Pre-Season Preview: Inter
We profile another of Everton's potential summer opponents.
Everton’s final opponents on their pre-season tour of America will be one of AC Milan, Inter Milan, Valencia or Chelsea.
Yesterday the focus was on AC Milan and today we take a look at their cross-city rivals, Inter, who are aiming to put one of their worst campaigns in recent history behind them with a much improved showing during 2013/14.
Name: Inter Milan
When do we play them? There is a possibility Everton could face Serie A side Inter Milan in the Championship round of the International Champions Cup on August 6 or 7.
Where? The game is in Miami at the Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins American Football team.
How can I watch it? Tickets are available here. If you can't make it across the pond, the game will be broadcast live on evertontv. Click here to learn more about how you can view six of Everton’s pre-season fixtures.
Who’s their boss? Walter Mazzarri. The 51-year-old is the newly appointed coach of the Nerazzurri after enjoying four successful seasons with Napoli. Mazzarri, who replaces Andrea Stramaccioni, is tasked with arresting Inter’s slump after the club endured a torrid 2012/13 season. The 2010 Champions League winners finished ninth in Serie A and failed to qualify for any of the European competitions for the first time in 15 years.
Italian journalist and Serie A expert Tancredi Palmeri says: “They’ve never had such a bad season in the last 65 years. They went for Mazzarri, who has won a Coppa Italia with Napoli, and he is a manager that always hits targets and even a bit more. He’s maybe not a winner but he never loses control and Inter need that at this moment.”
Who’s their best player? Rodrigo Palacio. The striker joined Internazionale last year from Genoa and became an instant hit at the San Siro as he finished top scorer with 22 goals in all competitions. The 31-year-old has represented Argentina on 12 occasions, scoring once.
Who’s their unsung hero? Esteban Cambiasso has played a key role in Inter’s success since joining from Real Madrid in 2004. The Argentina international does a lot of the hard work in midfield that often goes unseen and has won 15 major trophies in his time at the San Siro.
How did they get on last season? Despite the disappointing ninth-place finish in Serie A, Inter fared better in the cup competitions. They were knocked out by Roma in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and by Tottenham in the round of 16 in the Europa League.
Any Everton connections? Andy van der Meyde, Marco Materazzi, Matteo Ferrari and Olivier Dacourt have all played for both clubs. Both Materazzi and Dacourt would only stay at Goodison for the 1998/99 season before enjoying spells with Inter later in their careers. Van der Meyde was signed from Inter in August 2005 but only made 20 appearances for the Blues in four seasons, with Ferrari staying for one season on loan.
Have we played them before? Yes. Everton faced Inter Milan in the first round of the European Cup during the 1963/64 season. Inter progressed through 1-0 on aggregate following a win at the San Siro.
What does the expert say about them? Palmeri believes Inter will have a much better season with Mazzarri now at the helm. He also feels a couple of new additions can see Inter rise the table once again following their worst Serie A finish since 1994.
He says: “Inter have solved their manager situation by appointing Mazzarri. Stramaccioni was an intriguing choice but he brought some risks and some black moments that a club like Inter can’t afford.
“I expect one or two signings in defensive midfield that can protect the team as they conceded something like 57 goals at home which was the second worst in Serie A.”