Preview: Genoa vs Inter – A Test of Squad Depth
After finally getting that elusive win, an injury riddled Inter travel to Genoa looking to build on last week’s win. Match on Saturday at 20:45 CET.
Fortune has not favored Luciano Spaletti’s men as of late. After finally having broken the winless streak against Bologna last week, Inter now travel to Genoa to take on the Grifoni at the Luigi Ferraris stadium, but they take the trip still missing top scorer Mauro Icardi along with Joao Miranda and Ivan Perisic.
Spaletti will again have to work around his preferred lineup and formation to account for the injured players. While Eder has deputized for Icardi quite well, scoring twice in the previous two matches, his movement in the final third is very different to that of Maurito, giving the rest of the team more to think about. Antonio Candreva will probably start on the left flank, leaving Yann Karamoh to take the Italian winger’s position on the right where he performed so well last match.
Hosts Genoa go into the match in high spirits, ever since sacking manager Ivan Juric, now manager Davide Ballardini has been able to practically turn around his side’s season. Since taking about three months ago, Ballardini has taken the relegation threatened side all the way up to twelfth place and has for all intents and purposes guaranteed Genoa’s safety this season. Genoa have won three of their last five matches, scalping Lazio in Rome as part of this impressive run.
Ex-Interesti Diego Laxalt and Goran Pandev along with ex-Milanisti Alberto Bertolacci and Gianluca Lapadula will be the source of most threats for the hosts, although it could be unlikely to see both Lapadula and Pandev starting the match together. Ballardini’s preferred 3-5-2 or 3-4-1-1 relies on width when breaking fast and deep compactness when defending and Inter’s transition play both offensively and defensively will be critical in managing the match well.
Talk of injuries is pretty much all that’s coming out of Appiano these days. Mauro Icardi, Ivan Perisic and Joao Miranda are all expected to miss the match owing to their respective injuries. Despite Marcelo Brozovic’s probable exclusion from the starting eleven owing to his reaction to the curva’s booing him off, Rafinha will most likely still start on the bench as his fitness is not yet at ninety minutes.
Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic (C); D’Ambrosio, Lopez, Skriniar, Cancelo; Vecino, Gagliardini; Karamoh, Valero, Candreva; Eder
Last Season: Genoa 1 – o Inter
Last 10 Head to Head: The home side has won in the two sides’ last nine encounters. The last draw between both sides was all the way back in 2013.
Keep an Eye on
Yann Karamoh: The young Frenchman was undoubtedly the star of last week’s performance against Bologna. He very ably stepped in for the misfiring Antonio Candreva and his spectacular solo effort brought home the three points. This week Karamoh will step in for another perennial Spaletti favorite who also has been under-performing as of late; Ivan Perisic. With a performance similar to last week’s Karamoh will know that it will be difficult to discount him when picking the starting eleven in the future.
Referee: Michael Fabbri
Assistants: Alassio, De Meo
Fourth Official: Di Paolo
Additional Assistants: Giacomelli, Tasso
Prediction & Authors Note
Prediction & scorers: Genoa 1-1 Inter with Eder scoring for the good guys.
Author’s Note: Despite Inter seeming to have crossed the mental bridge that rendered them unable to win, injuries to at least three starters will be too much to handle for the squad against this resurgent Genoa. If Inter actually manage to win, one can easily imagine the Nerazzurri finishing in the top four. Any result but a win will certainly complicate matters.