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Inter Milan vs. Roma Preview & Match Thread: Mask down

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Inter and Roma will celebrate Halloween night fighting for the first place at the San Siro this Saturday in a very important and (hopefully) exciting match.

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Match Facts:

Date: Saturday, October 31, 2015

Time: 3:45 p.m. ET/ 20.45 CET

Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy

First against second (tied). Best offense against best defense.

On Halloween night, our Nerazzurri will take on the first-placed team in Serie A in a match that is really important for Inter. Not to read too much into the it, but tonight's result will help reveal whether this team is ready to fight for the Scudetto this year. The answer is not certain at this time, and seeing how the team play against one of the main title contenders this season could dispel some of the lingering doubts that have been hovering over this team since the beginning of the season.

On the contrary to what usually happens on Halloween night, Inter will need to put the mask down and reveal what kind of team they are. The one we've seen many times struggling to even attempt a shot in the first halves of matches, or the solid one that has won several matches with excellent second-half performances?

Melo will miss this match because he was sent off against Bologna this Tuesday; he'll also miss the subsequent match due to yellow card accumulation. Gary Medel will have the very difficult task of connecting the defense with the midfield - and it will be even harder this weekend against a Roma side who put a lot of pressure on the ball.

Keys to the match

  • Avoid counter-attacks at all costs. This Roma team is stacked with speedy wingers who are almost unstoppable when they have a lot of free space in front of them. Salah and Gervinho will be the men to watch, and Mancio could opt for starting JJ as left-back in order to take advantage of his more defensive qualities instead of Telles' good attacking skills.
  • Do not concede silly fouls around the area. Pjanic is on fire lately and it seems like he's not going to stop scoring free-kicks any time soon. Even a very good keeper like Samir Handanovic would have a hard time trying to save one of his shots, so it will be vital for Inter to commit smart fouls.
  • Put a lot of pressure on Roma's defenders, as defense is the side's weak spot. Castan is far from being the solid player he once was after the brain surgery he had last December, and Manolas is not the most reliable centre-back in the world. The Giallorossi have already conceded 12 goals (5 more than Inter) and the Nerazzurri could take advantage of this while trying to successfully push back all the opponent's attacking threats.

Projected Starting XIs

Inter

Roma

Additionally, follow along with the match in the comments section below and via Twitter (@inter_offside):