Inter welcome Roma to the San Siro this weekend in an eagerly anticipated top of the table clash on Saturday 31 October 2015 (kick off 20:45 CET) which will see the best attack in Serie A face the best defence.
Inter come into this game after returning to winning ways in the midweek round of fixtures against a spirited Bologna side who were really unlucky to lose 1-0 on the night.
Inter may be putting points on the board but the performances have been below par and coach Roberto Mancini really needs to settle on a system and his first eleven instead of changing too much every game and losing the rhythm and confidence of the players.
Inter’s win at the Stadio Dall’Ara sees them sit in 4th place in the Serie A table on 21 points, joint with Napoli (2nd) and Fiorentina (3rd), two points behind leaders Roma on 23 points.
Roma come into this game in fine form and their 3-1 midweek win against Udinese made it five wins in a row for the Giallorossi with the other wins against Fiorentina (1-2), Empoli (3-1), Palermo (2-4) and Carpi (5-1).
Roma have lost only once this season in Serie A in a 2-1 defeat away at Sampdoria along with two draws against Sassuolo (2-2) and Hellas Verona (1-1) adding to another two wins against Frosinone (0-2) and Juventus (2-1) which has seen Roma have the best attack this season with 25 goals scored in their ten matches so far.
Here is the Inter team news and probable line up as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport:
Samir Handanovic starts in goal after his superb last minute save against Bologna in midweek which sealed three points for Inter.
At right back Davide Santon is expected to keep his place ahead of Yuto Nagatomo, The central defensive partnership of Joao Miranda and Jeison Murillo returns following the Colombian’s suspension against Bologna. In the left back position Juan Jesus is expected to keep his place ahead of Alex Telles.
In midfield Gary Medel will take the place of the suspended Felipe Melo, alongside Fredy Guarin who is due a good performance and Marcelo Brozovic who is expected to replace Geoffrey Kondogbia.
In a three man attacking trident Stevan Jovetic is expected to replace Adem Ljajic who assisted against Bologna alongside Ivan Perisic and captain Mauro Icardi.
Probable Inter line up (subject to change): (4-3-3) Handanovic, Santon, Miranda, Murillo, Juan Jesus, Medel, Guarin, Brozovic, Jovetic, Perisic, Icardi (C)
Bench: Carrizo, Berni, Telles, Montoya, Ranocchia, D’Ambrosio, Nagatomo, Kondogbia, Gnoukouri, Palacio, Biabiany, Ljajic, Manaj
This match will see Serie A’s best attack (Roma) against the best defence (Inter). Roma have scored 25 goals so far in their 10 matches while Inter have conceded 7 goals in their 10 fixtures.
In the Serie A records Inter and Roma have faced each other at the San Siro 84 times with Inter leading the stats with 44 wins to Roma’s 14 wins with 26 matches drawn.
In the overall Serie A records (home and away) there have been 168 matches with Inter leading the stats on 71 wins to Roma’s 49 wins with 48 draws.
In all competitions the two sides have met each other 195 times with Inter winning 85 matches to Roma’s 58 wins with 52 matches drawn.
In last season’s match at the San Siro between the sides on 25 April 2015, Inter won 2-1 with goals from Hernanes and Mauro Icardi.
Player to Watch: Samir Handanovic – After his last minute save against Bologna sealed 3 points, Inter will need the Slovenian to be in his best form again against Serie A’s best attack.
My Prediction: Inter 1-1 Roma
Scorers: Icardi (Inter), Pjanic (Roma)
Officials: Referee: Nicola Rizzoli Assistants: Libertore, Costanzo
Fourth Official: Barbirati Additional Assistants: Calvarese, Irrati
Author’s Note: I really fear for this game as Inter’s performances this season have not been great but I have tried to be positive in my prediction. Against a Roma side firing on all cylinders in Serie A, Inter will need a cohesive performance to get anything out of the game, something we haven’t seen much this season and I believe this game will be won or lost in the midfield. I also feel that Roberto Mancini needs to get his tactics spot on for this game or else we could be in for a long night.