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Inter v Empoli: Icardi looking for final flourish

Mauro Icardi intends to fire Inter to victory against Empoli on Sunday and hopefully earn Roberto Mancini’s side a place in European football next season.

Eighth-placed Inter trail Sampdoria by three points heading into the final weekend and know victory combined with a Samp defeat against Parma could see them snatch seventh.

That could be enough to salvage a UEFA Europa League place if Genoa fail in their appeal against being denied a European licence.

Inter must first end a run of two successive defeats, and record only a seventh home win at San Siro this season.

“There is still this last game, we have to look for the three points,” Icardi told the club’s official website. 

“We must do the best because you never what can happen. Fortunately, we have this last, a chance to get into Europe and we hope to exploit it.”

Icardi is currently joint-second in the Serie A goalscoring charts with 20 strikes to his name, level with Carlos Tevez and one behind Luca Toni of Verona.

He has scored four in his last six appearances for Inter, but failed to find the back of the net in the reverse fixture with Empoli – a game that ended goalless in January.

Maurizio Sarri’s side have little to play for other than pride in the final outing of the campaign, having already secured their safety despite no win in three.

That ensures another season of top-flight football at Stadio Carlo Castellani, but Sunday’s encounter could be the last under Sarri as the head coach continues to be linked with a move away.

Sampdoria appear to be at the front of the queue for the 56-year-old’s services should Sinisa Mihajlovic leave the Luigi Ferraris.

However, Empoli remain adamant Sarri will remain at the club to continue his good work since earning promotion back to Serie A in 2014.

“He still has two years left on his contract and we’d be happy to keep him, especially as we defended him in difficult moments during the past,” director of sport Marcello Carli told Tuttomercatoweb.

“If he finds a better option, then we won’t stop him. The choice of where to train next season is exclusively his and does not depend on us.”

Empoli will be without top scorer Massimo Maccarone for the trip due to suspension, while Inter are without Danilo D’Ambrosio., who is also banned.

Fri 29 May, 2015
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