Inter Milan without Samuel Eto'o for clash with Parma on Sunday

Saturday, November 27, 2010
Despite making it the group stages of the Champions League courtesy of a victory over FC Twente in midweek, things are far from rosy in the metaphorical Inter Milan garden at present. The Nerazzurri were beaten by Chievo in their latest Serie A game last weekend, and are currently just sixth in the table, with city rivals AC making a good fist of shifting the power balance in the Italian capital so far.

Rafa Benitez hasn’t endeared himself to fans or, it seems, players alike since taking over from Jose Mourinho at the San Siro during the summer. Inter’s reverse against Chievo was a fifth consecutive match without victory, and, surprisingly, they’ve managed to win just two of their six Scudetto fixtures played at the Giuseppe Meazza so far this term.

The Beneamata are hot favourites to bag three points against Parma when The Ducali, currently down the table in fourteenth place, visit on Sunday. Inter prevailed in this fixture last term, winning 2-0, but they will be without Samuel Eto’o this weekend. The Cameroon international has done extremely well amidst the club’s turbulence this season, currently the top scorer in Serie A with nine goals, but the striker is suspended.

With Diego Milito on the easy list - Coutinho, Chivu, Mariga, Julio Cesar, Maicon, Obi, Samuel, Suazo and Mancini are all ruled out for the home side, too – Inter are without their best two strikers, and Pandev looks set to start the match as a sole striker for the Nerazzurri, with Wesley Sneijder one of three midfielders likely to sit off Pandev in an attacking capacity.

Paloschi, Galloppa, Morrone and Marques will all be absent for the visitors. The Gialloblu achieved a creditable draw at the Stadio Ennio Tardini against title-chasing Lazio last weekend, but Pasquale Marino's men haven’t been scintillating on their travels so far during the current campaign, and are generally finding goals hard to come by.
Given Inter’s indifferent form, Parma certainly won’t be fearful coming into this game, although Marino would probably take a draw if offered a share of the points before the game. There’s always a chance that the reigning champions will suddenly rediscover their stride and, if they do, the visitors would be in for a hiding.


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