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Roma logo
Serie A | Gameweek 24
Feb 10, 2024 at 5pm UK
Stadio Olimpico
Inter logo

2 - 4
Inter Milan

Mancini (28'), El Shaarawy (44')
Mancini (47'), Huijsen (90+2')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Acerbi (17'), Thuram (49'), Angelino (56' og.), Bastoni (90+3')

Preview: Roma vs. Inter Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Roma and Inter Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After Derby d'Italia victory left them four points clear at the top of Serie A, Inter Milan aim to drive home their advantage on Saturday, when they meet resurgent Roma.

The teams convene at Stadio Olimpico, with the hosts hoping to keep ascending the standings under new management and Inter seeking a fifth league win on the spin.

Match preview

Inter Milan's Benjamin Pavard celebrates with teammates after the match on February 4, 2024© Reuters

Making them firm favourites to reclaim the Italian title in May, Inter saw off nearest challengers Juventus last weekend, when the Milan giants went ahead via Federico Gatti's first-half own goal and then held their old foes at bay until the final whistle.

In fact, the Nerazzurri had a handful of other chances to put the result beyond doubt, but a slim 1-0 success still secured their sixth win from six in 2024; a run which has helped them defend the Supercoppa Italiana and edge further away from their Scudetto rivals.

Gatti's mishap means Inter have become just the second club ever to score in 22 straight matches from the start of a Serie A season, and not only do they now have a four-point lead over Juve - with one game in hand - but momentum is on their side as springtime approaches.

A measure of their sustained excellence is that Simone Inzaghi's side boast the best goal difference across Europe's top five leagues, with +41 being one better than German giants Bayern Munich.

Despite a spell on the sidelines through injury, ex-Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard has been integrated into an already impressive back three, behind which Yann Sommer - who also left Munich last year - has proved a more than able replacement for Andre Onana.

As demonstrated by shutting out in-form Juventus, defensive discipline has helped Inter to thwart all-comers, as they have conceded just 10 league goals so far. Only one other side have matched such a record during this century: Roma's team of 2003-04, overseen by Fabio Capello.

Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on January 20, 2024© Reuters

Following their 1-0 defeat in October's reverse fixture, a far less formidable Roma than Capello's crop have lost five of their last six Serie A meetings with Inter - including both of the last two while failing to score.

Indeed, the capital club are also winless in each of the teams' last six league contests at Stadio Olimpico - a drought dating back to late 2016.

However, after sacking former Inter boss Jose Mourinho last month, Roma have won each of their first three matches under new coach Daniele De Rossi, including last week's comprehensive 4-0 defeat of Cagliari, in which Paulo Dybala struck twice and captain Lorenzo Pellegrini continued his recent goalscoring run.

Another victory on Saturday would see the relative rookie become the first manager to take charge during a Serie A season and immediately win four straight games for more than a decade - but after beating three teams battling for survival, the Giallorossi's opponents will be in a different class this weekend.

Wins over the top flight's lesser lights still represent three points, so Roma's upturn in fortunes has elevated them to fifth in the table - one point shy of the Champions League places - since De Rossi's return.

While unbeaten at home since September, a true test of their mettle will come in the next few days: after Inter arrive in Rome, familiar foes Feyenoord then await in the Europa League's knockout-round playoffs.

Roma Serie A form:

Roma form (all competitions):

Inter Milan Serie A form:

Inter Milan form (all competitions):

Team News

Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi reacts on February 4, 2024© Reuters

Unlikely to change a winning formula, Simone Inzaghi should send Inter out in their familiar 3-5-2 formation, with few - if any - changes of personnel.

After Davide Frattesi recovered from a muscular issue in midweek, only Juan Cuadrado (Achilles) is ruled out by injury, so Inzaghi is set to name his strongest side at Stadio Olimpico.

Marcus Thuram will join captain Lautaro Martinez up front, with the latter just one goal away from reaching 20 in three consecutive campaigns; meanwhile, midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu will aim to hit double figures for only the second time in his career - and first for 10 years - having also completed the most passes in Serie A this season, averaging 60 per game.

Ex-Inter striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored 57 times in 97 league appearances for the Nerazzurri, failed to find the target for Roma last week so is still one goal shy of notching 10 or more for a ninth time in the last decade.

Once again, Paulo Dybala and Stephan El Shaarawy should support Lukaku in the hosts' attack, as Daniele De Rossi also keeps faith with a successful starting XI.

Although Sardar Azmoun returns following Iran's Asian Cup exit, Tammy Abraham and Chris Smalling are still unavailable - though the latter recently returned to training - while Evan Ndicka will be lining up for Ivory Coast in Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations final.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Llorente, Angelino; Pellegrini, Paredes, Cristante; El Shaarawy, Dybala; Lukaku

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez

SM words green background

We say: Roma 2-2 Inter Milan

Two teams in fine form meet on Saturday evening, when the hosts' new-found confidence will be truly put to the test. Roma (15) and Inter (14) have scored more goals than any other sides in the final 15 minutes of Serie A matches this season, so it could make for an eventful climax.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Roma's Leonardo Spinazzola celebrates scoring their first goal with Stephan El Shaarawy on April 20, 2023
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