Preview – Inter vs Genoa: Nightmare Before Christmas Or Ending The Year On A High?

Preview – Inter vs Genoa: Nightmare Before Christmas Or Ending The Year On A High?
December 20, 2019 16:30
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With Juventus already having won their final game of 2019, the pressure is on the Nerazzurri to beat their visitors in order to keep pace with the league leaders. Match tomorrow, Saturday at 20:45 CET

With potentially still missing five midfielders due to injury, Antonio Conte’s woes continue with both Marcelo Brozovic and Lautaro Martinez missing the match due to suspension.

However, there are reports that seem to indicate that there might be some critical returnees from the treatment room ready to take to the pitch and plug the holes that have had Inter hobbling over the year’s finish line the last few weeks.

Inter will probably start the match with Antonio Candreva sitting alongside Borja Valero and Matias Vecino in the central midfield positions allowing Valentin Lazaro and Cristiano Biraghi to get a rare start together on the flanks. There are rumors that Milan Skrinniar might be benched for the youngster Alessandro Bastoni due to the Slovak’s below par performances in the last few matches. Another question mark remains on who will accompany Romelu Lukaku up front, whether it will be the out of favor Matteo Politano or the energetic primavera starlet Sebastiano Esposito.

While Antonio Conte’s tactics and setup are pretty much an open book for all to read in advance, ex-Interista Thiago Motta’s Genoa is less fully formed at the moment. The young manager is yet to settle on his preferred starting eleven and his module of choice. The under-fire tactician’s turbulent start to his Genoa tenure has been marred by pressure to obtain results and some horrid luck. Motta lost his star striker and also ex-Interista Goran Pandev and his standout defender Cristian Zapata to suspension and long-term injury respectively.

All said, Genoa still do possess plenty of quality in their side, such as the Inter prospect Andrea Pinamonti and the Ivorian Christian Kouame, the duo have not had the highest scoring tally, but have been responsible for some of the season’s most spectacular goals so far. Genoa will probably try and defend deep and hit Inter on the counter, and while this might prove a successful strategy for the early part of the match, expect Inter to be able to ably maneuver the match at finish the year on a high note.

Team News

Despite the fact that at the time this article is being written, the Inter squad, and midfield in particular, is plagued by absences due to injuries and suspensions, there seems to finally be some light at the end of the tunnel. Reports indicate that Conte will have Antonio Candreva and Borja Valero at his disposal while also being able to call upon Kwadwo Asamoah, Roberto Gagliardini and even the long missed Stefano Sensi off the bench.

Probable line-up (3-5-2): Handanovic (C); Bastoni, de Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Vecino, Agoume, Valero, Biraghi; Politano, Lukaku.

Stats

Last Season: Inter 5 – 0 Genoa

Last 10 Head to Head: Remarkably, there have been no draws between the two sides in the last ten matches. And despite Inter slightly edging the visitors on the head to head record with six wins to four, Inter have won all their previous six home matches in a row. The last time Inter failed to win at the San Siro was almost exactly seven years ago.

Keep an Eye on

Romelu Lukaku: With Lautaro suspended for this match, the attacking onus will be on Big Rom. Lukaku has failed to find the back of the net in the last three league matches and the media are already relishing the prospect of writing incendiary headlines about the league’s highest profile incomer. Lukaku will relish the prospect of facing Genoa’s leaky defense and hopefully will be able to find a goal or two.

Officials

Referee: Luca Pairetto.

Assistants: Valerio Colarossi and Lorenzo Gori.

Fourth Official: Eugenio Abbattista.

VAR: Marco Di Bello and Pasquale De Meo.

Prediction & Concluding Remarks

Prediction & scorers: Inter 2-0 Genoa. Lukaku and Santo D’Ambrosio scoring for the good guys.

Concluding remarks: Despite the Inter midfield probably being still decimated by injury, expect the overall squad quality and desire to kill off the winless streak to be enough to win it for the Nerazzurri. A straightforward affair but yet no walk in the park.

By Mohamed Nassar
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