Inter close out a successful calendar 2023 with a tricky away match to Genoa

Having lost just once in their last eight home games, which includes a win against Roma and draws with Napoli and Juventus, Genoa is sitting six points above the relegation zone as we are heading to the mid-point of the Serie A season. Despite conceding more goals than they have scored, the Rossoblu’s return to Serie A this season has to be considered a success so far. With former Italy international striker Alberto Gilardino at the helm of his inaugural campaign in the top flight, the Genovese have proven tricky for the larger sides this season. In addition to victories against Roma and Lazio, and draws against Napoli and Juventus, it took an 87th minute Christian Pulisic goal to give Milan a narrow victory at the Luigi Ferraris in October.

While Genoa has only scored 18 goals in 17 Serie A matches, they have talent up front. The Islandic attacker, Albert Guðmundsson, leads the team with seven goals (1 assist) and is attracting a lot of attention across the continent. The Argentinian-born Italian striker, Mateo Retegui, is next with three goals (1 assist), and the former Atalanta attacker Ruslan Malinovskyi (2 goals and 1 assist) is well-known in Italy for his strikes outside the box. Where Genoa has struggles is on defense, having conceded 22 goals in league play (10 at home). How Il Grifone’s defense will hold up to the Inter attack (best in Serie A), will determine the flow of this match.

Notwithstanding last week’s Coppa Italia setback against red-hot Bologna, Inter have been on a tear this season. In Serie A, they sit top of the table with 44 points in 17 matches, having scored a blistering 41 goals while conceding a paltry seven (12 clean sheets). However, unlike Genoa that will not be missing any players due to injury, the Nerazzuri are expected to be without several starters including Lautaro Martínez (15 league goals and 2 assists), Federico Dimarco (3 goals and 4 assists), Denzel Dumfries (2 goals and 3 assists), and Juan Cuadrado (2 assists).

Projected Genoa lineup (3-4-2-1): J Martínez; De Winter, Drăgușin, Bani; Sabelli, Frendrup, Badels, Vásquez; Guðmundsson, Malinovskyi; Ekuban.

Projected Inter Milan lineup (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Çalhanoğlu, Mkhitaryan, Carlos Augusto; Thuram, Arnautović.

Genoa-Inter is set to kick-off on Friday, December 29 at 20:45 CET / 14:45 EST.