Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Time: 2.45pm ET/ 20.45 CET
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
It's a particular and crucial moment for both teams. Roma desperately needs a win to hold on their Champions League spot and maybe even move up in the standings to reach the second place, while Inter must be almost perfect from now on to make their dwindling hopes of getting at least to the sixth place come true.
The situation, for Inter, is simple: they need to cut down the seven point distance between them and Fiorentina to earn a Europa League spot next season, and they have 7 games - that is to say 21 possible points - to achieve that. What is in doubt is if reaching the Europa League is still on our agenda. Not playing it next season would give us more flexibility on the transfer market, since the possible restriction Inter should face won't be applied until the next European appearance by the Milanese club.
Roma has been one of the worst Serie A teams in 2015, collecting only 22 points in 15 matches with 4 wins, 1 loss and 10 draws, seven of them finished 1-1. Inter though has been even worse with 21 points in 15 matches, even if they won one more game than the Giallorossi.
During this week Davide Santon shared some thoughts on his coach to SportMediaset:
Mancini is a lovely man. He talks to the players a lot and he's won things wherever he's been, I think he's the right man to take us forward.
Roma and Inter have faced each other 163 times already and the Nerazzurri are looking to increase their number of wins to 70 against them, even if it won't be an easy task against a side that needs the three points so bad and, despite the recent form, they have a very talented squad which is capable of great performances.
Medel won't be available this Saturday, so Mancini will have to play without one of their more consistent and hard-working men and it won't be an easy decision who will be the one replacing him. Gnoukouri, the youngster, played a very solid match last week in his first Serie A start and he will probably start again against Roma, sharing the midfield with Brozovic and Guarin - the latter is still in doubt though, because he suffered from gastritis this week. Hernanes impressed against Milan so he'll probably have another chance to show what he is capable of playing behind Palacio and Icardi. Santon is ready to return in the starting XI after missing the last two games.
One important topic that was asked to our coach in the press conference was about Shaqiri's scarce use, and he answered with these words:
The issue with Shaqiri doesn't exist. We bought him because he will have a great future here with Inter. He is now in a bad period of form, it happens. Hernanes is playing great recently so he deserve to play. It's just a technical choice.
Roma will probably play with Gervinho from the very first minute and he will be the main threat for our squad, since he will take advantage of every single mistake we'll make if we lose focus (and it's not an uncommon event). Totti is another player that has always given his best against Inter, remember this incredible goal he scored?
Projected Starting XIs:
Inter: Handanovic; Santon, Ranocchia, Vidic, Juan Jesus; Guarin, Gnoukouri, Brozovic; Hernanes; Palacio, Icardi;
Roma: De Sanctis; Torosidis, Manolas, Yanga-Mbiwa, Holebas; De Rossi, Nainggolan, Keita; Florenzi, Totti, Gervinho;