When Gianpiero Gasparini brings his Genoa side to Tuscany to face Livorno both teams will be looking for success, but for very different reasons. Under the tutelage of Serse Cosmi, the Amaranto have certainly improved on their early season malaise. A win at the Stadio Olimpico against Roma was followed by a home win against Atalanta. But defeats to Inter Milan and Bari have brought the revival crashing down to earth. Genoa have steadied the ship after a recent slump in form and are undefeated in their last three outings. Last time out Gasperini’s side ran out 4-2 winners at the Luigi Ferraris against crisis club Siena and will be confident of causing more heartache to Cosmi’s men.
Livorno – After his sickening head injury against Cagliari, Nelson Rivas looks set to return to a three man defence with Dario Knezevic dropping to the bench. Cristian Raimondi is suspended but a five man midfield will be spearheaded by Davide Moro, Mozart and Nico Pulzetti with Luigi Vitale and Davide Marchini playing the wing-back roles. However, it is in attack where all eyes will be focused, as new Azzurri golden boy Antonio Candreva will partner the evergreen Cristiano Lucarelli. The youngster will hope to transmit his impressive form at International level to his club side. A big blow for the Tuscans is the absence of striker Francesco Tavano, who is out through injury but Cosmi will be hoping his side can rise to the occasion in front of their fanatical fans.
1 De Lucia
59 Diniz – 4 Rivas – 17 Miglionico – 87 Vitale
5 Marchini – 7 Pulzetti – 21 Moro – 24 Mozart
83 Candreva – 99 Lucarelli
Il Grifone will welcome back goalkeeper Marco Amelia to face his former club, but will be without midfielder Omar Milanetto as Gasperini looks to continue his side’s recent good form. Giuseppe Biava, Emiliano Moretti and Salvatore Bocchetti will play as a defensive trident but will be aided by Dominic Criscito and Giandomenico Mesto who will act as wing-backs. The impressive Spaniard Alberto Zapater will anchor midfield alongside Francesco Modesto as Bosko Jankovic, Houssine Kharja and Ivan Juric remain on the treatment table. The attack is led veteran forward Hernan Crespo, who’s enduring ability matches that of Lucarelli, with Rodrigo Palacio and Raffaele Palladino likely to be in support. It seems that big summer signing Sergio Floccari will have to be content with a place on the bench for the second consecutive game.
25 Biava – 24 Moretti – 26 Bocchetti – 4 Criscito
20 Mesto – 21 Zapater – 23 Modesto – 10 Palladino
9 Crespo – 8 Palacio
When Cosmi answered the call from Livorno supremo Aldo Spinelli, he immediately set out to make his side hard to beat. He did this by deploying a five man midfield that was designed to stifle the opposition. In his opening game in charge against AS Roma it worked to perfection, but when the quality of opposition improved, as it did when Inter Milan visited the Armando Picchi, after his side fell behind, the Amaranto simply had no plan B. Gasperini’s Genoa are this season’s must see team – unpredictable and cavalier in their approach, the Rossoblu stick firmly to their coach’s principle to out-score their opposition. Playing with three strikers, goals are pretty much guaranteed when Genoa come to town, the big question for Cosmi, as he prepares his charges for another must win game, is can he keep Crespo and co quiet for 90 minutes?