The Nerazzurri, who currently sit in fifth, are certainly in contention for a Europa League spot. This is, of course provided that cross-town rivals AC Milan do not beat Juventus in this season’s Coppa Italia final. Although Inter at one point were hoping for third place – and Champions League football – last weekend’s loss to Torino pretty much killed off any chances at achieving that.
Fourth place, at this point, should be Roberto Mancini’s objective, as that would guarantee automatic Europa League football and not any kind of qualifying rounds. This, of course, is certainly achievable for Inter, especially since Fiorentina, who are just one point ahead, have been quite inconsistent themselves, with no wins in their past five matches.
Of course, to achieve this, Inter will have to arrest their own disappointing form that has seen them struggle to rebound after their mid-season implosion. For many Nerazzurri fans, who were dreaming of their team clinching their first Scudetto since 2010, it must feel like a lifetime ago that they were on top of the Serie A table. Then began the downward slide that saw them tumble from top, to second, to third, and now are battling to even hold onto fifth spot.
Fortunately for Saturday’s visitors, their next opponents will be a team who have endured a torrid time in their debut Serie A campaign. Frosinone, along with Carpi, are two teams making their first ever appearance in Italian football’s top flight, and at least one of these outfits are set to return to Serie B next season. Roberto Stellone’s side have the worst defensive record out of any of the 20 teams this season, with a whopping 29 conceded. That, however, should not be entirely shocking and they will be desperate to restore some pride after being humiliated 4-0 in their first ever meeting with Inter earlier this season.
The Canarini are in 19th spot, but are not necessarily doomed for relegation just yet. Should they manage to pull off a shock upset and both Carpi and Palermo lose, they would move themselves into that coveted 17th spot. It indeed looks like it’s going to be a dogfight between these three sides to avoid joining already relegation-bound Hellas Verona in Serie B next season.
Mancini will be without two key defenders – Japanese international Yuto Nagatomo as well as his Brazilian counterpart Miranda – due to suspension. This means that Inter will have to shuffle their back-line and this will likely see Juan Jesus and Alex Telles introduced for this match, which is a must-win for the visitors in order to keep their European football ambitions intact.
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