Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni has to decide between Rodrigo Palacio and Philippe Coutinho in “intriguing” trident options against Catania.
The Coach has continually revamped his side over the past few weeks, adopting a three-man defence and varying midfield and attack systems.
“During the break for international duty we worked well, looking at details and different options. Now we are going into this difficult run of games, but have to take it one at a time. The most important is always the next one,” he said in today’s Press conference.
“We must focus exclusively on Catania. I have no doubts over my line-up, we are concentrated and fired up. The Sicilians have had a great start to the season, as they have more points than Roma and Fiorentina, so it is a very difficult encounter.”
Palacio is back from a long injury lay-off, leading to even more options in attack.
“The idea of Antonio Cassano and Diego Milito with Palacio is intriguing, but risks becoming unbalanced. With Coutinho I feel more covered, but that is nonetheless an option that really excites me.
“We strongly wanted Palacio, as he was our first signing. He has unique characteristics in our front line.”
Matias Silvestre looks likely for a January exit after struggling to find space, although he’ll be facing his former Catania teammates tomorrow afternoon.
“Silvestre can play in a three-man defence, as a right-centre-back, but the performances tell us that Walter Samuel, Andrea Ranocchia and Juan Jesus are doing very well.”
Asked about today’s huge Juventus-Napoli top of the table showdown, Stramaccioni replied: “Who do I support? Only Inter.”
Finally, there are numerous reports that Inter are closing in on Brazilian talent Paulinho for the January transfer window.
“Have we signed him? I’m always the last to know these things! The truth is that he is of interest to many clubs and we did get there first, but I can rule out the idea he is already our player. Paulinho is a modern midfielder who can play in a bank of two or three, can push up into attack and score along with the ability to win back possession with the technique of a Brazilian.”
Inter squad for Catania: 1 Handanovic, 27 Belec, 32 Cincilla; 4 Zanetti, 6 Silvestre, 23 Ranocchia, 25 Samuel, 33 Mbaye, 40 Juan Jesus, 42 Jonathan; 11 Alvarez, 14 Guarin, 16 Mudingayi, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Obi, 21 Gargano, 31 Pereira, 41 Duncan; 7 Coutinho, 8 Palacio, 22 Milito, 88 Livaja, 99 Cassano.