Both sides are recovering from midweek Champions League losses, but the pressure is most certainly on the young and inexperienced hosts to produce a result. An intriguing encounter awaits us. Kick-off on Sunday at 20:30 CET.
Reeling Roma take to the pitch knowing that a poor showing against Champions League position rivals Inter can very possibly mean the end of the Eusebio Di Francesco tenure on the Giallorossi bench. Despite having seen at least three experienced and starting players depart over the summer and without the arrival of similarly experienced replacements, the Roma faithful seem to have had it with Di Frencesco’s management of the side.
One of the most leveled bits of criticism against the Italian manager has been his inability in finding the most effective formation and line-up. Despite Justin Kluivert and Cengiz Under’s good showings, the manager always seems to opt starting with just one of the pair, keeping the frustrating Stephan El Shaarawy as his go-to man. Regardless of who actually plays, Roma, on paper, possess a very capable front line who will need all of Inter’s defensive prowess to keep at bay.
Luciano Spaletti’s most covered soundbite from his post Tottenham interview was that Inter could have been more daring. It is this exact attitude that will be necessary here. Inter must absolutely go for Roma’s jugular. While Roma might possess some attacking threat, their defense is currently in shambles and a physical display from Inter’s midfield can bully the Lupi’s midfield into submission. Inter have won their last three league matches at the Olimpico, and the belief that they can continue owning this arena will be fundamental in the Nerazzurri’s victorious return to Milano.
Plenty of team news and fitness concerns to contend with for Inter this week. After having limped off the field with a troublesome ankle midweek, Radja Nainggolan will most certainly not be ruled fit for the match. Sitting the match out will be the injured Dalbert who still needs some time to recover from his fitness issues. Less black and white are the cases of Mauro Icardi and Sime Vrsalijko; Icardi was walking gingerly towards the end of the Champion League match, and if Spaletti has any doubts regarding his fitness he may rest him to ensure his availability for the subsequent week’s match against Juve. Vrsalijko on the other hand has technically recovered and will probably be available for selection, but due to the nature of his niggling injury, don’t expect Spaletti to rush him back into play.
Probable Inter line-up: (4-3-3) Handanovic; Asamoah, DiVrij, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio; Brozovic, Vecino; Joao Mario, Politano, Keita; Icardi (C).
Last Season: Roma 3-1 Inter.
Last 10 Head to Head: Roma have slightly bettered Inter over the last ten matches with four wins to the visitors’ three.
Keep an Eye on
Mauro Icardi: Having not scored on two matches in a row (albeit as an incoming substitute against Frosinone) Icardi will be set on finding the back of the net. But it’s not only his on the pitch talents that will be required in this match, the young captain will be required to dig deep into his man-motivation reservoir to aide the team in overcoming the midweek stumble and ensure that the domestic season is still on track.
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi
Assistants: Preti, Costanzo
Fourth Official: Di Bello
VAR Officials: Fabbri, Valeriani
Prediction & concluding remarks
Prediction & scorers: Roma 1-3 A repeat of last year’s result but a performance where Inter unleash the fury of their midweek frustration on a fragile and mediocre Roma. Icardi to score a hat-trick.
Concluding remarks: This match demands that we see the angriest, most aggressive and dominating version of Inter that these players can produce. Not only are Roma a team of inexperienced youngsters, but they currently reeling from a sequence of punches that has them on the proverbial ropes, Inter need to produce the knockout combination of punches.