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Inter v Palermo: We can still finish third – Miranda

Inter defender Miranda has called for his team-mates to build on their 3-0 Coppa Italia win over Juventus by beating Palermo in Serie A on Sunday.

After a 3-0 defeat in the first leg in Turin, two goals from Marcelo Brozovic and one from Ivan Perisic were enough to level the tie, but Inter were left disappointed following a 5-3 penalty shoot-out defeat that put them out of the competition.

Despite their cup exit, Miranda felt Inter showed the kind of form that could help them end a run of just three wins in their last 11 games in Serie A – a sequence that has left them in fifth place, 13 points behind leaders Juve.

“We’re still in the hunt for third,” the Brazilian told Inter Channel. “We showed we can compete – we’re not afraid of anyone.

“We have to go for it – there’s not long left and I believe we can do it.

“If we can play like that against Juventus then we can do it against anyone. All of us need to be on top form.”

Inter’s players were heavily criticised after their last Serie A game, which they lost 2-0 away at Juve, with the club’s honorary president Massimo Moratti alleging Roberto Mancini’s side have a tendency to “give up mentally” during matches.

But Miranda indicated that Inter’s players remain committed to delivering for Mancini, saying: “He has helped me a lot as a player because he’s a coach with great character.

“He likes his sides to play good football and we always try to play as best we can to win. I’ll always give my all and keep trying to do more for him to repay his confidence in me.”

Inter go into the game with a clean bill of health, apart from Stevan Jovetic who is battling a muscle strain and will face a late fitness test ahead of the game.

Palermo coach Giuseppe Iachini will be without centre-back Edoardo Goldaniga, who has missed the last four games due to a tear in his abductor muscle, and Achraf Lazaar, who has missed the last three with a leg injury.

The reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw at Stadio Renzo Barbera with Alberto Gilardino’s strike for the home side cancelling out Perisic’s opener, and the Sicilians have never won away at Inter in their 27 attempts.

Looking forward to the Palermo clash, Miranda said: “I hope we play like we did [against Juventus] – with the same edge and organisation. If we play like that we can definitely win.”

Key Opta stats:

– The Nerazzurri have found the back of the net in each of their last 13 home games against Palermo in Serie A (31 goals scored, 2.6 per game on average).
– Inter have kept the most home clean sheets (8) in the current Serie A campaign.
– Palermo are winless in their last six Serie A fixtures, conceding 13 goals in these matches.
– The Sicilians have won only one of their last nine away games in the top-flight, against Verona.
– In Serie A this season, Inter are yet to lose from leading situations at home whilst Palermo have never won when they have fallen behind away from home.

Fri 4 Mar, 2016
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