Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy
30 October 2010, 00:15 AM IST
Seria A does a Bundesliga this time as Matchday-9 of the Italian Championship starts on Friday evening, when defending Champions Inter travel to Genoa after a stalemate in their previous encounter. Having fallen behind leaders Lazio again, Inter will be hoping to ease through this fixture and collect three points from this away tie.
Under Rafa Benitez, La Beneamata has made a reasonable start to their campaign notching up four wins, three draws and losing only once. Although, these are not impressive statistics by their own standards; however, because of the increasingly competitive Seria A this year and having a tough fixture early into the season, the Nerazzurri must be happy with their proceedings so far. Midweek Champions league match against Spurs will be a major attraction for the men in black and blue, but they can’t afford to lose more points in the league and should concentrate on getting the job done. If they win, they’ll dislodge their arch-rivals Milan from second place and will be putting the pressure on leaders Lazio.
On the other hand, Champions league hopefuls Genoa have started the season inconsistently with three wins, three defeats and sharing the points on two occasions; which placed them on 9th place in the Seria A table. Rossoblu surprisingly splashed a lot of cash in the summer, making quite a few high-profile signings. But none of them have clicked yet – which is a major disappointment considering their ambitions of finishing in the Top 4. That aspiration looks jaded at the moment as there is no creativity whatsoever from their brand new line up – yet, nobody can deny that they possess quality in midfield. New recruit Miguel Veloso is close to getting match fit and their fans will be hopeful of their high profile signing hitting top form straightaway that saw him burst into the European stage in his Sporting Lisbon days.
Off the pitch dramas have taken their toll on both the clubs as both have expressed shock after their cult hero Diego Milito was not included in the Ballon D’Or nominee list. Inter president was stunned when he heard the news about Milito’s non-inclusion. His opposite number from Genoa has slammed the men at FIFA claiming injustice has been done to their former striker who had a mesmerizing season with Inter.
Historically, this fixture has been dominated by Inter with Genoa yet to get a winning result against the Champions in this decade. Grifone has managed to win only 4 times in the last 50 years. The corresponding fixture last year saw Inter run riot at Genoa winning with a mammoth 5-0 scoreline. It is tough to expect an entertaining match in this fixture, but the football fans would be hoping that the inclusion of new recruits in Grifone camp enhances their quality when these two sides meet on Friday.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Genoa: The Grifone have a host of injury concerns as they are without Jankovic and Palacio. Veloso is available after returning from injury and might make it to the substitute bench. Genoa is expected to field an attacking 3-4-3 formation again, with Luca Toni being the target man flanked by Palladino and Rudolf.
As the formation indicates, Rossoblu will attack Inter all evening with plenty of width from the two wide midfielders and the two supporting strikers for Toni. Defensively, they will be cautious with Kharja and Milanetto dropping back to help the three man defence. Offensively, they should have plenty of ammunition considering Inter’s poor defensive showing off-late. Ranocchio and Milanetto will be given the task to double up in marking the in-form Samuel Eto’o while Kharja will be looking to sit and distribute the ball to the wingers.
Possible Lineup: Eduardo : Dainelli, Ranocchia, Chico : Boakye, Kharja, Milanetto, Criscito : Palladino, Toni, Rudolf.
Inter: Nerazzurri are still without their big players Thiago Motta, Mancini, Milito, Stankovic, Mariga and Suazo. Most of them are due to return in a couple of weeks as Inter will be expecting their star players suffer no more setbacks.
This time too Eto’o will be the lone striker upfront with Coutinho, Sneijder and Biabiany playing behind him. As usual, Maicon will bomb the right wing supporting Biabiany and providing the crosses for Eto’o. Cambiasso and Zanetti will support Lucio and Samuel to stop Inter from leaking more goals. Sneijder will be providing the finesse in the middle of the park playing the role of a play-maker. The ever improving Coutinho will start from left and slide in behind Eto’o to trouble the three man Genoa defense.
Possible Lineup: Cesar : Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu : Zannetti, Sneijder, Cambiasso : Biabiany, Eto’o, Coutinho.
1. Genoa has managed to beat Inter only 4 times in the last 50 years.
2. Inter recorded their biggest win in the corresponding fixture last year when they beat Genoa 5-0 at the Ferraris.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Samuel Eto’o: Week-in, week-out, one man has given Inter the hopes of winning a game and that, as everyone know, is Eto’o. The Cameroonian has scored 7 goals in 8 league games so far, while managing an outstanding 6 goals in 3 games in the Champions League.
Nerazzurri fans will be hoping yet again that the African turns up and wins them the important three points. Whilst Diego Milito has been making all the news with his injury and Ballon D’or exclusion, Samu has been doing all the talking on the pitch. He is expected to further increase his impressive goal tally by notching up a couple against Genoa.
Genoa 0-1 Inter
Genoa, after having a tough start to the season has come into their own in the last couple of matches at their home soil. Although their close win against Catania was far from impressive, but still a win is a win. Last year, they were thumped by Inter at their home and they will be looking to avoid the same and show something positive to their fans.
Inter on the other hand have been undefeated since their last minute loss to Roma in both the Serie A and the Champions League. They have been shy in front of goal with the obvious exception of Eto’o; they haven’t been too good defensively either. Historically, they have been very successful against Genoa having gone undefeated in the last decade. Ideally, Inter should have enough quality to get a narrow win collecting full three points from this fixture.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST