Inter Milan vs Fiorentina, preview: Viola hoping to break Inter curse

Claudio Villa

Fiorentina may not have won this fixture for over 13 years, but both sides are locked together in the Serie A standings ahead of their San Siro clash on Thursday evening.

You have to go back to May 2000 for the last time that Fiorentina beat Inter at the San Siro. Fast forward 12 straight defeats, and a defiant Vincenzo Montella will be confident of making it lucky 13 after seeing his side make a scintillating start to the season.

Both teams have hit the ground running so far, taking ten points from a possible 12 in each of their four league matches.

Walter Mazzarri's Inter were in seventh heaven on Sunday, after putting seven past hapless Sassuolo. Diego Milito made a goalscoring return by coming off the bench to bag a brace after spending seven months on the sidelines with damaged knee ligaments.

Not to be outdone, La Viola are enjoying their own purple patch. Despite losing Juan Cuadrado and Mario Gomez to long-term injury ten days ago, Montella has been able to call upon a fully fit Giuseppe Rossi. The striker has endured a frustrating couple of seasons after undergoing a series of knee surgeries. Now back to fitness and making up for lost time, the ex-Villarreal, Parma and Manchester United man has netted four goals in as many games.

Goals haven't been hard to come by for either side, even if the hosts did notch over half of their total against the Serie B champions on Sunday. Coming into this game, Mazzarri's side have conceded just the once and that was against Juventus. Fiorentina kept their first clean sheet of the season in Sunday's 2-0 win at Atalanta.

The Nerazzurri injury crisis which plagued Andrea Stramaccioni is no more. Javier Zanetti and Cristian Chivu are the only players currently occupying Inter's medical room. Both remain several months away from a first team return.

David Pizarro misses out on the opportunity to return and face one of his former clubs. The Chilean midfielder serves the last game of his suspension after a stoppage time dismissal against Cagliari back in Week 3. Montella is also sweating on the fitness of Josip Ilicic, who's carrying a knock. Joaquin is set to come into the side should the former Palermo man fail a fitness test.

Inter's Curva Nord stand will be shut for this game as punishment for racist chanting heard during the 1-1 draw with Juventus.

Inter Milan injuries and suspensions

Javier Zanetti, Cristian Chivu (injured)

Fiorentina injuries and suspensions

Ahmed Hegazy, Juan Cuadrado, Mario Gomez (injured) Josip Ilicic (in doubt) David Pizarro (suspended)

Projected line ups

Inter Milan: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Guarin, Cambiasso, Nagatomo; Alvarez, Palacio, Milito

Fiorentina: Neto, Tomovic, Rodriguez, Savic; Joaquin, Aquilani, Ambrosini, Valero, Pasqual; Fernandez, Rossi

Match date/time: Thursday, September 26 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: San Siro, Milan

TV: Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy) SiriusXM FC, beIN Sport USA, beIN Sport Play (U.S) BT Sport 2 (UK)

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