Inter Milan vs Genoa, Preview: Delneri desperation in Grifone fly-or-die clash

Dino Panato

Having overseen just a single victory since taking charge in October, only a nigh-on impossible win at Inter will ease the pressure on Genoa coach Gigi Del Neri

Last year was meant to be Genoa's annus horribilis, though this one has started even worse. They have won just once since September, and the firing of the man who kept them up last season, Luigi Di Canio, looks ever more ridiculous.

However, coach-munching maniac president Enrico Preziosi could be about to re-hire Di Canio, tasked with the same briefing he was given last year. That is, of course, providing Delneri doesn't upset the odds to overcome his overwhelming incompetence and get a result away at Inter Milan in Saturday's early kick-off.

Andrea Stramaccioni's side has endured a tricky run of league form of late, winning just twice in their last six games. Nevertheless, Inter are still Juventus' nearest challengers at the top of the league -- though admittedly, that's not saying much.

Unfortunately the history books don't offer much comfort for the Genoese, as you have to go back to 1994 for the last time they beat the nerazzurri. Inter have won the last six straight meetings in all competitions between these sides, and there's not much evidence to suggest that will change this time.

Despite the smatterings of quality in Genoa's squad, saying they've underwhelmed in Delneri's 4-4-2 is an understatement. Ciro Immobile's return from loan at Pescara -- a club at which he scored 28 goals last campaign -- has seen him net just four times.

His strike partner Marco Borriello enjoyed his best season of his career at the Marassi with 19 goals in 2007-08, he's scored just thrice so far. Though, let's be honest, did anyone expect any better?

Providing Rodrigo Palacio and his co-conspirators Antonio Cassano and Diego Milito can perform as well up front as Palacio did in his Coppa Italia goalkeeping heroics on Tuesday, Inter should have no problems picking up three points here.

Inter Milan Injuries and Suspensions

Dejan Stanković, Joel Obi, Gaby Mudingayi, Luca Castellazzi, Yuto Nagatomo and Philippe Coutinho (injured). Fredy Guarin (suspended).

Wesley Sneijder is also out, having been given the rest of the year off. I somehow doubt that's a gesture of seasonal goodwill.

Genoa Injuries and Suspensions

Damiano Ferronetti, Cristóbal Jorquera, Cesare Bovo and Bosko Janković (injured). Felipe Seymour and Emiliano Moretti (suspended).

Match Date/Time: Saturday, December 22 at 12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET

Venue: San Siro, Milan, Italy

TV: RAI Internazionale (U.S.), Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy)

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