16 September 2014 19:46
Dnipro will attempt to bring free-scoring Inter back down to earth when the two sides start their UEFA Europa League Group F campaigns.
Walter Mazzarri’s side have hit the ground running by scoring 16 goals in four competitive matches so far this season, including a 9-0 aggregate victory over Stjarnan in the play-off round and a 7-0 demolition of Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday.
To make their start even more impressive Inter have been exceptionally frugal at the back, having yet to conceded a goal in their three wins and a draw.
The Serie A club will hope to continue that form when they face Dnipro in Kiev on Thursday and take advantage of their hosts playing away from the home ground due to to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Forward Fredy Guarin is convinced Inter are growing in confidence after a promising start.
“We want to return the smiles to the faces of our fans,” said the Colombian. “We have a very competitive team and I think it will surprise people.
“We played a great game [against Sassuolo], we scored immediately with [Mauro] Icardi and this has given [us] further confidence.
“Icardi and [Pablo Daniel] Osvaldo showed that they could play together, they are two great strikers.”
Ukraine has been a happy hunting ground for Inter in European competition, with three wins and three draws from their six visits; the most recent a 2-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League in 2009-10.
Dnipro have been strong at home in recent seasons as only Fiorentina have beaten them since August 2010, a run of 13 matches, however it remains to be seen whether they can take that form with them to Kiev.
In the two matches they have played at the Olympic Stadium this season they are unbeaten, though, with a win and a draw against Hadjuk Split and Copenhagen respectively.
As Inter’s squad continue to build up their fitness, Mazzarri is expected to make wholesale changes for their 350th European match; with Dodo likely to be given a rest and Yuto Nagamoto not in the squad.
Dnipro also come into the match on the back of a goal-fest at the weekend, having beaten Metalist 5-2 away from home.
Bruno Gama scored a hat-trick in that game and the Portuguese midfielder hopes they can extend their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions.
“We know we play an important team that is internationally feared and respected,” he said. “But we have to play and try to win.
“It will be difficult but we can do it if we play like we do in the league.”