Inter vs Roma: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

One of the most highly anticipated fixtures on the Serie A calendar falls on Saturday, October 29, as Inter and Roma lock horns at Giuseppe Meazza. Let’s look at our match preview for this contest.

A third consecutive progression into the Champions League knockouts is now a distinct possibility for Inter after goals from Alexis Sanchez and Hakan Calhanoglu inspired them to a 2-1 home win over RB Salzburg on Tuesday. Back-to-back victories after a 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad on day one put Nerazzurri as Group D’s joint-leaders at the halfway stage.

The situation on the domestic front is equally outstanding as Inter wrestled back the top spot from arch-rivals Milan with an emphatic 3-0 triumph at a lowly Torino last weekend. Despite another first-half scoring blank, Simone Inzaghi’s men delivered a sublime second-half performance to respond to a frustrating 2-2 draw against Bologna in their last home league outing.

Unfortunately for Inter, they’re about to take on Roma amid the visitors’ purple patch. Talks of Jose Mourinho’s possible farewell in mid-September had prompted the capital-based side’s notable resurgence in form. A quick-fire double from Edoardo Bove and Romelu Lukaku locked Giallorossi’s comfortable 2-0 home win over Slavia Prague in midweek Europa League action. 

That was their fifth consecutive victory across all competitions, four of which impressively yielded multi-goal margins. The only exception was last weekend’s last-gasp 1-0 triumph over Monza. However, Jose Mourinho’s expulsion cast a shadow on Stephan El Shaarawy’s brilliant finish, which soared Roma to seventh in the standings, only three points adrift of fourth-placed Napoli. 

Match Preview


Giuseppe Meazza had been a textbook definition of a fortress in the early exchanges, with Inter winning their first three home league matches this season by a combined score of 11-1. But the wheels have since fallen off, with Sassuolo upsetting the apple cart with a 2-1 comeback win in late September before Bologna hauled back a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2 last time out.

Despite Roma’s return to prominence, Inter ought to be confident about slamming the breaks on their form decline on home turf. Nerazzurri have only lost once in their last 12 games against Mourinho’s team in Serie A (W5, D6). Walking further down memory lane, they have beaten Giallorossi more times than any other side in Serie A history (76). 

Player to Watch: Lautaro Martinez

Only a handful of strikers in Europe’s top-five leagues are on par with Martinez at the moment, with the Argentine forward topping the scoring charts in Serie A with 11 goals, at least five more than any other player in the division.


Lukaku’s return to Meazza as a foe following a turbulent summer has been one of the major talking points in Italy this week. After burning down all the bridges during fateful talks over a potential reunion with Inter in the last transfer window, the 30-year-old has established himself as the leading character at Roma.

His stellar form for the Stadio Olimpico outfit could be a platform on which to build confidence as Roma bid to beat Inter in back-to-back away league showdowns for the first time since 2013. But to do so, Mourinho’s men must defy their underwhelming Serie A record on hostile turf this season (W1, D1, L2).

Player to Watch: Romelu Lukaku

If there’s one player who can challenge Martinez’s quest to win the Capocannoniere award this season, it’s Lukaku. He has found the net in four of his last five outings for Roma, including a superb strike to seal Slavia’s fate on Thursday.

Team News

Apart from long-term absentees Marko Arnautovic and Juan Cuadrado, Inter boss Inzaghi boasts the luxury of having the remainder of his squad fit and ready for this blockbuster contest. After starting on the bench against Salzburg, Marcus Thuram will probably return to the starting lineup to partner Martinez up top.

Roma’s bill of health looks much more ominous, with Chris Smalling, Tammy Abraham, Marash Kumbulla, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Paulo Dybala, and Renato Sanches still struggling with injuries. Mourinho must make several huge decisions, including choosing Lukaku’s partner. Andrea Belotti is the frontrunner, but watch out for El Shaarawy.

Inter vs Roma Potential Lineups

Inter (3-5-2): Yann Sommer; Benjamin Pavard, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Federico Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, Marcus Thuram. 

Roma (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Diego Llorente, Evan Ndicka; Rick Karsdorp, Bryan Cristante, Leandro Paredes, Houssem Aouar, Leonardo Spinazzola; Andrea Belotti, Romelu Lukaku.

Inter vs Roma Prediction

Had this encounter taken place in early September, Inter would’ve been overwhelming favorites. But with Roma building a head of steam and Lukaku firing on all cylinders, the visitors’ win would be no big surprise. 

It’s an optimistic claim, though, as a draw appears to be a more realistic outcome.

Prediction: Draw

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