With Juventus and Atalanta dropping points, Inter travel to relegation battling Genoa in hopes to recapture second place and mount an improbable challenge against Juve. Match today, Saturday, at 19:30 CET.
Facing a side that is battling for its footballing life is never an ideal situation. As Inter travel to the Marassi stadium on Saturday evening, not only will they face a Genoa in the midst of a relegation battle, but a team that is in-form and is historically very tough to beat at home.
Inter’s downfall in the previous few matches has been mostly down to unforced errors at the back and wastefulness in front of their opponents’ goal. If Inter want to retake second place despite Antonio Conte’s declaration that it of no interest to him being first loser, they need to be able to take their chances in front of the Girfoni’s goal.
With the three day match schedule taking its toll on the team’s fitness, condition and form, Inter must try and close out the match early and maintain solidity at the back.
Davide Nicola’s Genoa will do all they can to thwart Inter’s plans. Not only are they in the middle of a tough relegation battle, but they also come into the match in strong form having beaten relegation adversaries Lecce and city rival Sampdoria in quick succession.
In ex-Interisti Goran Pandev and Andrea Pinamonti will probably lead the Genovese attack and are likely to be extra motivated to score against their previous side.
It seems like the football gods are out to make sure Conte cannot play with his strongest midfield trio of Eriksen, Brozovic and Barella. With fitness and form no longer a condition, it’s Barella’s turn to sit this one out due to having picked up a one match suspension. It goes without saying that both Sensi and Vecino are still out injured, while Stefan Di Vrij’s knee injury he picked up against Fiorentina has thankfully been diagnosed as a slight twist, but will keep him out of this match.
Probable Line-up (3-4-1-2): Handanovic (C); Skriniar, Ranocchia, Bastoni; Candreva, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Biraghi; Eriksen; Lautaro, Lukaku
Last Season: Genoa 0 – 4 Inter
Last 10 Head to Head: Inter edge out Genoa in the head to head record with six wins to the hosts’ four, meaning that there have been no draws between the two sides in the previous ten encounters. Perhaps most worrying is the fact that in Inter’s previous five trips to the Marassi they have lost four times.
Keep an Eye on:
Marcelo Brozovic: The Croat’s impact on the team is almost immeasurable. When deployed in his preferred role as a deep lying regista, Brozovic becomes the most important cog in the Inter machine. If Brozovic has been able to capitalize on the partial rest he was afforded against Fiorentina and thus is rested and in form, his contribution to the overall Inter performance becomes profound.
Referee: Davide Massa.
Assistants: Preti and Manganelli.
Fourth Official: Giua.
VAR: Irrati and Liberti.
Prediction & Concluding Remarks
Prediction & scorers: Genoa 1 – 2 Inter Lukaku and Candreva to seal it for the visitors.
Concluding remarks: A match against in-form relegation battlers is never an easy affair. Genoa are fighting for their place in Italy’s top flight next season with all they’ve got, and will really put take the fight to Inter in the process. Inter must continue with their decent performances, but can no longer be this profligate with chances.