Following a hugely successful World-Cup campaign in the summer, Inter’s three Croatian nationals’ respective egos would have certainly taken a hit following Croatia’s 6-0 thumping by Luis Enrique’s Spain earlier this week. It is now time for Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic and Sime Vrsaljko to focus on their club-commitments and put their fond memories of their time in Russia behind them.
Ivan Perisic must strive to maintain the good form he showed in Inter’s opening matches this season, in which he’s contributed with 2 goals and 1 assist in three games. Parma are likely to look to close him down and play a predictably-defensive game and Perisic must dig deep to rise to the occasion. Additionally, with Kwadwo Asamoah’s coverage of Inter’s left flank, Perisic may afford to prioritise his offensive game in an attempt to confirm the consistency he seems to have found in the past few months.
There is no doubt that on Perisic’s mind, there will certainly be Tuesday’s Champions League encounter against Tottenham Hotspurs, which is sure to take something away from the player’s concentration tomorrow. And Spalletti seems to be taking all this into consideration, since Perisic’s place in Inter’s starting line-up against Parma is not a set in stone.
Firstly, Spalletti – like Perisic – must be thinking about Inter’s mid-week Champions League clash, for which Ivan Perisic would certainly be considered indispensable – not least because the Croatian is one of Inter’s few players with Champions League experience, having played two campaigns with Borussia Dortmund between 2011 and 2013, before joining Inter. Secondly, Perisic only returned to Inter training yesterday, having joined his teammates for the second part of the training session.
Sime Vrsaljko’s condition remains to be evaluated, while Marcelo Brozovic’s place in the starting line-up seems like a sure thing. The latter is not one to be easily brought down from a psychological point of view and has reportedly already begun picking himself up and dusting himself off, in preparation for tomorrow’s encounter, following what happened in Spain.
Vrsaljko has been training alone since walking off the field against Spain after only 19 minutes of play, but according to both Inter’s medical staff and the player, the pain the Croatian felt in his knee while on international duty is nothing to be too alarmed about and has dissipated completely over time.
Considering the short span of time he has had to recover however, Vrsaljko is likely to sit on Inter’s bench tomorrow. That means that he is not in a position to lift his own spirits through his field-performance; his teammates must take that responsibility by having him witness some great football and a comfortable Inter-win from the bench, thereby confirming that his choice to join Inter over the summer was yet another good episode in what’s been an exciting series for the Croatian of late.