After complains of many players of Genoa and Sampdoria and heavy critics of Lega Calcio the city of Genova has decided to put new grass in Luigi Ferraris stadium. Yesterday the old grass is removed as you can see and today they will start to bring the new grass on the playground, so the field is ready before Genoa’s match Saturday 10th January.
Friday our players have their first training in 2009. Probably also central-forward Lupo Greco will be present in Pegli to be the reserve-Milito for the rest of the season. At the moment Giuseppe Greco is still rent by Genoa to Pisa in Serie B.
Sometimes you don’t win while you deserve it, like last week against Atalanta. Another time you don’t deserve it but you win a match. Today Genoa did win the last match of the fantastic year 2008 by a goal of Ruben Olivera in the 89th minute, but we did not deserve it. Despite the fact that Chievo Verona hit two times the post it was a really 0-0 match between number last Chievo Verona and the very handicaped team of Mr. Gasperini who missed 7 line-up players (Ferrari, Mesto, Milanetto, Gasbarroni, Sculli, Milito and Palladino) and let El Shaarawy (16 years) and Brivio make their debut today. With this victory Genoa ends 2008 on the 6th Uefa-cup position in the standings with 29 points in 17 matches, 10 more than last year after 17 games.
Mr. Gasperini has only 14 players left of his selection of 26. Today it was clear that also Diego Milito is not healthy enough to play against Chievo Verona, so Genoa misses 4 of the 6 strikers. Besides the 14 players Mr. Gasperini also selected 4 youngsters of the Primavera-team to play against the number last of the Serie A.
The 18 players who will be supported 300 kilometers from Genova by 1500 Genoani:
Goalkeepers: Rubinho, Scarpi
Defenders: Biava, Bocchetti, Criscito, 34 Signorini, Sokratis
Midfielders: Brivio, 16 Cofie, Juric, Modesto, Rossi, Thiago Motta, Vanden Borre
Strikers: 31 El Shaarawy, Jankovic, Olivera, 33 Lazarevic
Mr. Gasperini has 6 strikers in his selection. At this moment only 1 striker is completely healthy and in condition: substitute Bosko Jankovic. The other healthy forward is another substitute: Ruben Olivera, but he did not play more than 20 minutes for a very long time, so he is not in match-condition. Giuseppe Sculli is banned Sunday after his 4th yellow card against Atalanta, while Gasbarroni and Palladino are injured. Our 6th and most important striker with 12 goals: Diego Milito is slightly injured, just as against Atalanta. Tomorrow in the last training Mr. Gasperini decides if Milito can play against Chievo, just as Giuseppe Biava and Ivan Juric. Let’s hope all 3 can play because besides the offensive problems we also miss important players like Milanetto, Ferrari and Mesto next Sunday.
So far this season Genoa played 9 matches in Luigi Ferraris and we are still unbeaten. After 6 victories (Milan, Roma, Napoli, Siena, Cagliari, Reggina) we draw against Bologna, won last week the derby by Milito and now we draw again by a late goal of Sculli: 1-1.
Today Genoa surely missed banned Giuseppe Biava and Ivan Juric, our midfielder from Croazia who got injured just before the start of the match. Comparing to the derby Sokratis and Palladino returned in the line-up, while 16 years old talented striker Stephan El Shaarawy stayed on the bench for the complete 90 minutes.
Within 5 minutes Diego Milito, who was not completely healthy, hit the post and everybody waited for the opening-goal which came, but on the other side by a goal of Floccari in the 17th minute: 0-1, which was also the score at halftime. In the second half it was a classical drama with 3 annulated Genoa-goals (Milanetto, Milito and Jankovic) because of off-side, 3 red cards (Bellini and Rivalta of Atalanta and our Milanetto) and finally in the 87th minute the deserved equalizer by a header of Giuseppe Sculli: 1-1. Genoa stays on the 6th (Uefa-cup) position in the standings with 26 points, 2 more than Atalanta. Next week we play the last match of the year 2008 in Verona against number last Chievo.
Today at 15.00 hours Genoa plays at home against number 7 Atalanta Bergamo. A difficult match, especially now because all supporters in Genova still are in 7th heaven because of the victory last week. The players have to be back on the ground to win this important match against a concurrent to reach European football.
Mr. Gasperini selected 19 players, including 16 years old striker of the Primavera-team Stephan El Sharaawy, who substitutes Olivera and Gasbarroni. The selection:
Goalkeepers: Rubinho, Scarpi
Defenders: Bocchetti, Criscito, Ferrari, Sokratis, Potenza
Midfielders: Brivio, Juric, Milanetto, Modesto, Rossi, Thiago Motta, Vanden Borre
Strikers: El Shaarawy, Jankovic, Milito, Palladino, Sculli