AS Roma return to home comforts on Saturday licking their wounds after a disappointing defeat midweek to a Bologna side who embodied their manager with the determination and fighting spirit.
It was a disappointing performance on Wednesday marred with poor refereeing decisions which cost Roma for the weekend game at home to Inter Milan. Roma was undone by a brilliant goal from Matias Svanberg past the half-hour. Wonderful technique on the goal which left Rui Patricio beaten at the far corner.
Tammy Abraham was booked in a collision with the said Matias Svanberg where both players ran into each other, a nothing booking which could have been avoided. That now means he will miss the Inter Milan game on Saturday along with Rick Karsdorp who picked up an unnecessary yellow card in stoppage time for dissent. Stephan El Shaarawy was forced off early in the second half with a muscle injury and he looks like he will miss some time out of action, just as he was showing form in a new position as LWB.
Overall, Roma was not good enough and it’s frustrating to watch this side this season under Jose Mourinho. They are struggling for consistency against teams they were beating with a swagger and confidence last season. Just a gentle reminder that under Paulo Fonseca in December 2020 Roma went to Bologna and won 5-1, a game in which Roma were 5-1 up at half-time and scored all six goals. Bryan Cristante scored a very unfortunate own goal. A so-called weaker squad under Fonseca went to Bologna and put in a wonderful counter-attacking display. A stronger squad with the pedigree of Mourinho on the touchline, Roma succumb 1-0. It’s frustrating.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (3-4-1-2)
Rui Patricio, Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez, Veretout, Cristante, Mkhitaryan, Vina, Carles Perez, Zaniolo, Shomurodov
Inter Milan are flying high after a turbulent summer in Milan, with key players departing along with charismatic coach Antonio Conte now coaching in England. Simone Inzaghi stepped into the firing line after five successful years as the coach of Roma rivals Lazio and has started strongly at the helm in Milan.
Inter Milan are third in the Serie A standings after fifteen games with thirty-four points, just one point behind city rivals AC Milan and a further point behind league leaders Napoli. It is getting very tight and congested at the top of the Serie A standings as we move closer to the winter break.
In the last six Serie A fixtures, Inter Milan under Simone Inzaghi have been imperious, sixteen points from a possible eighteen has moved Inter closer to the top of the Serie A top spot which looked lost just a couple of weeks ago. The sole draw out of the last six games was a 1-1 away draw against city rivals Inter Milan. Inter Milan’s five wins have come up against Empoli, Udinese, Napoli, Venezia, and Spezia in the latest midweek round of action. The last three wins have come on the bounce after the November international break.
PREDICTED XI | INTER (3-5-2)
Handanovic, Skriniar, De Vrij, Di Marco, Dumfries, Brozovic, Barella, Calhanoglu, Perisic, Dzeko, Martinez.