Bari vs. Inter Milan Italy, Serie A Matchday 23, Stadium San Nicola, San Nicola, Italy 1:45 PM EST Thursday February 3, 2011
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Bari 7.00 / Inter Milan 1.45 / Draw 4.00
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Bari +600 / Inter Milan -222 / Draw +300
On Thursday night in Italy Serie A matchday 23 Bari hosts defending league champion Inter Milan. Has Inter turned the corner with their last win? They have played well since changing head coaches, but in their match on Sunday they were at home and down 2-0 to Palermo before storming back to win 3-2.
Bari is playing in the Serie A league after playing in Serie B last season. They are currently in last place in the league table and unless they start winning they will be playing in Serie B next season. They have lost their last 4 league matches and they have struggled on offense all season. These 2 teams met in the end of September and Inter beat Bari 4-0.
Inter are the favorites in this game, but they have not been a good club on the road this season and they have lost 3 of their last 4 away matches. They sit in 4th place in the league table tied with AS Roma 9 points behind hated rival AC Milan. Inter is still within striking distance, but they have to win matches like this.
Bari will have to deal with an Inter Milan offense that has scored 10 goals in their last 3 league matches. In their last 4 matches Bari has given up 2 goals every match and if that happens again they will likely not win with their lack of firepower up front.
In the first match up between these 2 teams the time of possession battle was even at 50% for each team. Bari has to take care of the ball in this game, especially in the midfield, and take advantage of counter-attack scoring chances.
Bari G Jean Francois Gillet and the team’s defense has a lot of pressure in this game and they will have to play a great match to pull off the big upset.
Bari Recent Form
1/30/2011 Cagliari 2 Bari 1 (Serie A)
1/23/2011 Bari 0 Napoli 2 (Serie A)
1/20/2011 AC Milan 3 Bari 0 (Coppa Italia)
1/16/2011 Juventus 2 Bari 1 (Serie A)
1/9/2011 Bari 0 Bologna 2 (Serie A)
Inter Milan Recent Form
1/30/2011 Inter 3 Palermo 2 (Serie A)
1/26/2011 Napoli 0 Inter 0 (Coppa Italia)
1/23/2011 Udinese 3 Inter 1 (Serie A)
1/19/2011 Inter 3 Cesena 2 (Serie A)
1/15/2011 Inter 4 Bologna 1 (Serie A)
Inter Milan has been bit hard by the injury bug this season, but their big guns have come back from being nicked up. Still, they will likely be without MF McDonald Mariga and the DF duo of Ivan Cordoba and Cristian Chivu for this match. Bari DF Alessandro Parisi will probably not play because of injury.
New Inter F Giampaolo Pazzini played great in his first match since coming over from Sampdoria with 2 goals in Sunday’s win. If Diego Milito continues to struggle Pazzini may get the start in this match.
In their last 5 home matches Bari has only averaged 1.4 goals per game. They will need to get some offense from Paulo Vito Barreto and Stefano Okaka Chuka in this match. Inter’s defense has struggled this season and if these guys can break through with an early goal Bari has a chance, as they will drop back on defense to protect the lead.
The Bari defense has to mark Pazzini and Samuel Eto’o up front and not give these guys space around the goal. However, with the ball movement Inter has I think both of these guys will score.
Inter G Jlio Csar has not had the best season and Bari has to take advantage if his struggles. Even though Bari does not have a good offense I think they will score one goal since they will pressure the Inter D all match.
Jason’s Pick to Win: Inter has not played away from Milan on the season, but facing a sub-par Bari team is just what they need. I do not think Bari will get killed, but I see Inter winning by a score of 3-1 or 2-1.