Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam.
Ljajic will have a lot of pressure on him, playing against the team which sent him on loan and never believed in him in a game that means so much for his actual club. Mancini has faith in him, his only worry is that he may try to do too much and end up messing things up by playing poorly and blowing a big chance of proving his abilities. He has character though, and if he approaches the contest with a free mind he will be able to impress everybody and leave his signature on the match. Good things have happened for the team when Adem was in the starting XIs, but he was left off from it a few times because of his lazy attitude in training, a thing that Mancini pointed out in a press conference and that could be his biggest flaw which has kept him from being a way better player then he is at the moment.
Inter have won all their games without Mauro Icardi: 6W 0D 0L. 12 goals, 1 conceded. pic.twitter.com/16zha7uaxC— F.C. InterData (@Fcinterdata) March 18, 2016
This is an interesting, yet useless stat to be aware of. It has no value because the only actually meaningful match of this six contests was the one against Roma (what a coincidence), which was decided by a rare goal by Medel and by the countless chances blown by the Giallorossi. With that said, it's good to know that when the reserves are called into action, they are motivated and play strongly even if they are allowed to play less than their teammates.
Mancini was in really good spirits during the pregame press conference, which is a sign of high morale and serenity in Inter's locker room, a thing that was questioned many times during the bad spell the team went through in the first weeks of this 2016.
Mancini: "Brozovic told me this morning that he had a headache, to which I replied 'at least you have a head in that case'"— Inter Offside (@inter_offside) March 18, 2016
Even though Inter were able to get the three points in their first meeting against Roma this season, the team they are going to face today, is a highly reshaped version of that squad. The additions of El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti to an attack already stacked with talent have made them even more threatening, and it's one of the reasons why the Giallorossi have scored the most goals this season so far. On the other hand, they did almost nothing to fix their unstable defense, but they were able to make up for it with their exceptional midfield, which, for me, is one of the best in Europe in terms of balance and individual technique. They also changed the man in charge of putting the players on the field and drawing plays, sacking Rudi Garcia after the disappointing start and hiring Luciano Spalletti, who wasn't exactly new to the Roma environment. In fact it took him very little time to feel comfortable and lead his crew to eight consecutive wins, which could became nine with a win against Inter this weekend.
Mancini surprised everyone the first time he had to meet Roma this season, starting Nagatomo and D'Ambrosio as fullbacks, who did a really good job at shutting down Salah and Gervinho exceeding the expectations and helping the team earning a huge win. Mancio's also decided to bench Icardi and in that occasion, his often questionable choices actually paid off and he was deservedly praised even by his stronger doubters. This time he won't have that much room to make crazy experiments since DD and Yuto are now full-time starters and a good chunk of his strikers are unavailable, but I wouldn't put my finger on it -- lace your boots, Davide.
Projected Starting XIs
Roma: Szczesny; Florenzi, Zukanovic, Manolas, Digne; Pjanic,Nainggolan; Salah, Perotti, El Shaarawy; Dzeko.
Inter: Handanovic; Nagatomo, Miranda, Murillo, D'Ambrosio; Brozovic, Medel; Biabiany, Ljajic, Perisic; Eder.
How to Watch
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. & Canada), Sky Calcio 1 HD, Sky Sport 1 HD, Sky SuperCalcio HD (Italy), PremiumSport HD (Italy), RAI International
Online: Fubo TV, beIN Sports Connect (U.S. & Canada), Sky Go Italia (Italy)