this there is no press conference interviews published on Inter’s website so i can’t put them on here yet, but as soon as they appear i shall include them on here. Until then you’ll have to make do with an Interview with Dejan Stankovic.
Dejan Stankovic was interviewed for Inter Channel’s Zona Mista programme. You can read his words here on inter.it.
Dejan, you’ve been through some good and some bad times with Inter, and this is one of those moments when the ball doesn’t seem to be running for you. Do you think that some of it is just down to chance?
“Yes, there is an element of bad luck in the negative period we’ve been through in the last two weeks. We can’t deny that it’s a difficult moment but we have plenty of experience; this group of players has seen a lot, both wonderful moments and very difficult moments, and sooner or later you come through them. The main thing is that we stick together and remember how good this group is and what we have achieved. We can’t hide anything but if we’re committed we can get out of the rut and achieve the goals we still have. As long as it’s still mathematically possible, anything can happen, though I’ve always been realistic in life. It’s very difficult for us to stay in the hunt for the Scudetto but we mustn’t lose out on Champions League qualification, which is crucial for this club, for our fans and for us players. We also have two games against Roma and a possible cup final. A team that is so used to winning as we are has to bring a trophy home; raising a cup is important to us.”
The Coppa Italia tie between Roma and Inter has been dubbed as “the semi-final of the frustrated”, but perhaps lots of people have forgotten that the Nerazzurri have already won two competitions this season…
“There were many people who couldn’t wait to let out everything they had been storing up for the last five years. Inter have won everything there is to win at club level in the last five years so it’s normal that we should be criticised now, just as we have to accept it, get our heads down and push on. I must say that I’m very proud. Even in the difficult times I’ve always said I am proud to be wearing this shirt and to have these fans who back us and tolerate us, because what they are doing is extraordinary. I’m really very proud to have a set of fans like that.”
How much desire and strength is left in this team to achieve the targets that remain?
“It’s not easy because we put so much into closing the gap from January up until two weeks ago. It was a minor miracle and sooner or later there’s a price to pay for that. It’s a shame it happened right at the key stage of the season but that’s football. In situations like this you get tired physically and mentally. You have to work hard in your head, trying to remember the good times, the great games, the moments of magic and move on without letting it all get to you. It is hard but we can do it. We have to find that energy from somewhere; I’m not sure from where but, as Zanetti said, we have to put some more petrol in the tank.”
Is Leonardo helping you in that?
“If you start playing again immediately, you don’t have time to think about what happened. Leonardo is trying to keep us calm and he knows what it’s about because he was a player too. As he told us on the pitch in Parma, we have to play without panicking because sooner or later the moment will pass. Hopefully starting from tomorrow.”
For this prediction i’m going to ignore the fact we’ve been terrible for a few weeks and keep my faith in the Nerazzurri to do what is needed to progress to the final with a 2-3 win for Inter tonight.