The Time Is Now

Serie A, 27° Giornata
Who: Inter Milan vs. Reggina
When: Saturday, March 8th 12:00 pm ET
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

zanetti-steaks.jpg

If you've been living in a cave, taking too many drugs, drinking at all hours of the day, watching Flavor of Love (Why?), or all of the above, then you don't know the news. Napoli handed us our first league loss last game, and the race for the Scudetto is on, again. So, the playoffs start tomorrow. Every game from here on out, is a must win. Yes, a week 27 game verses Reggina, which is 3 days before the second leg of the CL, is a must win. I know it's going to be hard to adjust to, but your just going to have to deal with it. Get your popcorn ready, an extra pair of pants, a phone with 911 on speed dial, and you'll be all set. Enjoy.

This team is NOTHING like Napoli, there's no Jekyll behind that Hyde. Yes, they did beat Uventus a few games back, but chalk that win up to Sissoko. This team doesn't have "hot" spells. Case in point, their longest winning streak of the season is, (drum roll please) 1!!! Besides the Uventus game, to find their last win, you would have to go allllll the way back to January 20th against Calgliari. We couldn't have run into them at a better time, they just fired their coach, and their at the bottom of the totem poll on a straight crash course to Serie B. I'm basically trying to say, they suck. Plus, they have NEVER won a game away from home, giving up 22 goals and only scoring 7. (No offense to any Reggina fan) We need to back on course, and this a perfect team to do it against.

Their leading goal scorer, Amoruso, only has 7 goals, so their offense shouldn't be a problem. However, our defense is in a little state of disarray, because of the many injuries that have hit the back line. We've been shaky ever since Cordoba got hurt, and it's really starting to scare me. Not for this game, but for Tuesday. It would give me tonssss of confidence before our CL clash, if we get a dominant performance from our back four. Yes, I know it's Reggina. I don't give a shit. I'm insecure.

The hole in Ibra's knee has been healed by a magical elf, so he's good to go. I'm not sure what was up with TSB, but he's ready also. Together, they have combined for 24 goals (I think?), but haven't been able to join forces since the Liverpool game. But both of them sucked in that one, so we'll just forget about it. Our attack hasn't been as lively as it was in the early portions of the year, and that might be due to the absence of these dudes. Don't expect to see them for 90, but I think Zlatan will get the start. Then TSB will take over at the half.

Roma have the unpredictable Napoli this fixture, which is much harder than ours. I think Napoli will show them that they can play (as they showed us), and will give Roma a run for their money, especially because of the momentum they must have after last game. If we win, it really doesn't matter what happens in that game. So, I think that's the best plan.

Positional Standings:

Inter are in 1st with 61 points, 6 points clear of 2nd place Roma.

Reggina are in 19th with 22 points, 2 points behind 18th place Catania.

Injuries:

Inter: Cristian Chivu, Olivier Dacourt, Walter Samuel, Ivan Cordoba, Max and Cesar can't do us much help.

Reggina: Miguel Garcia, Fabio Ceravolo and Andrea Campagnolo. There may be more, but I'm not going to lie, I have no idea.

Probable Lineups:

Inter: (4-3-1-2, Here's the squad.)
JC;
Maicon, Burdisso, Matrix, Il Capitano;
Vieira, Cambiasso, Dejan;
Jimmy;
Zlatan, Suazo

Feel free to tear this one up, there's still plenty of things Manico may swicth. Figo for Jimmy? Maniche for Vieira or Dejan? Suazo/Crespo for the first half, then Zlatan/TSB for the second? He may even really get crazy, and switch to a 4-4-2. I don't think we'll be seeing the Christmas tree in this match.

Reggina: (This is the channel4.com lineup, because I know the name of one person on Reggina. Oh, and according to the site, they'll be playing a 4-5-1.)
Novakovic;
Lanzaro, Valdez, Cirillo, Aronica;
Vigiani, Barreto, Cascione; Brienza, Makinwa;
Amoruso

Players To Keep An Eye On:

Patrick Vieira: I can't believe I'm saying this, but yeah, you should watch him. After his tantrum, we all expected Mancio to stick him on the bench for the remainder of the year. But Mancio used some reverse psychology shit, and played him. And it worked. He held the middle against Roma, and didn't lose the ball every time it hit his foot. With so many injuries, an in form and hot Vieira is nothing but a bonus.

Zlatan/TSB: Before the Liverpool game, these two couldn't not score. Then they played at Anfield, and the rest is history. Even before the CL game, they seemed to be slowing down a bit on the scoring side of things. They haven't played in a while, but the rest might have helped them. Both mentally and physically. It's no secret that these two must be in pre-CL form, if we want to take down Liverpool.

Nicola Amoruso: This the way I do things, 2 guys from Inter, and 1 from the other team. So, yeah, he's the leading goal scorer with 7 goals. Hooray.

Key Matchups:

Nerazzurri vs. 1st Loss: This is the first game of the year in which we'll be bouncing back from a league fixture loss. I talk about character as much as I talk about Cassano, and this is yet another big test. I know the opponent may be shitty, but all the more reason to demolish them. A convincing victory is the best thing that could happen before Liverpool, so make it happen. Forza Ragazzi.

Our Defense vs. My Trip To The Hospital: This back line has been giving me heart palpitations for four games now, and I continue to beg them to stop. Terrible marking, dumb tackles, and general disorganization have lead me to bit my nails down to the cuticle. I know there have been a lot of injuries, but our subs are more than capable of holding down the fort. I'll beg you yet again, for the sake of my health, show some domination.

Manico vs. Moratti's Patience: The big man on campus is slowly slipping to stage 3, (if you don't get it, see this post.) and if something were to happen tomorrow, we may see blood. But I'm not even going to think about that. Much less talk about it. Actually, forget I ever said it.

Prediction

Shit has been shit lately, (Does that even make sense?) which is a very awkward thing in Nerazzurri land. Do to our recent troubles, the Serie A season has officially started again. It's our fault that we're going to have to go into every challenge as if it's a cup final, before a CL match. I definitely don't want to see anyone get hurt, but it goes without saying that we MUST win this game. So don't even go to the, 'well, what if we don't?', thing.

What do I want to see this game? The same thing I've been asking for the past four games. A dominant defensive performance, and a few goals. I'm a simple man. It's not very hard to please me.

If we play our game, no one can beat us. Let's win one for our 100th anni.

Inter win, 2-0.

Streaming: Here
T.V.: Rai International
Goals: Suazo (22'), Jimmy (61')
MOTM: Jimmy

Yup, there's a lot of Jimmy love from me. What can I say, I miss him.

FORZA INTER!!!!!

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