Serie A Preview: Inter vs Hellas Verona

Claudio Villa

The Nerazzurri look to end a disappointing run of results when they welcome the Gialloblu to the Meazza...

Inter has failed to notch a win in its last three games after picking up 13 out of a possible 15 points to start the Serie A season.

While it's not time to push the panic button just yet, three points are imperative against Hellas Verona on Saturday.

The Nerazzurri's back line, which looked much improved after playing a significant role in last year's debacle, has reverted back to its lackadaisical ways in the last few games.

Inter has conceded six times in its last two contests and Walter Mazzarri will also be concerned over his team's worrying trend of giving up late goals when holding a lead.

However, the Nerazzurri showed tremendous character in the 3-3 draw with Torino last Sunday after playing with 10 men from the fifth minute on.

It's clear that this squad is united and firmly behind its manager and it will now aim to beat a Verona side that has been punching above its weight in the early rounds of the campaign.

Three points for Inter and its back on track, but anything less could bring the doomsday-mongers out in full force.

THE VITALS

Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013

Time: 2:45 EST.

Venue: Giuseppe Meazza

BATTLE DOSSIER

Inter Probable Formation: 3-5-1-1: Carrizo; Rolando, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Guarin, Cambiasso, Taider, Nagatomo; Alvarez; Palacio

Verona Probable Formation: 4-3-3: Rafael; Cacciatore, Gonzalez, Maietta, Agostini; Romulo, Donati, Jorginho; Iturbe, Toni, Martinho

Unavailable For Duty: Samir Handanovic will be forced to sit out the match after picking up a contentious red card against Torino. Javier Zanetti is back in training but is not yet ready for action as he continues to recuperate from an Achilles tear. Hugo Campagnaro is still nursing a thigh injury and will miss out on Saturday's festivities as will his compatriot Diego Milito.

Operation Phantom Fury: The objective is to overrun the overachieving blackshirts and bring peace and stability back to the upper echelons of Italian society.

Enemy Of The State: Jorginho has been one of the surprise packages of the Serie A campaign with five goals in eight games. His early-season feats have piqued the interest of many top clubs including Inter. He must be accounted for at all times if the Nerazzurri hope to keep a clean sheet.

Fear Factor: 4: Verona is as frightening as your oldest uncle who proudly breaks out his best politically incorrect jokes after one too many glasses of vino at Christmas dinner and then gets mad when no one laughs along with him.

Medal Of Honor: I have a hunch that Rodrigo Palacio will continue his goalscoring ways and find the back of the net on the weekend. He was absolutely heroic in the draw with Torino and let's hope for more of the same against the Gialloblu.

If Inter Wins: I will enjoy every sip of the Doppelbock Grande Cuvee Printemp that is currently waiting for me in the fridge.

If Verona Wins: I will have a psilocybin induced flashback to last season when we started off strong only to crumble in horrific fashion as the campaign wore on.

Likely Outcome: Barring another early red card decision that goes against Inter it should be golden here. The clock is about to strike midnight and put an end to this Cinderella run for Verona. The good guys leapfrog the visitors in the standings after a 2-1 win. Ship it.

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