After three consecutive league wins, Inter Milan are rolling. Despite injuries and fatigue stretching the squad thin at times, Simone Inzaghi’s side managed to persevere and take a couple of professional wins over lower level teams without getting out of second gear. Now, Inter are beginning to get healthy again, just in time to face Roma and their manager Jose Mourinho, who won the famed treble at Inter 11 years ago.
Like Inter did a couple of weeks ago, Roma are facing down an injury bug that is gutting their team. Lorenzo Pellegrini, Gonzalo Villar, Stephan El Shaarawy, and youngster Felix Afena-Gyan are all expected to miss the match through injury. On top of injury absences, both Tammy Abraham and Rick Karsdorp will miss the match through suspension. Mourinho will have to pick his team up after a demoralizing 1-0 loss to Bologna and face a flying Nerazzurri side with a barebones team.
Roma, currently sitting fifth, have not performed well against other top sides in the league. They have lost to Milan, Juventus, and rivals Lazio while only managing a draw against Napoli. The Giallorossi will have their work cut out for them on Saturday.
After an adjustment period at the beginning of the season, it seems that Inzaghi’s football has finally clicked with the Inter squad. Unbeaten in all competitions since the 3-1 loss to Lazio, Inter are scoring freely and have corrected their defensive issues from earlier in the season. In the two recent 2-0 wins over Venezia and Spezia have seen Inter conserve energy but still create copious amounts of chances. This has been needed since the squad has been playing multiple matches a week for the majority of the season, a trend that will continue through the end of 2021.
Inter will welcome full returns for Edin Dzeko and a well rested Nicolo Barella while Stefan de Vrij hold off on a full return against Real Madrid next week. Alessandro Bastoni will likely slot into the heart of the back three while Danilo D’Ambrosio gets the start in as the third center back. In form Ivan Perisic and Hakan Calhanoglu will also be looking to continue their great runs of play. Matteo Darmian and Andrea Ranocchia are still some time away from returning.
2-2 (A) - 10/1/2021
3-1 (H) - 12/5/2021
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Roma 1-2 Inter
With many key players missing, Mourinho will likely go with his tried and true park the bus approach. It may work for a while, but with the overloads and chances created by Inzaghi’s team, it will be hard for a depleted defense to repel a relentless Inter. Expect Dzeko to exact some revenge on the team that let him go on a cut rate after a season on the bench. A fresh Barella should pay dividends as well.