The showdown marks the first big test for the Giallorossi under new manager Daniele De Rossi, who was appointed last month following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho after two-and-a-half seasons in charge. Meanwhile, the visitors will be keen to solidify their position at the top of the table and build upon their vital victory over Juventus last weekend in the Derby d’Italia.
In Serie A history, Roma and Inter have clashed on 181 occasions, with the Nerazzurri emerging victorious 77 times, the Giallorossi securing 50 wins, and 54 draws. This fixture has seen the most goals in the history of Serie A: 524 in 181 matches, an average of 2.9 per match.
Kick-off is scheduled for 18.00 CET on Saturday evening at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Coming off three straights wins over Hellas Verona, Salernitana, and Cagliari, Roma face their first top-four encounter with Daniele De Rossi on the bench. Sitting one point behind fourth-placed Atalanta, a win over the Nerazzurri would give the Giallorossia huge lift in their pursuit of Champions League football.
De Rossi is expected to continue with his preferred 4-3-3 formation against Inter, with Paulo Dybala and Stephan El Shaarawy flanking Romelu Lukaku. In midfield, he’s expected to use the same trio from Monday’s victory over Cagliari that included Leandro Paredes, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Bryan Cristante.
On the injury front, Leonardo Spinazzola is fully fit after missing the previous three weeks due to a muscle strain. However, recent transfer addition Angelino was impressive in his debut on Monday and is favored to start again at left back. Absent since early September, veteran defender Chris Smalling returned to training this week but won’t be fit in time to face the Nerazzurri.
Few teams have impressed in Europe more this season than Simone Inzaghi’s men, who enter Saturday’s clash on a sixteen match unbeaten run. Their last and only defeat of the season occurred in late September, when they fell 2-1 to Sassuolo in Milano.
They enter the weekend on a four-match winning streak and are coming off consecutive 1-0 victories over Fiorentina and Juventus, respectively. Their victory over the Bianconeri also propelled them to the top of the defensive charts in Europe’s top-five leagues as they’ve conceded only ten goals in league play this season. In addition, goalkeeper Yann Sommer collected his 14th shutout and now tops the charts for most clean sheets in Europe.
As for Saturday, Simone Inzaghi will be in the stands as he’s suspended for the clash. Former Roma youth product Davide Frattesi is also expected to miss-out due to a muscle strain he suffered last week in their final session before Juve.
ROMA (4-3-3): Rui Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Llorente, Angeliño; Pellegrini, Paredes, Cristante; Dybala, Lukaku, El Shaarawy
Unavailable: Tammy Abraham, Evan Ndicka, Chris Smalling, Sardar Azmoun
INTER (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Lautaro Martinez
Unavailable: Davide Frattesi, Juan Cuadrado