?Inter will be looking to return to the top of Serie A ahead of the winter break as they play host to Thiago Motta’s Genoa on Saturday night.
Two wins on the bounce for Juventus has seen them climb to the top of the table amid Inter’s indifferent form in recent weeks. A win for I Nerazzurri in this one, however, will see themmove level on points with I Bianconeri and only trail them on their head-to-head record.
Despite falling to disappointing draws in their last two outings, Inter are huge favourites for this one with Genoa struggling mightily for form. Motta’s appointment in late October has failed to reinvigorate the squad and they are currently on a seven-game winless run in Serie A.
Their dismal form means they sit 19th in the table coming into this one with only 11 points to show from their 16 games this season.
Here’s 90mins preview of this Serie A clash.
Where to Watch
|?When is Kick Off?||?Saturday 21 December|
|?What Time is Kick Off?||?17:00 (BST)|
|?Where is it Played?||?San Siro|
|?TV Channel/Live Stream||?N/A|
Antonio Conte has a number of key stars missing from this one. Nicola Barella and Stefano Sensi won’t return until the New Year with respective injuries while Marcelo Brozovic and Lautaro Martinez are both suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
Roberto Gagliardini and Kwadwo Asamoah are both doubts, but we should see Antonio Candreva return to the starting XI along with Diego Godin – both of whom were on the bench at Fiorentina last weekend.
With Conte unlikely to change his 3-5-2 system, we should see 17-year-old duo Sebastiano Esposito and Lucien Agoume both make their full Serie A debuts on Saturday.
As for Genoa, Christian Kouame
Peter Ankersen and Filip Jagiello are both pushing for spots in the XI having appeared off the bench in the defeat to Sampdoria last weekend, but Antonio Sanabria is expected to keep his spot in the final third.
|?Inter||?Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Godin; Candreva, Vecino, Agoume, Biraghi, Lazaro; Lukaku, Esposito|
|?Genoa||Radu; Biraschi, Romero, Criscito; Ghiglione, Cassata, Radovanovic, Pajac; Schone; Pinamonti, Sanabria?|
It’s no surprise that I Nerazzurri have dominated this fixture in recent times. In their last 27 encounters, Inter have come out on top on 17 occasions, with Genoa winning just five of the meetings.
Last season, Lucian Spalletti’s Inter defeated
After going on a five-match winning run in Serie A between mid-October and the start of December, key injuries have seen Inter hit a bit of a brick wall as they’ve failed to win their last three in all competitions.
After drawing 0-0 at home to a resolute Roma side, Conte’s men were beaten by a youthful Barcelona outfit
Genoa, meanwhile, have struggled mightily despite employing a promising coach in former Inter man Thiago Motta. After winning 3-1 against Brescia in Motta’s maiden game in charge, Genoa haven’t won a game in Serie A. Their only win since the Brescia victory back in October was a 3-2 win over Serie B outfit Ascoli in the Coppa Italia.
To make matters worse, they were beaten 1-0 in the Derby della Lanterna by Sampdoria last time out. In what was a dismal game of football, a late Manolo Gabbiadini
|?Fiorentina 1-1 Inter (15/12)||?Genoa 0-1 Sampdoria (14/12)|
|?Inter 1-2 Barcelona (10/12)||?Lecce 2-2 Genoa (08/12)|
|?Inter 0-0 Roma (06/12)||?Genoa 3-2 Ascoli (03/12)|
|?Inter 2-1 SPAL (01/12)||?Genoa 0-1 Torino (30/11)|
|?Slavia Prague 1-3 Inter (27/11)||?SPAL 1-1 Genoa (25/11)|
Despite Martinez and Brozovic missing out along with Sensi and Barella, Inter fans should be excited for this one as a couple of young talents will be able to strut their stuff on Saturday evening.
Sebastiano Esposito is highly-regarded at the club while Lucien Agoume has traits that can be likened to Yaya Toure – from a small sample size, mind.
Inter’s sturdy backline remains intact despite the lengthy injury/suspension list and they should be able to keep out a Genoa side that will also be without a couple of key men. But, with a distinct lack of creativity from midfield and Lautaro missing out, Inter
Prediction: Inter 1-0 Genoa