Mancini: Icardi doubtful for Genoa trip

The marksman has been in sublime form of late after initially struggling at the start of the campaign and the Nerazzurri boss has backed him to continue improving

Roberto Mancini has revealed in-form captain Mauro Icardi could miss Inter’s trip to Genoa on Wednesday after sustaining a knock.

Icardi scored last time out as the Nerazurri downed Napoli 2-0 at San Siro to move four points behind Roma in the battle to secure third and qualification for next season’s Champions League.

The 23-year-old’s strike against Napoli took his goalscoring tally up to 15 in Serie A and Inter’s hopes of catching Roma will suffer a huge blow if he’s absent against Genoa.

Mancini confirmed in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Genoa that Icardi, alongside Jonathan Biabiany, will both undergo tests to determine whether they can feature at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

“Icardi and [Jonathan] Biabiany have taken knocks. We will evaluate them today,” said the Italian.

“We will see with the line-up, we’ll have a look today and then tomorrow morning. Tomorrow’s game will be difficult, Genoa are an aggressive team that runs a lot.
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“Everything will depend on the next two games. If we get important points, then the game with Napoli will have been crucial, but we must prove ourselves.

“Everyone has highs and lows, with the exception of Juventus. It’s normal over a season.”

Icardi was the joint-highest scorer in the league last season but endured a difficult start this term, finding the net just twice in his first eight top-flight outings.

However, the 23-year-old is now booming with confidence and Mancini expects to see even more from Icardi in the future, insisting the striker is always striving to improve.

“I played with Pietro Vierchowod [at Sampdoria], and even at 34 and 35 years old he was improving every day, working more than 100 per cent. Not surprisingly he won the Scudetto and many titles,” said Mancini.

“Mauro is 23 years old, if he puts in maximum effort and concentration he can grow. He’s doing that. Every day he takes a step forward like anyone who is serious about their work.

“He’s always scored goals and will continue to because it’s his best quality. A football player has the misfortune of only being able to play up to a certain age and should take advantage of these years to improve. If you do it with intelligence, it happens.”