Thanks to a resounding 2-0 win over Napoli last weekend, Inter are now just four points behind the Giallorossi. Suddenly, Roberto Mancini’s men are back in the race for third. Roma were held to a 3-3 draw with Atalanta this past Sunday, and were it not for a late goal from Francesco Totti, they would have seen their lead cut to three. With five matches remaining, the Nerazzurri surely will be fancying their chances at pipping the Lupi to that coveted Champions League berth, but they must first find a way past the Grifone.
Genoa have proven to be a very tricky opponent for Inter as of late. In their past seven Serie A meetings, Wednesday’s hosts have won two, drawn two, and lost three. They also happened to win this same fixture last season by a score-line of 3-2, and so far have won three out of their past five matches. Gian Piero Gasperini is surely looking forward to another meeting with his former side Inter and has already guided the Grifone to safety with 40 points seeing them presently sitting in 11th place.
However, they will be coming into this game having suffered a shock 4-1 reversal to Serie A debutants Carpi that snapped their two match winning streak. As such, Genoa will be desperate to rebound and to move themselves as close to the top half of the table – and potentially even break into it – as the 2015/2016 season winds down. Despite the frustrating loss to the minnows, the Grifone have been pretty solid at the Luigi Ferraris: not only have they won their last four home matches, but also have kept clean sheets in 5 out of their past 7 games.
Despite representing a potential banana skin for Inter, the Nerazzurri still do have a pretty excellent historical record versus the Grifone. Wednesday’s visitors have only lost two out of their prior 20 matches across all competitions. Still, those two defeats were pretty recent and at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, including the aforementioned 3-2 corresponding fixture last season on May 23, 2015 and another 1-0 victory for Genoa on January 19, 2014.
Gasperini will be missing Mattia Perin, with the young shot-stopper out for the rest of the season – and the EURO 2016 tournament – as a result of injury. Additional absentees for the Grifone also include veterans Goran Pandev and Nicolas Burdisso, whilst Geoffrey Kondogbia is the only player of note not available for Inter due to a ban.
Victory for Inter would see them at least stay four ticks behind Roma. Depending on the result of the Giallorossi vs. Torino tie, the Nerazzurri could conclude round 34 just one point off Luciano Spalletti’s side with four rounds to go – setting up a very interesting race for third place in the last month of the 2015/2016 season.
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