Genoa remained in the top half of the standings in spite of the heavy defeat to Roma, and they will now be hoping to extend the impressive run at their Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Meanwhile, Inter suffered another slip-up as they failed to beat Chievo at home, meaning they have no choice but to try and make things right against the Rossoblu.
A force to be reckoned with at home
Having narrowly escaped the drop last term, Genoa surprisingly opted to appoint inexperienced coach Fabio Liverani in the summer, but they quickly lived to regret their decision and in turn replaced him with seasoned tactician Gian Piero Gasperini. From that moment on, the Rossoblu have largely impressed, climbing to the top half of the standings, mostly thanks to some amazing displays on home soil. And while the team did well to pick up eight points from the travels, they have yet to lose a home clash under Gasperini, having won four and drawn two fixtures since he took over the reigns. This is enough to suggest Inter will have problems in their attempt to triumph in Liguria, although the hosts will be severely weakened at the back with Perin and Portanova likely to miss out. On the other hand, in-form Alberto Gilarino is likely to prove a handful for the Nerazzurri defenders, whereas Andrea Bertolacci and Moussa Konate are set to provide support from midfield. Having scored at least once in six successive matches at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, the Rossoblu can be trusted to continue the trend against Inter.
Mattia Perin and Daniele Portanova are major doubts, whereas Matuzalem is suspended. Juraj Kucka, Alessandro Gamberini and Mario Alberto Santana are definitely out.
Must-win game for Inter
In spite of some major changes in the summer, Inter enjoyed an excellent start to the season, but it was never going to be so easy for the Nerazzurri. The team began to struggle at the end of November, having recorded three straight league draws and had to work hard for a Coppa Italia win over Trapani, before losing the derby game to high-flying Napoli. And while the Nerazzurri ended the year with a hard-fought triumph over local rivals AC Milan, they have yet to register a win in the New Year. Back to back defeats to Lazio (Serie A) and Udinese (Coppa Italia) further damaged the dressing room atmosphere, whereas their Champions League hopes went up in smoke as the home draw against Chievo left them huge ten points behind top 3 positions. Walter Mazzarri now needs to do some damage control and ensure his side remain on course for European qualification, and they cannot really afford another setback. Inter obviously possess enough quality and experience in their ranks to see off weakened Genoa, but their shaky defence cannot be trusted to keep a clean sheet in the process.
Walter Mazzarri has no fresh selection worries, but Cristian Chivu, Mauro Icardi and McDonald Mariga continue to miss out.
With several important players missing, Genoa’s six-match unbeaten run at home will be put to a serious test, especially if the hosts try and attack Inter as expected. The Nerazzurri may not have impressed of late, but it is only a matter of time before they come good and I can see them winning at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Top pick: Over 2.5 goals 1.95 (19/20) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score 1.73 (8/11) @ Betfred
Alternative pick 2: Away win 2.00 (1/1) @ Ladbrokes