Serie A Matchday 2: Inter – Genoa Match Preview

Simone Inzaghi is set to make his competitive managerial debut at Inter as the 2020/21 Serie A champions play host to Genoa at the Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday afternoon. Heading into the new season as the defending champions for the first time in over a decade, the Nerazzurri will be looking to shrug off off-the-field distractions to seal all three points in their 2021/22 curtain-raiser.

After spending five years at the helm of Lazio, Inzaghi took over the reins in Lombardy in the wake of Antonio Conte’s surprising departure. The Italian manager is one of several new faces at Inter. In addition to Hakan Calhanoglu, who swapped allegiances in the city, Denzel Dumfries and Edin Dzeko are the remaining two summer additions so far.

As for Genoa, they are looking like a doomed outfit here following an uneventful summer. The visitors had rarely impressed last season, and with a lack of eye-catching signings, another tough slog is expected here.

Inter vs Genoa Head-To-Head

Genoa fans might still have nightmarish flashbacks to their side’s most recent trip to the Giuseppe Meazza as they succumbed to a dismal 3-0 loss here in late February.

Luckily for Genoa, Romelu Lukaku, who broke the deadlock that time around, is no longer an Inter player, having sealed his blockbuster return to Chelsea earlier in the summer.

Even without the Belgian striker in the picture, the Nerazzurri should have ‘another day in the office’ on Saturday.

The recent top-flight H2H record between these two sides heavily favors Inter, who have won each of their last six such encounters by an aggregate score of 21-0!

Inter Preview

Despite going head-to-head and stride-for-stride with bitter rivals Milan throughout most of the 2020/21 campaign, Inter eventually strolled to the Serie A title.

Led by Conte, Inter racked up 91 points en route to lifting the league crown last season, marking only the second top-flight campaign in the club’s history that saw them smash a 90-point barrier.

A return of a single loss from their final 22 Serie A games of 2020/21 saw the Nerazzurri bring Juventus’ nine-year reign of dominance to a halt last term (W17, D4).

Particularly impressive on home soil, the reigning champions have won each of their last 16 home league fixtures, a run bettered by only three sides in the top-flight history.

But, last season’s fairytale has turned into a nightmare this summer.

Dealing with financial turmoil, Inter had to part ways with standout performer Romelu Lukaku and one of the most prolific defenders in Europe’s top-five divisions, Achraf Hakimi.

The pair’s heartbreaking departures, coupled with Conte’s immediate farewell, have cast doubts on the team’s chances of maintaining domestic supremacy this term.

Genoa Preview

Following back-to-back 17th-place finishes in 2018/19 and 2019/20, Genoa amassed 42 points last season to ensure an 11th-place finish on the back of their highest points tally in five years!

Although they head into proceedings as outsiders, Il Grifone might stage an early upset on Saturday should they draw first blood at the Giuseppe Meazza.

Indeed, Genoa finished the 2020/21 season as the only side to win every Serie A match when leading at half-time, successfully navigating all seven such contests.

The visitors’ lack of consistency has to be pinned on frequent managerial shifts over the past three years, with current boss Davide Ballardini being the team’s seventh coach since 2018.

Ballardini was, in fact, the architect of Genoa’s resurrection last season. I Rossoblu tallied 35 out of their total 42 Serie A points in 2020/21 in the wake of his appointment in December 2020.

But with last season’s headline performer Eldor Shomurodov departed for Roma, Genoa could encounter difficulties in front of goal this time around.

Inter vs Genoa Players to Watch

Edin Dzeko, who arrived from Roma in the summer as a short-term replacement for Lukaku, could be in for his 200th Serie A appearance here. After six stunning seasons in the capital, the 35-year-old joined the Nerazzurri in mid-August and already troubled the scoreboard in his unofficial debut.

Genoa will put their faith into the hands of last season’s top scorer Mattia Destro as they hope to defy the odds on Saturday afternoon. The Italian striker was a somewhat talismanic figure in 2020/21 as Il Grifone went undefeated in eight of the nine Serie A games in which Destro was on the scoresheet (W5, D3).

Inter vs Genoa Predicted Line-ups

Inter (3-4-2-1): Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Marcelo Brozovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ivan Perisic; Nicolo Barella, Stefano Sensi; Edin Dzeko.

Genoa (3-5-2): Salvatore Sirigu; Zinho Vanheusden, Davide Biraschi, Domenico Criscito; Stefano Sabelli, Stefano Sturaro, Milan Badelj, Hernani, Lennart Czyborra; Mattia Destro, Goran Pandev.