Inter v Udinese under the microscope

Mancini likes to end the year with a flourish
Roberto Mancini has an enviable record with Italian clubs in the month of December, averaging 2.41 points per game with 22 wins, four draws and three defeats from 29 league matches.

Guarin to go ton-up with Inter
Fredy Guarin is set to make his 100th appearance for Inter in competitive fixtures. His club debut came on the same day Andrea Stramaccioni – the man in the opposite dugout today – made his own bow with the Nerazzurri first team: Inter 5-4 Genoa on 1 April 2012. Guarin has since gone on to feature in 77 Serie A meetings, six Coppa Italia games and 16 European outings.

Goals on the bench
The Nerazzurri are joint top of the substitutes’ scoring charts in Serie A 2014/15, together with Genoa, Hellas Verona and Chievo Verona. Guarin (two), Osvaldo and Hernanes have all netted after coming off the bench this term.

Icardi the man when it matters
Mauro Icardi’s goals have brought Inter ten of their 17 points this season, making him one of the three most decisive players in Serie A this term alongside Napoli’s Higuain and Genoa’s Matri. Icardi scored key goals in Nerazzurri victories over Sassuolo (7-0), Cesena and Sampdoria (both 1-0) and the 2-2 draw in Milan against Hellas Verona.

Udinese downturn
Today’s visitors are winless in their last five league fixtures. Since beating Atalanta at home on 26 October (2-0), they have recorded two draws and three defeats.

Di Natale’s 400th for the club
Totò Di Natale will make appearance number 400 in an Udinese jersey if he plays tonight, having made his debut for the Zebrette in a 0-0 draw at Reggina on 12 September 2004. He has since gone on to rack up 341 top-flight appearances, with 21 in the Coppa Italia and 37 in European competition. Di Natale has plundered the tidy total of 216 goals over the course of his 399 matches for Udinese.

Udinese: five penalties against, none for
Stramaccioni’s side are yet to be awarded a spot kick this term but have conceded five, putting them bottom of all Serie A clubs in both penalties for and penalties against categories. Chievo are the only other top-flight outfit who haven’t had the opportunity to shoot from 12 yards yet while no other teams have given away five.

First meeting between coaches
Today’s match sees Roberto Mancini and Andrea Stramaccioni pit their wits against each other for the first time in their coaching careers.

Just one defeat for Mancini
Roberto Mancini’s record against Udinese reads W8 D7 L1. He has drawn all of his last five meetings with the Friulan outfit with his only loss coming on 25 May 2003: Udinese 2-1 Lazio (Serie A). The current Inter coach is unbeaten at home against Udinese, having won five and drawn three, and his sides have always scored on home soil (15 goals in total). Mancini’s last two league matches against today’s opponents ended 1-1 (Milan) and 0-0 (Udine).

Stramaccioni facing Inter for first time as ex
Andrea Stramaccioni finds himself up against Inter for the first time in a competitive fixture today, having previously coached the Nerazzurri from March 2012 to June 2013 (W31 D11 L23). Before then Stramaccioni won the NextGen Cup with Inter’s Primavera side. As fate would have it, Stramaccioni’s last match in the Inter dugout was against Udinese.