What: Inter v Genoa
Where: San Siro, Milan
When: Saturday, December 22, EARLY! 12:30pm local time (3:30am pacific, 6:30am eastern)
How to Watch: Live on RAI International (other channels here) or find a stream (try here). Rebroadcast on beIN Sport Espanol at 6am and 6pm pacific (9 and 9 eastern).
Liveblog: Er, not me. 3:30am. Yikes.
As you can see, Inter has a pretty good home record against Genoa. They haven't won this tie since 1994. Our last two meetings has produced 16 goals: a 5-2 win in 2011 and 5-4 last year. And it wasn't just a high-scoring game, it was super banana pants crazy. There were four penalties (one for us, three for them), a triple for Milito, and two red cards (one apiece). So not one for the feint of heart. But hey, at least we won:
This has not been a good year for Genoa. They are second to last in the league and have already been booted out of the Coppa. They are bottom of the table in terms of attack (only 17 goals, Palermo and Pescara are bottom with 15), and the third worst defense (29 goals allowed, Pescara is worst with 35). They have won only one game in their last five, and only three over all. They are in a rut. I guess that is what happens when you continually sell off all your talent season after season.
In terms of players, they have a pretty good keeper in Seba Frey. Up front, they have Juve wonderkid Ciro Immoble and walking venirerial disease, Marco Borriello. Even so, there are only seven goals between them. To add insult to injury, Boriello didn't even make the trip to Milan. Even La Gazzetta is perplexed. Delneri hasn't released a squad list so line-ups are a bit of a mystery as well. I guess he is playing this close to the chest.
|Huh. It looks like Palacio is trying to take out Belec. I bet he wants more minutes in goal.
Strama has called up 21 players:
Goalkeepers: Handanovic, Belec, Di Gennaro;
Defenders: Zanetti, Silvestre, Ranocchia, Samuel, Chivu, Pereira, Juan Jesus, Jonathan;
Midfielders: Alvarez, Mariga, Cambiasso, Gargano, Benassi;
Forwards: Palacio, Milito, Livaja, Cassano, Bessa.
Sneijder is still in limbo, Guarin is disqualified, and the injury list is massive: Deki, Obi, Mudingayi, Castellazzi, Nagatomo, and Coutinho. Crazy, right? Although, to be fair, as Strama pointed out in his presser today, the injuries are all from clashes in games and not from training. I guess that counts for something.
Pundits think that Strama will revert to his favored 3-4-3 with Palacio, Milito, and Cassano up front. The midfield is a bit of a mystery for me. For sure we will miss Guarin. The game against Hellas showed what he brings to a match. We have our terrifying trio back for defense (Rano, Samuel, and Juan Jesus), and Handa back in defense. But, as always, this is just pure speculation and I wouldn't put it past Strama to pull a completely different rabbit out of his hat. He is always showing me up like that.
|Wow, even goofing around, Samuel looks like he has his game face on. via www.inter.it|
A bit of scheduling: so after tomorrow, the team goes on break until January 2. After that, Strama will have the boys on double training until Sunday, January 6th. Not a lot of time off for the holidays. Best to go out on a high note, then.
At this point, Genoa is a wounded animal, snapping in the corner, staring down the horrible prospect of relegation. They are dangerous. Inter, on the other hand, has the quality to win this, what we need to bring to bring to the pitch now is heart. It would be great to go into the break with second sewn up. A bright note to send us all out into the cold with. So lets kick some Griffoni ass.
Yodeling - Check!
Whittling - Check!
Goofy Argies - Double Check!