With just a gap of 2 points between them, 4th-placed Inter meet 7th-placed Roma in a much-anticipated encounter and the result of which may potentially shape the destiny of the two teams.
The hosts, Roma, approach this match on the back of a 3-game winless run (1L, 2D) and this recent drop in form has inflicted them to tumble down in the league standings. Though they stay in firm contention to qualify for the Champions League next season, the Giallorossi face a tight battle with their table competitors, who too remain in the same boat as them. A win today would shoot Jose Mourinho’s men past Inter in the standings and depending on the result at Milan-Lazio, they could even end the matchday in the top-four.
The hosts lost 3-0 at home against Inter in the last time they met but they got the better of the Nerazzurri in October’s reverse fixture. The win at San Siro may prove as a key psychological asset during the match as they would be looking to do the double over their Milanese counterparts.
Meanwhile, Inter will be aiming to continue their five-game unbeaten run across all competitions when they travel to Rome. They have scored an astounding 16 goals in their last five matches combined and that includes the latest drubbing of lowly Verona by a 6-0 margin.
Both Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez were on point to score two braces each during the match and successfully picked up a crucial win which saw them go past neighbourhood rivals Milan in the league standings into 4th-place.
Despite their recent form, the Nerazzurri knows about Jose Mourinho’s brilliance in managing a wounded side, which has been Roma’s character recently. Simone Inzaghi will expect an inspired Giallorossi who firmly remain in the hunt for a top-four finish, an achievement which they have not grabbed in the latest seasons.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
D D L W W
W W W W D’
Veteran midfielder Nemanja Matic returns from suspension for Jose Mourinho. Full-back Zeki Celik will serve a suspension after being sent off in added time against Monza.
The Portuguese will face a significant selection dilemma as he will be without the likes of Marash Kumbulla, Stephan El Sharaawy and Andrea Belotti, all through injuries. Paulo Dybala and Georginio Wijnaldum may rest this one out.
Captain Lorenzo Pellegrini is expected to lead the attack with Tammy Abraham and Ola Solbakken.
As for Inter, midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu will retain his starting place after scoring a stunner in his last match.
Nicolo Barella and goalkeeper Andre Onana will return to the team sheet.
Robin Gosens will be out for this match after dislocating his shoulder last weekend against Lazio.
Roma (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez; Zalewski, Matic, Bove, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Solbakken; Abraham
Inter (3-5-2): Onana; Darmian, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Correa, Lukaku
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN