Inter Milan vs AS Roma preview
February 9, 2022. The venue, San Siro. Inter fans singing praises of the manager by chanting his name to the tune of ‘Can’t Get My Eyes Off You’. What’s the fuss, you may ask. The praises were not for their manager but for the opposition one. Jose Mourinho, who won back-to-back titles and a Champions League with Inter Milan, is still considered a hero by the Nerazzurri fans.
And he will return once more to San Siro to inflict damage upon his former team on Saturday (April 23). Both teams have considerable stakes in the match. If Inter win, they will go to the top of Seria A, a point over AC Milan, who do not play till Sunday. On the other hand, a slip up by AC Milan would blow open the title race.
Despite an underwhelming last season Mourinho has been backed by the board and now must deliver them a Champions League spot.
Meanwhile, Roma desperately need a win to keep their Champions League dream alive. The I Giallorossi are five points behind fourth-placed Juventus, and a loss or draw could have disastrous consequences.
In February, the previous meeting was in Coppa Italia, which ended with a 2-0 win for Inter.
Inter Milan have a fully fit squad to call upon, with only Ivan Perisic and Alessandro Bastoni at the risk of suspension should they get booked against Roma. Inter have taken 11 points from five games, the same as league leaders AC Milan. The team has though also struggled to finish games off as evident by their 1-1 draw against Torino.
However, the team have peaked at the right time, as evident by their 3-0 thrashing of AC Milan in the semi-finals of Coppa Italia.
Predicted Inter Milan 11: Samir Handanovic, Alessandro Bastoni, Milan Skriniar, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Ivan Perisic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Marcelo Brozovic, Nicolo Barella, Denzel Dumfries, Joaquin Correa, Lautaro Martinez
Meanwhile, Roma are also on a good run, having taken 11 points from their last five games. Jose Mourinho’s first season in the Eternal City has seen many highs and lows.
However, the team has seemed to find their forms in the last few matches, and Mourinho could also deliver a trophy for Roma if he can go all the way in the Conference League.
They will be without striker Nicolo Zaniolo, serving a suspension after getting booked in the previous match against Napoli.
Predicted Roma 11: Rui Patrício, Roger Ibanez, Chris Smalling, Gianluca Mancini, Sergio Oliveira, Bryan Cristante, Stephan El Shaarawy, Rick Karsdorp, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Tammy Abraham
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After being sold by Chelsea in the summer, Tammy Abraham had the perfect manager in Mourinho and he has hit the ground running in his first season. The 24-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea. However, the move has greatly benefited the Englishman.
His 15 goals for Roma are equal to his best league tally, which he managed in the 2019-20 season.
And if Jose Mourinho wants to compete in the Champions League, Tammy Abraham will have to be in form for the rest of the season.
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Inter’s relationship with the talismanic Argentine striker is old. Diego Milito, Mauro Icardi, and now Lautaro Martinez. The 24-year-old has been the man leading the Nerazzurri attack.
With 15 goals to his name, he is level with Abraham. He has undoubtedly been helped by Edin Dzeko’s arrival, who has shared the goal-scoring burden after the departure of Romelu Lukaku who is himself struggling in the Premier League.
Inter cannot afford any slip-up, and Lautaro Martinez will be the key if the trophy ends up at San Siro but for the blue team.
Both teams have much more to lose, and this match will decide how their seasons pan out. For Inter, it is the opportunity to win back-to-back Scudetto. And what better it could be if they could pip their arch-rivals to the title.
For Roma, it is the Champions League qualification that will not only bring the extra money but would also make them an attractive destination for players.
While Mourinho’s men are now performing better, Inter have just been a class above. FootTheBall predicts a 2-0 win for Simon Inzaghi’s Inter.