Inter Milan vs Torino preview: Inconsistent Inter look to make up ground

Claudio Villa

Inter now sit nine points from the top of the table and come up against a Torino side in a great run of form.

Inter's maddeningly inconsistent recent form continued last week with a 1-1 draw against Roma, followed by a midweek 2-1 loss to the same opponents in the Coppa Italia. Since their stunning run of seven consecutive wins through the end of September to the beginning of November put them into title contention, form has been difficult to come by and they have now slipped off the pace. Four points separates Inter and the Champions League so some consistency is needed for Stramaccioni's side in order to make up that gap.

Torino have become one of Serie A's form sides, winning their previous two and not losing in five. Admittedly, the five matches were against Genoa, Chievo, Catania, Siena and Pescara however the run has propelled Torino into a safe mid-table position, nine points above the relegation places, and will have given the players a big confidence boost. Another welcome boost for Toro is the return of leading scorer Rolando Bianchi from suspension, his presence will provide a focal point for the side in a match where they may not see too much of the ball.

The comparative recent form of these two sides means that this is a match difficult to predict and whilst on paper at least, Inter have the advantage, their inconsistencies coupled with Torino's good recent run means that this match could go either way. Inter have been stung by the absence of Diego Milito and Antonio Cassano, with Rodrigo Palacio the only front-line striker available however Marko Livaja was impressive against Roma last weekend and may be in line for another start. The sparkling form of Fredy Guarin in his new advanced midfield role has also been a major positive for Inter.

Inter are still missing Walter Samuel and long-term absentee Dejan Stankovic whilst Milito, Cassano and Ricky Alvarez are all doubts and Philippe Coutinho's future with the club still hangs in the balance following an improved offer from Liverpool. Torino are relatively injury free, with only Angelo Ogbonna on the long term absence list and Alessio Cerci a doubt.

Inter Milan Injuries and Suspensions:

Out: Walter Samuel, Luca Castellazzi, Dejan Stankovic (injured). In Doubt: Diego Milito, Antonio Cassano, Ricky Alvarez, Philippe Coutinho

Torino Injuries and Suspensions:

Out: Angelo Ogbonna, Abou Diop (injured). In Doubt: Alessio Cerci

Match Date/Time: Sunday 27th January 2013, 8.45pm local, 2.45pm E.T.

Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy), RAI Internazionale (USA), ESPN UK/HD (UK)

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