Despite Inter losing Zlatan Ibrahimovic over the summer, this fixture on paper looks to be a foregone conclusion. The Nerazzurri are favourites to win this years Scudetto and have bolstered their already impressive squad with an array of talent this summer – the fact that they are at home in the Giuseppe Meazza also makes this fixture look bleak for Bari. The Biancorossi are the new boys in Serie A an with Giampiero Ventura now in charge they will certainly be trying to cause an upset on the opening day. The last time the teams met was back in the 2000/01 season where Inter managed to beat Bari at the Meazza 1-0, however much has changed since then and the men who triumphed in Serie B will need to keep that winning mentality come Sunday.
Inter – Inter’s starting XI on Sunday will be similar, if not identical, to the team beaten by Lazio in the Super Coppa in Beijing. The focus will be on how the new paring of Milito and Eto’o work together up front – it was apparent from the game in China that the partnership had plenty of potential and Serie A’s defences will no doubt be tested on many occasions by the new duo. Inter will also start new signing Lucio at the center of defence, he had a good debut despite the defeat at Lazio and showed his willingness to get forward and trouble the opposition at set pieces. Thiago Motta who signed from Genoa this term is the new addition in an already strong midfield which, however, will be missing Esteban Cambiasso – who has undergone surgery following a knee injury picked up in the Trofeo Tim.
13 Maicon – 26 Chivu – 6 Lucio – 4 Zanetti
11 Muntari – 14 Viera – 8 Motta
9 Eto – 22 Milito
Bari – If a surprise is to come from Bari then it will have to come from somewhere other than last seasons top scorer Paulo Barreto De Souza, 23 goals last term saw him fire Bari back onto the big stage, but an injury is forcing him to miss the start of the season – so Ventura will have to really on Vitali Kutuzov and Ferdinando Sforzini. Sure to start in goal will be the long serving skipper Jean Gillett. But if Bari are to get a result at all this week, they will need the midfield pairing of Daniele De Vezze and Alessandro Gazzi to be at their best and stop the onslaught that is bound to come from the Nerazzurri, workmen like performances from these two could help their team frustrate the Milanese giants and maybe just steal a goal at the other end on the break.
5 Masiello – 13 Ranocchia – 27 Stellini – 21 Parisi
90 Alvarez 4 – 9 De Vezze -14 Gazzi – 11 Koman
99 Sforzini – 20 Kutuzov
If Bari can go to the Giuseppe Meazza and pull of a result of any kind then it will be an achievement. Giampiero Ventura will be looking more for a performance from his newly promoted side and the character shown during this difficult game – he will want to pick out the leaders in his team and those with the talent and attitude to keep his team in the top flight. Jose Mourinho will be expecting nothing less than 3 points on Sunday as he will want to send out a warning shot to the pretenders to his throne – particularly after the week’s argument with Italy’s coach Marcello Lippi. There does seem to be only one possible outcome to this game, but the lack of official match practice may bring some surprises.