Inter vs. Roma has always been one on the biggest fixtures on the Italian calendar and this year is no different. However, this Serie A clash of the titans sees the team’s poles apart in terms of current form and consistency. Inter have won nine league games, only dropping points in their opening day draw with Bari and in the defeat to Sampdoria. Meanwhile, Roma, who only a few years ago were chasing their Milan based rivals for the title, occupy 14th position and have lost five games already. While the team from the capital have shown some quality this term, most notably in their 3-1 win over Fiorentina, these impressive performances have largely been led by their talismanic but injured captain, Francesco Totti, without whom, they have looked uninspired. However, games of this magnitude often see the formbook being thrown out the window, and with players such as Mancini and Nicolas Burdisso facing their former clubs, this encounter at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza promises to be no different – it should be an epic clash.
Inter will host Roma with four main injury concerns to deal with. Firstly, Wesley Sneijder, who missed the game at Livorno last weekend with a leg injury, is only rated 50-50, but Jose Mourinho is hopeful that he can have him back in time to face Roma. Sulley Muntari is doubtful, having suffered heavy bruising to his leg, following a hefty challenge in the game against Livorno. Thiago Motta has pulled a muscle and is also a doubt, whilst Mario Balotelli has the flu and it is not known if he will recover in time. These fitness problems mean that Mourinho may start with Mancini on the left again and, after the his impressive display at Livorno, this could be the Brazilian’s chance to finally start proving his worth to the Nerazzurri faithful.
12 Júlio César
13 Maicon – 25 Samuel – 6 Lúcio – 26 Chivu
4 Zanetti – 19 Cambiasso – 30 Mancini
9 Eto’o – 22 Milito
The big problem for Roma is that Francesco Totti is key to their success, the flashes of Roma’s potential this season have mostly involved an individually superb display from their Captain Fantastic. He will not be fit to face Inter, after picking up a knee injury a few weeks ago and this is a reoccurring problem. Back in the gym, Totti is facing a race against time to see if he can rush himself back for the end of the month, as he is itching to be fit for the derby on December 6th. Juan and Marco Motta will start in the back line as they did at Bologna and Claudio Ranieri can count on Philippe Mexes and John Arne Riise to complete the defensive four. The forward setup is likely to see the back on-form Mirko Vucinic partnering young French forward Jérémy Menez in a front two that has looked promising at some points this term.
13 Motta– 4 Juan – 5 Mexes –17 Riise
33 Brighi – 7 Pizarro – 21 Guberti – 20 Perrotta
9 Vucinic– 94 Menez
The two ex Chelsea managers square up against each other at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza for a game that both have to win for very different reasons. Inter need to keep ahead of the chasing pack, because although Juventus and Sampdoria both stumbled last week, they are expected to win their respective matches this weekend. The Nerazzurri will be looking to take advantage of Roma’s inconsistency. Ranieri will be fully aware that it is for this exact reason why Roma have to triumph at Inter. Pride aside, the Giallorossi have to stop the rot and the three points gained against Bologna need to be capitalised on. What better way to do this than by beating the League leaders? This would allow Roma to build on such a victory and hopefully kick start their season, as they will no doubt be looking towards the upcoming derby. This game always captures the imagination and two of Italy’s biggest cities will be seeing if the Special One really can be tinkered with.