Roma’s chances of finishing in the top four are decreasing because they have lost three straight games after giving up the lead in a 1-1 draw at Monza on Wednesday. As a result, the Giallorossi were forced to finish outside the top six. Using a microphone on the sidelines to record his exchanges with the referee, coach José Mourinho continued his verbal battle with the match officials. The Portuguese manager grumbled that he can’t “rotate easily” in the midst of their demanding game calendar, with the players bearing the brunt of his anger on this particular occasion.
The Giallorossi have won eight out of their past 10 games in all competitions (D1, L1) at the Stadio Olimpico, so a trip back home should assist their cause. Roma has even shown the customary defensive resiliency of Mourinho’s teams, keeping seven clean sheets over their previous nine home SA games (W7, D1, L1).
Inter Milan might lose consecutive league head to heads for the first time since February 2017 with a loss here, although they enter this match in strong form despite suffering a 2-1 loss in the opposite match. On Wednesday, a 6-0 victory over Verona gave them four straight victories for just the second time this year. It was also the first time they had scored six or more goals in an away league game since September 2013.
They should feel more confident going into their UEFA Champions League semifinal matchup against AC Milan the following week, but coach Simone Inzaghi dispelled any concerns the Nerazzurri might not prioritize the league by insisting they “have an obligation to finish in the top four.” A win here might help them get closer to that goal, and Inter are in a good position to do it considering that they haven’t lost in their previous five matches against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico (W2, D3), scoring two goals or more in each contest.
Edin Deko, a former Giallorossi forward, is coming off a brace against Verona and scored in a 3-0 win here last season. Roma’s Tammy Abraham, who is finding some late-season form, has four direct goal contributions (G2, A2) in his last three home matches.
Zeki Celik was given a red card by referee Daniele Chiffi in the 96th minute of Roma’s draw against Monza, which resulted in a suspension for the Turkish wing-back. As Nemanja Matic returns from suspension, Roma’s injury list stubbornly refuses to get any shorter.
Jose Mourinho, who will also be without Chris Smalling, Georginio Wijnaldum, and possibly Paulo Dybala, as well as recent injury victims Marash Kumbulla (ACL), Andrea Belotti (ribs), and Stephan El Shaarawy (hip), blasted that choice.
If the latter passes a last minute fitness test, he might be able to join the rest of the team on the bench, but Ola Solbakken should still team up with captain Lorenzo Pellegrini to support Tammy Abraham up forward, with Matic moving into the middle.
Despite former Roma striker Edin Dzeko’s heroics in midweek, Inter may decide to recall Romelu Lukaku because the Bosnian is unlikely to start two games in a row before next week’s Derby della Madonnina.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to sit out against his former team because Hakan Calhanoglu, who scored a stunning goal at the Bentegodi, should start in midfield. Nicolo Barella and first-choice goalkeeper Andre Onana will both play after being rested on Wednesday.
Robin Gosens dislocated his shoulder last weekend, forcing him to miss the trip south along with Milan Skriniar. He will be sidelined for at least two more weeks.
AS Roma possible starting lineup
Patricio, Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez, Zalewski, Matic, Bove, Spinazzola, Pellegrini, Solbakken and Abraham.
Inter Milan possible starting lineup
Onana, Darmian, De Vrij, Bastoni, Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco, Martinez and Lukaku.
We predict: AS Roma 0-1 Inter Milan
Inter have not traveled well during this Serie A season, having recorded seven victories and six losses on the road while also giving up many goals.
They appear to be jogging into form, though, at precisely the right time. Roma rarely gives up many goals at the Olimpico, thus on Saturday, one goal might decide the outcome.