Ranieri lowers expectations ahead of Fiorentina match
Milan, Italy – It's no secret that Inter Milan has endured its share of struggles in Serie A this season, but Nerazzurri boss Claudio Ranieri made sure to lower expectations for the rest of the season.
Inter heads into Saturday's home match against Fiorentina in 16th place, just four points above the drop zone.
And the team's disappointing start comes just a few years after Jose Mourinho's Inter side captured the treble in 2010.
"Everyone remembers the Inter which won everything in 2010," Ranieri told fifa.com.
"But that team does not exist any more. [Samuel] Eto'o is no longer here, [Diego] Milito used to score every time he touched the ball, but now struggles. Everything went well back then.
"Now the players are up against it and the mistakes are affecting their confidence."
Despite qualifying for the knockout round in the Champions League, this season has seen Inter fail to put together a consistently good run of form with the club losing 1-0 to Udinese last time out in league play to snap a brief two- game winning streak.
Inter has claimed just two wins in six home contests this season and the team will be without captain Javier Zanetti through suspension while defender Cristian Chivu is out due to an injury.
Fiorentina has yet to win away from home this season but the Viola will be buoyed by a 3-0 defeat of Roma last time out.
Also on Saturday, fourth-place Lazio visits last-place Lecce, Siena and Genoa meet up at the Artemio Franchi in a battle of bottom-half teams while Palermo tries to move into the top five with a win over second-from-the-bottom Cesena.
AC Milan brings an eight-game unbeaten streak into its match at Bologna, Udinese is level with the Rossoneri on 27 points and hosts Chievo, Napoli booked a spot in the knockout round of the Champions League in midweek and looks for another victory at Novara with Atalanta hosting Catania and Parma traveling to Cagliari.
The round concludes on Monday with league-leaders Juventus visiting Roma in hopes of preserving its unbeaten record.