After playing out last weekend’s lackluster Milan Derby to a scoreless draw, Internazionale will welcome Roma to the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium Saturday. This Roma side, which spent the early part of the season hot on Juventus’ heels, is currently tied with Lazio on 58 points in second place.
Rudi Garcia has seen his team has draw 10 of its last 14 matches with goals having been the main problem for Roma this year. Despite not giving up too many, they’ve been unable to score more than one a match since early February. And finding the net against an Inter side that’s kept a clean sheet in its last three will be no easy task at the Giuseppe Meazza.
But Roma are in desperate need of all three points to keep pace with Lazio. Having their city rivals, who face struggling Chievo Verona at home Sunday, overtake them at this stage of the season would be a bitter blow. And finishing third would force Roma into a playoff for a Champions League berth rather than the automatic qualification that comes with finishing second.
Garcia has called for intensity from his squad, who will be bolstered by the return of Kostas Manolas and Daniele De Rossi from suspension. On the attacking side, Gervinho and Miralem Pjanic are both returning from injury. With their good record in recent encounters against the Nerazzurri, Roma will fancy their chances to go to the Meazza and come away with a result.
However they will face an Inter side that’s undefeated in its last three. And despite the match ending in a scoreless draw, Inter were much the better team in the Derby against AC Milan last weekend. Currently sitting in 10th place, 16 points below Roma, Inter still have a shot at securing a Europa League spot and will be motivated to go for the win on their home patch.
Historically, Inter, who will be bolstered by the return of Fredy Guarin and Marcelo Brozovic from suspension, have had the edge in this fixture, with 69 wins to the capitol club’s 47. But in seven meetings since 2011, Inter have failed to beat the Giallorossi once, with three draws and four losses. While there were encouraging signs for this Inter team against Milan – particularly the performance of 19-year-old Assane Demoya Gnoukouri and the improved showing from Hernanes - Mancini’s men face a side that on its day is still the best in Italy, apart from Juve.