Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
5th December, 2015
Both Inter Milan and Genoa suffered defeats in the last round of Serie A fixtures, and both would be looking to bounce back in order to pursue their respective interests in the Serie A table.
However, while Inter Milan look to reclaim their spot at the summit of Italian football, the Griffins would be looking to avoid slipping down to the fiery depths of the relegation zone in the league. As the Rossoblu travel to the Giuseppe Meazzaon on Saturday, they are in for a big fight against a resurgent Inter, who have had nothing to do all week, but lick the wounds inflicted on them by Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Team News & Tactical Brief
Roberto Mancini — in his second spell at the Giuseppe Meazza — has done a brilliant job with Inter Milan, turning them into a well-drilled unit that embodies the traditional concept of Italian (or pragmatic) football. The Nerazzurri were the meanest defence in the league until they came face-to-face with Gonzalo Higuain, who looks like he can score from just about anywhere on the pitch right now. He has even drawn comparisons with the legendary Diego Maradona.
In spite of the 2-1 loss to the Neapolitans, Inter still remain the joint-best defence in the league, and would be looking to redeem themselves as a well-oiled defensive machinery. Other that a shocking 4-1 defeat to Fiorentina at home and the 2-1 away loss to Napoli, Mancini’s team have not conceded more than one goal in any Serie A match. In fact, they have made a habit of grinding out victories, with six of their nine league wins ending with the scoreline 1-0 in their favour.
Their mean defence took some battering against Napoli though, and will need some reshuffling, with left-back Yuto Nagatomo suspended. Meanwhile, right-back Davide Santon and centre-back Nemanja Vidic have been ruled out due to long-term injuries. Alex Telles is set to take over from Nagamoto in the left-back position, with Miranda and Murillo in the centre.
Also Brazilian Felipe Melo is set to get recalled to the squad, as Mancini tries to make amends to the team. There is some good news for Inter up front, as in-form Croatian winger Ivan Perisic is expected to start the game in spite of suffering a virus attack earlier this week. Main frontman Mauro Icardi has been in poor form, scoring just four goals in the Serie A, and the fact that he has also been linked with a move away from Inter might dent his chances of staring.
In his stead, Stefan Jovetic could get the nod from Mancini, as the former Manchester City forward would be trying to prove to the former Manchester City boss that he is the main man up front for the Nerazzurri.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Handanovic; Telles, Murillo, Miranda, D’Ambrosio; Brozovic, Medel, Melo; Perisic, Jovetic, Ljajic.
Being just three points away from the drop zone, Genoa would like nothing better than three crucial points from any match they play right now, but they would need to be more realistic against a ruthless Inter Milan side that has been grinding out one win after the other, this season.
Il Grifone have been poor to say the least, and have in fact been unable to string two wins together this season, something that manager Gian Piero Gasperini would like to change as soon as possible. In fact, they have managed just one win in their last six matches.
Dropping points against teams like Carpi and Frosinone is not something that Gasperini would want from his side, and if things continue like this, they might very well find themselves in the relegation zone. Although they need the maximum results, Genoa would not be too unhappy with a point at the Giuseppe Meazza.
Gasperini is more likely to go with the 3-4-3 formation, which can easily change to 5-4-1, when Genoa are pegged back in defence. However, this formation does allow fast wingers like Perisic to run in behind the defence, and cause a lot of problems.
However, the main headache that would be bugging Gasperini right now would be the fact that main striker Leonardo Pavoletti will miss the match, as he commences a three-game ban for a direct red card in the last match. This should give former Inter man Goran Pandev the opportunity to start the match and show his former employers that he still has what it takes.
Probable Starting XI (3-4-3): Perin; Ansaldi, Burdisso, Izzo; Laxalt, Rincon, Costa, Figueiras; Perotti, Pandev, Lazovic.
- Inter Milan has won six matches by a 1-0 margin.
- Genoa have not beaten Inter Milan at the Giuseppe Meazza in over 21 years.
- The Griffins have been unable to win any of their last eight away Serie A matches.
- Only in one of their 14 Seire A matches has Inter Milan scored more than one goal.
Players to watch out for
Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan)
It has been a good season for Perisic after moving from the Bundesliga, and he has been a star turnout for the Nerazzurri. Perisic has been a winger all his life, but Mancini has made him play a number of roles for his side, which makes the Croat even more useful. Be it right wing, left wing, central attacking midfielder, or even in a defensive role, Perisic has excelled. Also, the fact that he is good at winning aerial duels is an added advantage for Perisic.
Mattia Perin (Genoa CFC)
The 23-year-old shot stopper is one of the brightest young talents from the peninsula, and is also regarded as a possible heir to the great Gianluigi Buffon in goal for Italy. Perin has already made 26 saves from his seven appearances in the Serie A so far. Although Genoa have been shipping goals this season, Mattia Perin could play a vital role in denying Inter that slender 1-0 victory, something that they have often been getting this season.
Inter Milan 1-0 Genoa CFC
Probably one of the most obvious results for the Serie A this weekend. A boring 1-0 win to Mancini’s Inter Milan. Nothing more, nothing less.