Inter Milan is a club utterly determined to stay in the race for the scudetto. In Leonardo's two months in charge, the Nerazzurri have climbed from sixth to second, although they remain five points behind rivals AC Milan. With third-place Napoli utterly failing to make an impression at the San Siro last weekend, it seems only Inter will have the opportunity to steal the Serie A glory.
It's unlikely Genoa will put up much of a fight, seeing as they're missing not only their coach but a starting midfielder, defender and striker after everyone got stuck in one tizzy or another against Catania last week. Which is understandable, really. When your team goes and beats your rivals, and then comes back from a 3-0 deficit to beat Roma 4-3, losing the lead to freakin' Catania has to be all sorts of annoying. Except now Genoa have even more of a mountain to climb at their visit to the San Siro.
How An Old Fool Find Goals
At times, the Inter defense is certainly simple enough to pick apart. But with two of Genoa's top scorers, Luca Toni and Andrea Ranocchia (who, by the way, had five between them), off for other pastures, you have to wonder who, exactly, is going to cut through the defense. Rodrigo Palacio? Without Miguel Veloso, there aren't many to get him the ball. Alberto Paloschi, who has yet to start this season, will be partnering Palacio. In other words, this is not a match that brings the word "upset" to mind.
Whereas Genoa really dislike scoring goals, somehow managing to get to 10th on less than one per match, Inter really, really like scoring them. Samuel Eto'o has 16 already this season, but Wesley Sneijder is determined to catch-up. The midfielder, finally back from injury, scored from a fantastic free kick last week and put another off the post. He's promised Leonardo at least 10 goals before the end of the season, so we'll be watching you today, Wes. We'll also have our eyes on Giampaolo Pazzini, who's scored four in his seven matches since coming over from Sampdoria.
Injuries and Suspensions
Inter will be missing Diego Milito, Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel and probably Ivan Cordoba. They'll be pleased to welcome Maicon back from suspension, although it remains to be seen how long he'll go without another.
Genoa are without Domenico Criscito, Miguel Veloso, and Antonio Floro Flores after their tempers got the best of them last week. Criscito saw straight red for a poor tackle, but Floro Flores was given one from the bench after insulting the referee. Coach Davide Ballardini is also suspended after protesting the card to Floro Flores. Mattia Destro and Omar Milanetto are also set to miss out.
After weeks and weeks of picking apart Inter Milan, I'm finally giving in to the inevitable. A win for Inter, likely 3-1.