AS Roma will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing draw on Saturday afternoon against Genoa with a trip to Milan to take on Inter in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.
After the January international break, Roma returned to Serie A action on Saturday afternoon, the first game of week twenty-four which ends on Monday evening. It was a disappointing affair against a Genoa side who are fighting for survival under their fourth coach of the season, a third permanent one in Alexander Blessin.
Roma was quite poor and lackluster for the first fifty-five minutes, struggled against Genoa pressing style which Blessin has implemented into his style of football since his arrival in mid-January. It took a couple of substitutions in the second half to change the complexion and Roma looked a different side. The substitutions of Stephan El Shaarawy and Felix Afena-Gyan brought freshness and directness into Roma’s play.
Afena-Gyan made an impact just thirteen minutes into his arrival as he was involved in the play which led up to the sending off of Leo Ostigard who appeared on the replay had his hands around Afena-Gyan before hauling him down.
Roma pressed and thought they had a winner when Nicolo Zaniolo scored a brilliant solo goal. Que the pandemonium in the stands and on the pitch, that was ruled out via VAR due to an attacking foul by Tammy Abraham. Zaniolo then was sent off for something he said to the referee. He was getting kicked from pillar to post from a Genoa side who conceded 23 fouls to Roma 8, Genoa had two bookings and Roma had three. All we want is consistency from officiating in Serie A, is that too much to ask.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (3-5-2)
Rui Patricio, Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez, Karsdorp, Oliveira Cristante, Pellegrini, Vina, Zaniolo, Abraham.
Inter are the current Serie A league leaders after twenty-four rounds. They have played a game less after the postponement of their game away at Bologna on the first matchday of 2022. Fifty-three points from twenty-three games, just one point clear of both Napoli and city rivals AC Milan who occupy second and third place in Serie A.
In the previous round of the Coppa Italia, Inter needed extra time to defeat Empoli 3-2 at the San Siro. Andrea Ranocchia‘s acrobatic volley leveled the game up at 2-2 added time in the second half and took the game to extra time. Stefano Sensi, who is now on loan at Sampdoria for the rest of the season, won the game for Inter in the final minute of the first half of extra time.
In the league, Inter are smarting after a Milano derby defeat at the weekend to AC Milan. Oliver Giroud was the hero for the red and black side of Milan with two goals in three second-half minutes and gave Milan the three points and a better head-to-head record in the race for the Serie A scudetto. The gap was four points and now it has been cut down to just one point in Serie A. It is a busy time for Inter in the month of February. In the space of eight days, they would face Roma in the Coppa Italia, Napoli away in Naples on Saturday evening in Serie A, and Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16 first leg in Milan.
PREDICTED XI | INTER (3-5-2)
Handanovic, Skriniar, De Vrij Bastoni, Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, DiMarco, Dzeko, Sanchez.