ROME, Italy December 13 – Inter Milan will be eyeing a top six spot when they travel to Genoa in Serie A on Tuesday in a game postponed last month due to bad weather.
Having hovered just above the relegation zone for most of the campaign so far, that would be no mean feat for the Milan giants.
A disastrous start saw them lose five and win only two of their first nine league matches but a recent run of three wins in their last four games has seen them break into the top half.
Making it four wins in five would still leave them a significant distance off the leaders, but would at least give them hope of competing for a European or even maybe a Champions League place next season.
Bringing back that hope could also encourage the club’s fans to return to the stadium.
Attendances have been very low this season as Inter have struggled but coach Claudio Ranieri believes that if they can turn the corner, the fans will be back.
“We’re going forward like this, step by step, with desire and determination,” he said.
“We’re still lacking a cohesive game, especially when we play 4-4-2, but we’re not letting up. We need to get the fans back into the San Siro and when we see the ground full again we’ll have turned the corner.
“This year we’re not on the motorway, we’re on a winding country road and we have to be careful.”
Genoa’s top scorer Rodrigo Palacio will miss the game with a groin strain.
The last time Genoa had to do without the Argentine, at home to AC Milan, they slumped to a 2-0 defeat, although they weren’t helped by the sending off of centre-back Kakha Kaladze.
However, Genoa aren’t the only ones with a striker problem as Inter’s Giampaolo Pazzini has been forced to defend his angry goal celebration against Fiorentina.
Pazzini, who hadn’t scored in the league for 77 days before that, looked angry and seemed to be directing his ire at a certain section of the fans.
However, he says that isn’t the case.
“My celebration absolutely wasn’t a criticism or an insult to the fans and I thought I had already made that clear after the game when I said it was simply something spontaneous,” he said.
“It wasn’t directed at anyone in particular and I was looking at the middle of the pitch. It’s really disappointing to read and hear certain things, even that’s part of the game.”