Genoa come to Milan and we are offered the perfect opportunity to make up for a couple of those dropped points earlier in the month. Roma and Milan have drawn (0-0, almost a perfect result) leaving 2 mouthwateringly juicy points on the table. We just have to go through Genoa to get them. Which may not be as easy as it sounds. Genoa have, on paper at least, a remarkably talented team. They haven't always gotten the results they would like, but the potential to do real damage is there. Not to mention, they will be looking for a little payback on that 0-5 drubbing at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
What: Inter v Genoa
Where: San Siro, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
When: Sunday, March 7, 8:45pm local time (11:45am pacific, 2:45pm eastern)
How to Watch: Live on Fox Soccer Channel or find a stream: MyP2P, Rojadirecta, Ustream, and ATDHE.net
Historically speaking, Genoa is not one of those teams for Inter - at least not in Milan. At home, Inter is four times as likely to win or draw this game than lose. In addition, Inter has outscored Genoa by a factor of 2:1. Looking a little more recently, like the Twenty-first Century, Inter and Genoa have only had two Serie A matches in Milan. One ended 4-1 (in 2007), the other was last season's 0-0 draw.
As I look over my review of last year's meeting, I am reminded that our performance was pretty terrible and Mourinho was livid. I am pretty sure the only good thing that came of it was the picture I posted above (I still dont know what Deki thought he was doing - but I like it). Both teams are very different beasts this year so there is not a whole lot to be learned from last year's tie. Still, for the sake of form, here are the highlights:
The Genoa board sort of randomly springs to life, but recently seems to be in a bit of a coma. I have no idea if Patcook will get a post up for this game or not. You may have to make do with my horribly unknowledgeable ramblings (I know, so what else is new?).
Genoa have had a real roller coaster of a season, dropping from first to 13th in the first half of the season. Still, when you graph their progress (like ESPN so handily does), since mid-January, the trend has been up.
Gasperini has brought 21 players to Milan:
PORTIERI: Amelia, Scarpi, Frison.
DIFENSORI: Bocchetti, Fatic, Moretti, Sokratis, Tomovic.
CENTROCAMPISTI: Criscito, Gucher, Juric, Kharja, Mesto, Milanetto, Rossi, Zapater.
ATTACCANTI: Jankovic, Palacio, Palladino, Suazo, Sculli.
Although Juric made the bus to Milan, he still has to pass a fitness test tomorrow before the match. La Gazzetta suggests that Amelia will too.
La Gazzetta also says the lineup will be:
Sokratis Moretti Bochetti
Rossi Milanetto Zapater Criscito
Palacio Suazo Mesto
Mou and the club are still not having their pressers so there is not a whole lot to talk about.
Twenty players have been called up:
Goalkeepers: Toldo, Julio Cesar, Orlandoni.
Defenders: Cordoba, Zanetti, Lucio, Maicon, Materazzi, Samuel.
Midfielders: Stankovic, Quaresma, Sneijder, Muntari, Krhin, Mariga.
Strikers: Eto'o, Milito, Pandev, Balotelli, Arnautovic.
Chivu is still injured and Thiago Motta picked up a thigh strain while training. Santon is back to full training but it looks like Mou is going to give him one more week. Look for him against Catania on Friday. Cambiasso is disqualified (this is his last day, though).
As I look at the list and the possible starters, all but Zanetti and Milito have played a game this week already. In fact, out of the twenty, only eight had the whole week off - and two of those are back-up keepers. Hopefully everyone held just a tiny bit back from their national teams to use against Genoa tomorrow.
Do these pants make my butt look big?
Looking at the above,
Mou Baresi could go a couple different ways with the lineup. Right now, the most popular thought is he will go with the (odious) 4-2-3-1 as that way, both Balo and Eto'o have a place. Still, you never know, Mou could start out "playing it safe" with our more typical midfield diamond, waiting to switch things up as he sees how things are going. I have no idea what he will do and no press conference means no lovely little tidbits.
Everyone knows this game is crucial, for the chance to make up some lost ground more than anything (6 is much better than 3). Genoa also need to start picking up points if they want to salvage a European spot this season. When we went to Genoa earlier in the season, they were buoyed by their recent wins, the press, and our supposed lackluster start. They believed they were better than us because the press told them so (hell, we fans believed they were better than us). The five goals to zero showed them differently. This time, Genoa will not have the same expectations. They know a win at the San Siro will be difficult and will plan accordingly. For Inter, the club must not let their past results lull them into a false sense of security. Genoa know how to score and they now how to seize an opportunity. Lets not give them any. Oh, and what do you say we end with all 11 men on the pitch this time - wouldn't that be nice?
I guess I might as well keep this short rather than blather on just for the sake of typing. See you tomorrow for the game.
Since I started with Deki and Genoa (2008), how about we end with it as well (2009). Che Goal...