It’s been a while since both Inter Milan and AS Roma were in the Serie A top 5, so no doubt that this match will be one of the most interesting in recent years. The Nerazzurri have a chance to climb to the league summit having recovered from a minor dip in form, whereas their opponents will be loooking to remain in the driving seat after the trip to Giuseppe Meazza.
Having been appointed Inter Milan coach after the season had already started, Roberto Mancini struggled to get his side to play to its potential, but everything changed after some shrewd recruitment and full pre-season. The reality is that the Nerazzurri were not exactly faultless in the opening exchanges, but they were able to grind out five straight wins and climb to the Serie A summit for the first time in quite a while. The team would soon pay the price for some under-par showings, as they were hammered at home by Fiorentina before recording three straight draws, but the away win over Bologna, where Inter scored with ten men on the pitch helped kick-start their title bid. The home game against current leaders AS Roma feels like a perfect opportunity for Roberto Mancini’s charges to prove their title ambitions, but defeating free-scoring Giallorossi will be no easy task. In spite of some very good defensive showings, it is not realistic to expect that Inter will be able to stop the league’s best attack, so their best chance of winning is to outscore the opposition. The hosts will have Fredy Guarin back to the side, but Felipe Melo is banned and Adem Ljajic will have to wait for his chance from the bench.
AS Roma are no strangers to leading the title chase, but they have often failed to build on the promising start in the past. This is exactly the time when they start to struggle and their advantage at the top begins to melt, but Rudi Garcia’s charges are now very motivated to prove the doubters wrong and remain main candidates for the league trophy, especially now that relentless Juventus are virtually out of the picture. It would appear as though the club management led by Walter Sabatini has finally hit the nail on the head when summer recruits are concerned, with most of them not only arriving free of charge but also quickly developing into important members of the squad. And while Mohamed Salah, Edin Dzeko and Antonio Rudiger have been the most impressive of all summer signings, it is two ‘old guns’ Miralem Pjanic and Gervinho that have been setting the pace this term. The Bosnian continues to show why he is widely regarded as one of world’s leading central midfielders, whereas his teammate has done very well to rediscover his form after a very disappointing last season. With their help, AS Roma have won five straight games in Serie A and they will not be concerned by the fact they have conceded in each of those. Rudi Garcia is hoping that Daniele De Rossi will recover in time from an adductor injury, but Francesco Totti, Kevin Strootman and Seydou Keita are out injured.
Inter Milan have not exactly been bagging goals for fun, but even with league’s weakest sides scoring past AS Roma, they can be trusted to extend the run. Nevertheless, it is the Giallorossi who should be considered favourites to claim maximum points, although backing both teams to score is definitely a safer bet.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 5/8