Things may have seemed like they could not get any worse for Rafa Benitez, but now he will have to cope without star striker Samuel Eto’o for the rest of the year in Serie A, which threatens to end Inter Milan’s title defence.
Inter have slipped to sixth in the Serie A standings, nine points behind leaders AC Milan, after failing to win their last four league games.
The latest of these was a 2-1 defeat to Chievo and they have now drifted out to 3/1 to win the Serie A title for the sixth season in succession.
Another negative from the Chievo fixture is that Eto’o has been suspended by the Italian Football Federation for three games for a headbutt on the home side’s Bostjan Cesar, which went unnoticed by officials in the game.
This means that Eto’o will miss the home game with Parma, the away trip to second-placed Lazio and then another away encounter with Fiorentina.
The form of Eto’o has been one of few positives for Benitez this season with the Cameroon striker scoring nine goals in 13 league appearances and 17 goals in all competitions.
With Diego Milito also liable to miss the game against Parma with a hamstring injury, Benitez is facing up to the possibility of starting with either Goran Pandev or Jonathan Biabiany in the central striker position.
The only positive for Benitez is that Inter have won their last four Serie A home games against Parma, although Eto’o and Milito were the scorers in the most recent of these meetings.
Benitez has not had a game where he has been unable to call on either of his star strikers since his appointment as Inter boss.
Inter are 4/7 to beat Parma, with the visitors 4/1 to extend Benitez’ miserable run.
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