Inter Milan vs. Chievo: Preview and TV Schedule

Claudio Villa

Both sides will be looking for their first victories of 2014, each desperately needing the points for vastly different reasons - Inter to stay in touch with the Champions League places and Chievo to stave off the threat of relegation.

After finishing 2012 in style with a 1-0 victory over city rivals AC Milan, 2014 didn't get off to the best start when Inter went down 1-0 to Lazio in the league, followed three days later by a defeat by the same scoreline to Udinese which sent them crashing out of the Coppa Italia. The winter break can affect sides differently and it certainly seems like the Nerazzurri have come out of it in the negative as they struggle to regain their stride. A small positive that can be drawn is the return of Diego Milito from injury which should take a little pressure off Rodrigo Palacio, who, with the injuries to Milito and Mauro Icardi, has been ploughing something of a lone furrow up front.  Indeed, for Inter, a home clash against a struggling side couldn't come at a better time as they now sit in fifth, a full 11 points behind Napoli in the final Champions League place and they need a good run to even stand any hope of making it into Europe's big competition next season.

After spending much of the early part of the season rock bottom of the table, Chievo Verona then went on a remarkable run of six matches unbeaten, including four consecutive victories, throughout November and the early part of December. Things have taken a turn for a worse again and since the final of those victories against Sassuolo they are three matches without a victory in the league, as well as being dumped out of the Coppa to Fiorentina in midweek.  On the plus side for the Flying Donkeys, they have managed to chalk up one more league point than their opponents in 2014, opening the year with a 0-0 draw with Cagliari. Relegation remains a pressing concern, sitting fourth from bottom but on equal points with Bologna below, there would be no better time to replicate November and December's form.

Inter will be without the suspended Fredy Guarín and the injured Saphir Taïder to go alongside long-term absentees Cristian Chivu, McDonald Mariga and Mauro Icardi. Chievo will be without Luca Rigoni, injured in the draw with Cagliari, as well as long-termers Adrian Calello and Roberto Guana.

Inter injuries and suspensions

Out: McDonald Mariga, Cristian Chivu, Saphir Taïder (injured); Fredy Guarín (suspended). In doubt: Mauro Icardi.

Chievo injuries and suspensions

Out: Luca Rigoni, Adrian Calello, Roberto Guana (injured).

Projected lineups

Inter: Handanovic, Rolando, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Jonathan, Kuzmanović, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Guarin, Álvarez, Palacio

Chievo: Puggioni, Frey, Dainelli, Cesar, Sardo, Bentivoglio, Hetemaj, Dramé, Radovanović, Théréau, Pellissier

Match date/time: Monday 13 January 2014, 21:00 local, 15:00 E.T.

Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy); beIN Sport, RAI Internazionale (USA); BT Sport 1 (UK).

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