Let's Get Back To Business

Serie A, Round 24
Who: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria
When: Sunday, February 24th 9:00 am ET
Where: Comunale Luigi Ferraris

matrix2.jpg After "it" I understand that a lot of you, including myself are emotionally drained. Even 4 days after "it", you still feel that empty spot in your soul. It's now time to let that go. Because tomorrow, we get back to business. We'll be visiting a Sampdoria side who has been terrific of late, and is currently on pace to earn a spot in the UEFA Cup. Add to that the recent terrific form of Talentino, and this has the makings of a great match.

The recent comments from a few players, and even Moratti, have me feeling that everyone still has faith in this club. But, the recent problems with fans, have me feeling some of us are not as assured. A big win in Genoa would definitely sure up everyone's concerns, while raising our confidence going into the Roma game. However, playing at the Comunale Luigi Ferraris hasn't been easy for anyone. In 11 games at home they are, 7(W)-3(D)-1(L) with 20 goals for and only 7 against. Add that to the fact that Sampdoria are playing the league leaders, I expect the noise level to raise a few notches. We have already seen what a hectic atmosphere has surprisingly done to Inter, so it'll be interesting how they will handle this.

Obviously, Inter's main target is Talentino. He most recently showed his class in the derby with Genoa. In the final minutes, he dribbled past three defenders on the left side of the box, and crossed it in for the winning goal. With Cordoba out, it looks like The Matrix will have to take Talentino into his own hands. On Tuesday, it seemed as if Torres was really causing him some problems, Talentino isn't as fast Torres, but he is just as dangerous. Actually, the Matrix should expect double of whatever Torres handed him on Tuesday.

On the attacking side for us, Mancini has taken things to the extreme. He has not included Ibra or TSB on the squad. Not sure if it's because of their play verses Liverpool, or just a mental rest.(Some reports have said Ibra may have picked up a bit of an injury, but I'm not buying that shit.) We have Hernan Crespo, David Suazo, Aiman Napoli, and Luca Siligardi to choose from. (The last two will join the team right after their Primavera game.) Personally, I like this move by Mancini, let's see who else may be able to score for us. I hope he starts out with a Suazo/Crespo tag team, then put in one of the younger guys later on. Hmm, seems as if Mancini has grown some cohanas. Sweet.

Positional Standings:

Inter are in 1st with 59 points, 11 points clear of 2nd place Roma.
Sampdoria are in 7th with 34 points, 2 points clear of 6th place Udinese.

Inuries:

Inter: Olivier Dacourt, Walter Samuel, Ivan Cordoba and Luis Jimenez won't be traveling to Genoa.
(Shit, Jimmy again! On inter.it it says that he's training, and has just recently started training again with the team. Let's cross our fingers and hope this is the last game he misses.)

Sampdoria: Samp have some big injuries which include, Vincenzo Montella, Paolo Sammarco, and Luigi Sala. While Sergio Volpi is suspended.

Probable Lineups:

Inter: (4-4-2- Here's the squad.)
JC;
Maicon,Burdisso(Fuck that, I want to stay with 11. Rivas please.),Matrix,Max;
Stankovic,Pele,Cambiasso,Il Capitano;
Crespo, Suazo(It better be Suazo, or I'll personally give Mancini a visit.)

Things may be different. We could see Maniche for Stankovic. Chivu for Pele,Burdisso, or Rivas. Rivas for Burdisso or Chivu. Confusing, I know. Also, Figo for Stankovic would make my week.

Sampdoria: (3-5-2)
Castellazzi;
Campagnaro, Gastaldello, Accardi;
Maggio, Delvecchio, Palombo, Fransceschini, Pieri;
Cassano, Bellucci

Players To Keep An Eye On:

Antonio Cassano: Obviously. If you didn't know this already, then stop wasting the good oxygen. He tore up Genoa last week with numerous crazy runs, and the final one won the game. Most expect him to be called up to the Azzurri soon, so expect his great play to continue. Even though he's my favorite player, I just want him to suck this game. Then he may proceed to destroy every team in his path.

David Suazo: He's been hot lately, and everyone's noticed it, except Mancini. Cruz played like shit last game, so there's no reason why Suazo shouldn't start (Especially since TSB isn't even with the team.). He seems to be back into Calagari form, which is very exciting. Sala's out for Samp, so I think that they may have a hard time with his great speed.

Hernan Crespo:The last time he got a shot to show that he still has it, he failed, miserably. With Mancini giving what I believe a "mental" break to TSB and Ibra, it's really all his to loose. There's no denying he's aging, everyone does it, but I still think he can be a deadly striker.

Key Matchups:

Inter vs. The Comunale Luigi Ferraris: I've given you the stats, and you've probably seen a few games. This place is nuts, and great to play at, if you’re Sampdoria. Anfield seemed to rattle this crew, which I think was surprising. Maybe it was just CL anxiety at its worst. We'll see tomorrow how this team truly handles a hostile environment.

Suazo vs. Mancini: Suazo has been in great form recently, but only in our eyes. Seems as if Mancini has become an official member of the "TSB Nut Hugger Association". However, with Mancini leaving TSB off the squad, his membership has been put on hold, and has finally given Suazo a chance. Look, I've got no problem with TSB, but when someone's hot, their hot.

Old Crespo vs. New Crespo: Back in the old days, he was one of the best strikers in the world. Great finisher, with world class speed. His speed has diminished, but his finishing hasn't. Even though he hasn't shown it of late, I still believe he has it in him to be a positive contribution.

Prediction:

It's time to see what this team is really made of. This is the first time coming into a game after a disappointing loss. Character is key in this one. The worst thing for Inter? A quick goal. Spirits may already be a bit low, and a quickie may really knock us down in the sewers. The best thing for Inter? A quick goal. It's, basically the opposite reason.

If we can get on track quick, doesn't have to be a goal, I think we'll be fine. We need to come out relaxed, and just play some calcio. At Anfield, it was a mess. If we do the same thing tomorrow, Sampdoria has the confidence, and Talentino, to capitalize. To put things into perspective, this is a must win. We're looking for reassurance here, not points.

Inter win, 2-0.

MOTM: Davey
Goals: Davey(28'), Cambiasso(56')

P.S.- I tested out bet365.com again today on the Torino game (crazy) and it seems as if all things are good to go. I heard it shouldn't work in America, but I haven't had any problems. (Knock on wood.) So sign up, for free, and watch the Nerazzurri put on a show.

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