Over the course of their last four matches, the Grfione have been outscore three to one; losing to the likes of Hellas Verona, AC Milan, Torino and Cagliari.
The matches against Torino saw Genoa give up two goals in second half stoppage time while Sunday’s loss to Cagliari wasn’t quite so heartbreaking. The Grifone got off to an early lead thanks to Sebastian De Maio, only to give up goals on either side of halftime courtesy of Marco Sau and Segundo Ibarbo.
Though not mathematically safe, with four matches remaining Genoa need just two more points to not only cross the magic 40-point threshold, but to put themselves out of reach of the competition. The tricky part is Genoa will play both Bologna and Sassuolo in the coming weeks, two teams that are desperate for points at this stage of the season. Two teams that are trying to claw themselves to Serie A safety.
Despite Genoa not playing their best football recently, Bologna aren’t either as the Rossoblu are winless in their last five games. Bologna did defeat Genoa at the end of December in a less than thrilling affair. Their next showdown could go either way with both teams reeling at the moment. While both Genoa and Bologna are in a rough patch, Sassuolo have found some form. The Neroverdi are undefeated in three, but look to have a difficult run in as they will face Juventus and Fiorentina before Genoa arrives at the Citta del Tricolore.
However, before Genoa meet those two relegation candidates, the Grifone will face Atalanta. That match should see Genoa secure a point at the very least as La Dea have completely lost form in the last three weeks after being the hottest team in Serie A. Atalanta has little to play for which should help the Grifone.
While Genoa’s form and luck have dipped in recent weeks, the form and luck of one player has done the opposite.
Midfielder Stefano Sturaro has stepped into the centre of the park and produced some excellent performances.
The 21-year-old has started and complete eight of the team’s last ten matches. Though the Grifone’s record isn’t sterling in those encounters, Sturaro has shown a keen ability to play on both sides of the ball.
Against Juventus he did his best to man mark the amazing Paul Pogba, and if it hadn’t been for a gorgeous Andrea Pirlo free-kick, the match would have finished scoreless.
Sturaro has also shown an eye for goal tallying the first goal of his career against Catania and adding two assists since then. Sturaro’s emergence has seen fellow young midfielder Isaac Cofie’s playing time reduced, appearing in only seven of the team’s matches since Christmas and mostly coming on as a substitute.
While Sturaro isn’t the same quality as Andrea Bertolacci, Juraj Kucka or Matuzalem, he still has a place. With more time Sturaro can develop and even become a club legend like Marco Rossi, a midfielder whom retired prior to this season after playing in over 230 matches for the club.
If this season is any indication, expect plenty of playing time for the former Italian under-19 player next term. Sturaro could be the heir apparent to Kucka or Matuzalem’s spot.
Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @Calciofarmer