Inter v Genoa preview
Preparations for Inters match against tomorrow are now complete with the Nerazzurri squad having the rare luxury of a full week of training without the interruption of a midweek game, not only that we’ve got the traditional kick off time of 15:00 instead of the evening games we’ve usually get on a Sunday. Tomorrows Serie A 2010/11 Week 28 match against Genoa at home will mark the two month mark with Leonardo in charge and a win would keep the pressure on AC Milan for the title.
1 Julio Cesar, 12 Luca Castellazzi, 21 Paolo Orlandoni;
2 Ivan Cordoba, 4 Javier Zanetti, 6 Lucio, 13 Maicon, 15 Andrea Ranocchia, 23 Marco Materazzi, 26 Cristian Chivu, 55 Yuto Nagatomo;
5 Dejan Stankovic, 8 Thiago Motta, 10 Wesley Sneijder, 14 Houssine Kharja, 17 MacDonald Mariga, 20 Joel Obi, 29 Philippe Coutinho;
7 Giampaolo Pazzini, 9 Samuel Eto’o, 27 Goran Pandev.
My starting 11
Given the selected squad I would play a 4-3-1-2 with these players starting the game
Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Chivu, Nagatomo, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Sneijder, Kharja, Eto’o & Pazzini
This is the strongest line up in my opinion but we shall see tomorrow.
“That’s right, it will be two months tomorrow since my first match,” he began, “but I honestly don’t think about it too much because it’s all been so intense and has gone by so quickly. I can say that I’m satisfied with what we’ve done. It was a delicate moment when I arrived here but everyone at the club was incredibly helpful. I’m very pleased with what the team has achieved, but especially with way it’s been done. It’s been quite a ride.” This has been an incredible two months since Leonardo joined the Nerazzurri ranks with the chance of him breaking the record of points in the first 13 matches, details of the statistics that could shoot Leo ahead of all coaches since ’94-’95 are as follows:
As Inter manager he has reached a total of 30 points (10 victories, 2 defeats) in his first 12 matches since 6 January, exactly like Simoni (Inter ’97-98), one more than Lippi (Juve ’94-95) but one less than Capello and Juventus from the days of the Calciopoli scandal, so really that shouldn’t count as it’s easy to get points when you’ve paid the ref off!
In the thirteenth match on their respective benches, Lippi earned one point (reaching 30), Simoni no points and Capello one, moving him on to 32.
Everything is working to Leonardo’s favour. If they can beat Genoa on Sunday at San Siro, he would then become a record breaking coach on account of his 33 points in 13 matches. This has never been done since the introduction of the three-point system for a win. Obviously the match hasn’t been played yet, but it’s just as obvious that these statistics can produce the motivational spark to spur them on in the chase after AC Milan.
After two months of nearly always playing weekends and midweek, Inter finally had a whole week to train: “We’ve been able to work well, even though we didn’t exactly have everyone available as some were coming back from injury and had individual sessions; we also concentrated on boosting fitness levels. We needed that to freshen us up a bit so that we can go into the final part of the season with the right impetus. We also did some tactical work so it’s been an important few days for us.”
The journalists were curious to hear about Andrea Ranocchia’s fitness: “He’s played a lot of games without a break and he had a bit of a problem on one side and then on the other. But he’s in the squad for tomorrow and is available to play. We’re not worried; we just need to keep an eye on him.”
There were lots of questions about tonight’s game between Juventus and AC Milan: “It might sound like the standard answer but this evening’s game won’t determine anything. I’m only thinking about us: we have important games coming up and we’re still involved in all the competitions. If we can maintain the consistency we’ve had then we can go a long way. We have to think about improving our game because if we do that we have a good chance of having lots of success this season. I really am only thinking about us and our results. And I’d like to add that although everyone keeps saying Genoa will have a weakened side tomorrow, if you look at the probable line-up you see a well-balanced team that is used to playing together and has done very well lots of times this year.”
I think Leonardo is right to not put too much focus on what Milan are doing and just concentrate on getting the results for ourselves and see what happens at the end of the season. Unfortunately Milan beat Juventus 1-0 tonight but that really isn’t decisive to who will take the title and Inter will fight to the wire.
Also discussing tomorrows game, ex Genoa player Kharja ensured the press that he would be giving his all for Inter tomorrow.
“I hope to play against Genoa and I also hope to score,” says Hussaine Kharja – who was the second-last Rossoblu player to score against the Nerazzurri, in January’s Coppa Italia tie at the Meazza – as he spoke to Inter Channel for an ‘A tu per tu’ interview. “I spent a year and a half at Genoa and I made a lot of friends,” he adds. “I still speak to lots of the players there and I see Mesto, Veloso and Rafinha regularly.”
The topic switches to Inter’s pursuit of AC Milan, but the midfielder is quick to point out that “we mustn’t write off Napoli. There are loads of games left so Lazio could catch up too. Anything can happen. We have a series of games, against Genoa, Lecce and Brescia, in which we have to do everything we can to pick up maximum points and hope that AC Milan drop a few. We must concentrate on racking up as many points as possible between now and the end of the season – it would be great if we could win them all – and then see what happens.”
The Moroccan then looks specifically to tomorrow’s game: “At the moment we have to focus on Genoa and we’re determined to beat them. This is the first week that we’ve been able to prepare for a game properly: there were no midweek matches and Leonardo had everyone available. We also worked on our fitness and I hope it’s been beneficial, let’s hope we’re a bit fresher now. Genoa won’t be an easy game but if we play as we know how to we can get the three points. And of course we’ll also have the support of our fans as we’re at home. What do I think about the fact that Genoa are missing some players? I don’t think it will be a problem for them because they have decent alternatives: they will still put out eleven good first-team players and we’ll show them respect. All we have to do is play as Inter can and remember that we are the best team in the league. When we play to our potential nobody can match Inter.”
I think this will be a good game for Inter as they should be refreshed after having no midweek game and they are all motivated to gain maximum points between now and the end of the season so I’m going to predict a 2-0 win for us with Sneijder and Pazzini scoring!
– Posted by Nerazzurri Outlaw