Stadio Giuseppe Meazza forms the backdrop as Inter and Roma go head-to-head in Saturday’s blockbuster Serie A showdown. Both sides went into the international break on the back of poor league results, as the last Serie A round marked the first time since 1955 that Inter, Roma, Juventus, and AC Milan all lost on a single matchday.
Nicolo Barella handed Inter an early lead at Udinese with a sublime free-kick, but the Nerazzurri found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline on the eve of September’s international break. With top-placed Napoli already five points clear, Simone Inzaghi’s men can ill-afford another fiasco if they’re to stay within the Scudetto pace.
On the other hand, Roma wasted numerous clear-cut opportunities during a disappointing 1-0 home loss to Atalanta last time out. But Jose Mourinho’s team headed into the break sixth in the table, just one point adrift of fourth-placed Lazio. The visitors’ bid to claim their first top-four Serie A finish since 2017/18 is, therefore, alive and kicking.
Since neither side would benefit much from a draw, the Meazza crowd could be in for a spectacle. However, both teams have struggled in the front third lately, which threatens to turn this into a cagey, low-scoring fixture. Last season’s meetings between the two Serie A powerhouses featured at least three goals, so there’s hope they could produce another feast for neutrals.
A 3-1 defeat against Udinese in their last outing marked just the fourth time since 1994/95 that Inter had lost at least three of their opening seven matches of a top-flight campaign (W4, L3). Ominously for the home side, they did not finish in the top four on any of the three prior occasions.
Inzaghi’s lads will look to bounce back and return to winning ways, knowing they haven’t lost any of their last ten Serie A encounters against Roma (W4, D6). That’s Inter’s best undefeated run against the capital-based side since World War II, suggesting they’ve found a recipe to play Mourinho’s team.
Adding to the hosts’ confidence, they have won their last seven Serie A games at Meazza, registering four clean sheets in that period. Another win here would see Inter string together eight consecutive home league victories for the first time under Inzaghi, so motivation should not be in short supply.
Despite still bearing Inter in his heart, Roma boss Mourinho won’t be out to make new friends. After his men lost two of their last three Serie A fixtures (W1), the Portuguese manager will have to watch this showdown from the stands. In another touchline outburst, the Special One earned a straight red card against Atalanta.
Without Mourinho in the dugout, Roma look like a doomed outfit before the kick-off. The visitors’ underwhelming form on hostile turf has seen the Giallorossi win just once on their last four competitive travels (D1, L2), courtesy of a 2-1 victory at bottom-half Empoli on their most recent Serie A road trip.
After missing out on his side’s loss to Atalanta, Paulo Dybala will be in contention for this match. But it may not be the Argentine to tip the scales in the visiting side’s favor here. New Roma striker Andrea Belotti has tallied four Serie A goals against Inter, all of which came at Meazza. So he could be an ace up Mourinho’s sleeve.
Inter vs Roma Potential Line-ups
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Matteo Darmian, Nicolo Barella, Kristjan Asllani, Roberto Gagliardini, Robin Gosens; Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko.
Roma (3-4-2-1): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez; Zeki Celik, Bryan Cristante, Nemanja Matic, Leonardo Spinazzola; Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicolo Zaniolo; Tammy Abraham.