Inter Milan v Genoa Preview
San Siro, Milan
MATCH IN A SENTENCE: With Juventus having beaten Cagliari on Friday, Inter Milan require all three points against second-from-bottom Genoa if they’re to reduce the gap atop the table to six points before the Christmas break.
BREAKDOWN: Just when it looked as though Inter Milan had rediscovered the form that saw them beat Juventus 3-1 in Turin in November they lost 1-0 at Lazio, falling further behind the Serie A-leading Bianconeri.
But a midweek win over Hellas Verona in the Coppa Italia has re-boosted spirits, and Andrea Stramaccioni’s men will have little excuse if they can’t beat slumping Genoa on Saturday.
The Rossoblu have won just one of their last 13 Serie A matches—a streak that goes back to the third week of September—and with the Christmas break just days away sit only two-points above last-place Siena and three adrift of Torino and safety.
Marco Borriello, who joined the club from Roma in the summertime, has been a massive disappointment, and only Cagliari and Pescara have conceded more than Genoa’s 29 goals so far this season.
ESSENTIALS: Inter Milan will be without midfielder Fredy Guarin, who is suspended, while Esteban Cambiasso, Gaby Mudingayi, Philippe Coutinho and Ricardo Alvarez are all injured.
Wesley Sneijder, who has been isolated from the rest of the team due to a contract dispute, is expected to leave the Nerazzurri in the January transfer window and in a interview with De Telegraaf on Friday his wife, Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau, was quoted as saying she and her husband would be departing Milan. On Saturday, however, she backed off her statement.
Genoa have two players suspended for Saturday’s match—defender Emiliano Moretti and midfielder Felipe Seymour—while defenders Damiano Ferronetti and Cesare Bovo, midfielder Cristobal Jorquera and striker Bosko Jankovic are sidelined through injury.
KEY BATTLE: Alvaro Pereira is likely to deputise at left-back once again for Inter Milan and will provide some valuable width against a Genoa side that plays with two wing-backs. He’ll be going up against Marco Rossi much of the night, and will be looking to stop him as well.
FORMATIONS: Stramaccioni will once again play four at the back with Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio up top and Antonio Cassano playing just behind them in a 4-3-1-2. Genoa boss Luigi Delneri will deploy a 3-4-2-1 formation fronted by Borriello with Ciro Immobile and Juan Vargas operating in support.
BETLINE: Inter Milan 4/11; Draw 15/4; Genoa 15/2. Inter have won each of their last five matches against Genoa and done so by a combined score of 16-9. There will be goals in this one.