Juventus
    19.09.2015 13.15 - in: Serie A S

    Genoa under the microscope

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    Juventus.com takes a closer look at Sunday's opponents Genoa ahead of what will be the Bianconeri’s 49th visit to the historic Stadio Luigi Ferraris

    Ending a 12-year absence from Italy’s top-flight, which included spells as far down as Serie C1, current coach Gian Piero Gasperini restored Genoa to the promised land in 2006/07, marking the return to Serie A of one of Italy’s most historic clubs.

    Since then, despite a couple of flirtations with relegation, the Rossoblu have re-established themselves as Serie A mainstays, and last season’s sixth place finish will have fans of the Grifone, a nickname lended from the club’s badge, hoping for another season in the upper reaches of the table.

    As the Old Lady faces Genoa for a 97th time on Sunday afternoon, Juventus.com takes a closer look at their past, present and prospects for the coming campaign. 

    history

    Founded in 1893 by British industrialists everything about Genoa bears the marks of its Anglo-Saxon heritage, from the club’s name, Genoa Cricket and Football Club, to the St.George’s flag adorning its crest, to the style of its home ground, the atmospheric Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

    Such history extends to the field as the Rossoblu are Serie A’s fourth most decorated side, winning all nine of their Scudetto titles between 1898 and 1923 in a glorious pre-war period. In a post-war era of mixed fortunes, spending time in Italy’s first, second and third divisions, Genoa though have enjoyed a sustained resurgence since the 1990s.

    The highlight of which was undoubtedly a run to the UEFA Cup semi-final in 1991/92, completing a double over Liverpool before falling to eventual winners Ajax. More recently, the Rossoblu have finished in Serie A’s top ten in five of the last eight seasons. 

    stadium

    Home to both of the city’s clubs, Genoa and Sampdoria, the 36,599-seater Stadio Luigi Ferraris is unlike most of Italy’s footballing arenas.

    Built in 1911, with its square structure and the proximity of the stands to the pitch, Saturday’s venue bears far more similarities to stadia across the Channel than back home and the Rossoblu’s home ground is famed for its imposing atmosphere.

    On the international stage, the Luigi Ferraris hosted four fixtures for the 1990 World Cup including Ireland’s 5-4 penalty win over Romania in the second round, while also opening its door for numerous rugby internationals, the latest coming in November of last year as the Azzurri narrowly lost to Argentina. 

    manager

    The current occupant of the stadium’s dugout is Gian Piero Gasperini, back in Genoa for his second spell in charge. Beginning his coaching career at Juventus in the late 1990s taking the reins of the club’s Primavera side, Gasperini’s maiden managerial post came at Crotone.

    It was there that the 57-year old tasted his first success as a manager, leading the Calabrian outfit to Serie B via the play-offs in 2003/04. Shortly afterwards the former Bianconeri midfielder arrived at Genoa to repeat his promotion feats, guiding the Rossoblu to Serie A at the first time of asking before leaving the club in November 2010.

    Following brief tenures at Inter and Palermo in the interim, Gasperini was back at the Luigi Ferraris in September 2013, finishing comfortably in mid-table in his first full season before masterminding an impressive sixth place finish last time out. 

    HOW HAVE THEY STARTED THE SEASON?

    The Rossoblu will be looking to reverse the form book when they welcome Juve on Sunday, as no other side has beaten (57) or scored more times (197) against them than the Bianconeri.

    Genoa though were one of only three teams to defeat Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus last season and they will consider themselves unlucky not to have added to their Matchday 2 win over Hellas Verona, following narrow 1-0 defeats to Palermo and Fiorentina.  

    Gasperini has shuffled his pack for all three of his side’s opening games but has kept faith with his wing-backs Diego Laxalt and new-signing Issa Cissokho who have both started the term promisingly, providing pace and thrust from wide areas.

    Leading the line for Gasperini’s men in the opening three fixtures has been Serie A veteran goalscorer Goran Pandev now entering his 11th campaign in Italy’s top-flight. While the Macedonian was deployed as a lone-striker against Fiorentina last time out, Genoa produced a fine performance to see off Hellas in their first home game of the season, lining up in a 3-5-2 formation.

    Olivier Ntcham has made 9 scoring chances this season, only Saponara (11) and Pereyra (10) have created more

    Supporting Pandev on that day were energetic forward Serge Gakpé and promising Manchester City loanee Olivier Ntcham who is currently third overall in Serie A this season for chances created (9).

    A win for the Bianconeri will take them above Genoa in the fledgling stages of the new season but Gasperini’s charges will be looking upwards with their eyes on a repeat of last term’s 1-0 triumph over Allegri’s side last October. 

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