Roma welcome Inter Milan in our feature Serie A clash this weekend with the “I Giallorossi” desperately looking to turn around their fortunes and get back into the race for a Champions League spot. Third placed Inter are just a point behind Napoli and enjoying one of their best seasons for some time, although with Juventus already eight points clear at the top of the table finishing second is the most they can expect this campaign. Form Labs previews the game with their betting tips and don’t forget to check out our comprehensive selection of enhanced odds for Serie A and across all of Europe’s top leagues.
Inter’s Daunting December Schedule
Inter fans will be cautious ahead of the daunting schedule they face in December as in addition to Roma, they also have to face Juve, PSV and Napoli within their next six fixtures. They’ll have last winter firmly in their memories as a potential title bid dropped off alarmingly at this stage.
With just one victory in their last four outings across all competitions, at home to promoted Frosinone, any further slip-ups will be closely scrutinized by the Italian press. They’ve even lost three of their last four on their travels, but although these included Champions League defeats to Barca and Spurs, their 4-1 capitulation at Atalanta leaves us wary of their prospects – even if that result can be explained by a poor record away in Bergamo in recent times.
Poor Head-To-Head Record
Inter can’t boast a great recent head-to-head record with Roma either, having gone W3-D5-L8 against the side from the capital since 2011/12 across all competitions. However, each of those three wins have come in the past four seasons, with Inter triumphant in this fixture last term as they ran out 3-1 winners. Both teams have actually found the net in seven of their last eight encounters with one another, and even with Stephan El Shaarawy absent and more alarmingly Edin Dzeko a doubt, we’d still be surprised if either side can preserve a clean sheet.
Roma Injury Concerns
That may surprise some given Roma have a few injury concerns ahead of this clash, particularly in midfield and attack, but they’re nowhere near as bad as the mounting crisis of personnel at Inter’s city rivals Milan. Javier Pastore has only featured in fits and starts this season anyway as he’s struggled for fitness, while Daniel De Rossi is more about protecting the defence than lung-bursting runs into the box.
Cengiz Under has the ability to shoulder the creative burden and it’s probably just as well if the Turk is setting them up rather than finishing chances after his horror miss versus Real, though their midweek excursion did a least highlight their resolve.
They made Los Blancos work hard for clear cut chances – Bale’s gifted opener aside – and actually laid siege to Real’s goal for significant parts of the first half and were unlucky not to find the net. However, the high line can lead to such mistakes, and in Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic, Inter have the weaponry to get on the board too.
Eusebio Di Francesco doesn’t often deviate from his 4-3-3 formation, but he has shown a willingness over his managerial career to adopt a high press when the opponents’ weaknesses dictate it. He’ll certainly hold no qualms about deploying the tactic against Inter if he was prepared to do it with Sassuolo against Juve, and while the Nerazzurri have improved no end under Luciano Spalletti since the start of last season, they showed such limitations in the middle of the Park versus Spurs.
In particular, Raja Nainggolan appeared well short of fitness and was harried into misplacing a number of passes before being replaced by the 33-year-old Borja Valero before the first half was over, and Roma can use youth and vigour to similar effect and hound down their opponents into making mistakes.
Roma v Inter Milan Betting Tips
Prior to their defeat hosting Real Madrid, Roma had won five of their last six on home turf as they plundered 19 goals, and with 10 different players registering on the board, the potential absence of Edin Dzeko isn’t necessarily crucial with the Bosnian holding a better record in European competition anyway.
In fact, Roma have netted 2.4 goals per game when Dzeko has been absent compared to 1.9 where he’s started since signing form Roma, while even since Di Francesco took the reins last summer their win percentage only increases slightly when he’s involved. With that in mind, we think Di Francesco can pull off a tactical masterclass and leave Inter facing another winter of discontent, leaving Roma & both teams to score our preferred option.
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