The Italian football season continues to come to its wit’s end. This Saturday Roma goes up against possibly their biggest test of the season. Roma currently finds themselves in 5th place with 54 point which happens to be just one point away from Champions League football. However, it is a tight race for Europe with 5 teams all fighting for that elusive final Champions League spot. With six games and only 18 points up for grabs, the entire season will come down to two matches if Roma does the job they’re expected to do. Roma is coming off back-to-back wins and is unbeaten in the last three they are in their best form which is appropriate given what lies ahead of them. The in-form Romans take a trip to Milan as they have a Saturday date with Inter Milan at the San Siro. It will be their second and final match of the Season between each other. In the first meeting, Roma a Milan played out a 2-2 as Roma came back twice to earn at the time what was an important point that ended a bad run. Make no mistakes this match has so much meaning not only for the Champions League race but we will see the battle between Nicolo Zaniolo and Radja Nainggolan as questions will be answered who really got the better deal this summer? For Roma this match is the most important match left this season they can only afford to drop a certain amount of points and this will be the most difficult match left on their schedule. Three points here can put them in a great position for Champions League football. Will Roma go into the San Siro and get a result? Or will Inter Milan try to effectively end Champions League football for Roma? We will find that out and more at the historic San Siro on Saturday night.
Unfortunately for Roma, the injury bug keeps on tampering with their best player. Stephan El Shaarawy is questionable for this match after feeling some discomfort in his thigh. We are hopeful that he can still find a way to play this matched because of how important it is but because of this Roma must be incredibly prepared. Claudio Ranieri over his football and career has had the reputation to tanker almost on a regular basis. However, I think it makes sense for Ranieri to keep his 4-2-3-1 formation as it has worked over the last three matches and it should only continue. You don’t want to make a calculated risk. Roma can expect to have their defense at full health. As Alex Kolarov is expected to make a return to the starting lineup and Alexandro Florenzi Saturday will likely get the start after coming off the bench last week. After an injury to Daniele de Rossi that could keep him out for the rest of the season. Bryan Cristante will likely be paired with Steven Nzonzi. I don’t think it’s out of the question to put Lorenzo Pellegrini further back it might be a tactically smart move because of his intelligence and defensive abilities it might be an option. I think it’s still unlikely but it wouldn’t be a terrible idea Bryan Cristante and Stephen Nzonzi will likely be the pairing in the Defensive Midfield. In Roma’s attacking Midfield it should be relatively similar. In the central position controlling the wings will likely be Lorenzo Pellegrini. He thrives in that position and we’ll have the mental strength to dictate the match. He is likely to be paired with Nicolo Zaniolo and potentially either Diego Perotti Justin Kluivert or Cengiz Under filling in for El Shaarawy who is likely to miss the match. Out of those options, I think Diego Perotti makes the most sense because of his experience an ability he is shown one healthy. In the Striker position I don’t think there’s any debate or anything really to consider Edin Dzeko scored for the first time in several weeks last week I see him as a confidence player he will be in much more confident form then he has been recently this is why he must start. The key player in this matchup I believe will be Kostas Manolas. From the attacking perspectives, I don’t see Roma having that many issues Roma must be able to defend and neutralize Inter Milan’s Stars. Kostas Manolas is one of the best defenders in the league he is the leader of that defense and can create the most problems. If Roma is strong defensively it is going to rely on the Greek center back.
Inter Milan is likely to come out with an identical formation to Roma with the 4-2-3-1 formation that they customarily have used. They have done well the last few weeks but it is incredibly important that Luciano Spalletti gets the tactics right for Inter Milan. They play Roma Saturday and then Juventus will follow that. I don’t think there’s any legitimate chance that they miss out on Champions League I think they are securely in their place but nonetheless, you don’t want to make things more difficult on yourself. Handanović will be in the inter goal he has more clean sheets than anyone else this season and has consistently been one of the best in the league over the last 5 years. His defensive line will probably be made up of Asamoah Skriniar Devrij and Ambrosio. They will have some other options the given the injuries they have right now it is likely to see this setup. In Inter Milan defensive midfielder we should see Vecino with Gagliardini I think starting Valero would be a massive mistake, especially in this game. They’re attacking Midfield should be made up of Radja Nainggolan in the middle. Politano and Ivan Perisic on the outside. The striker position is where it gets interesting with this Inter Milan team. Lautaro Martinez seems to be healthy for this match. He should it be in contention to start. Marco Icardi is obviously more dangerous however with that being said Martinez is more likely to give everything for the team. I think Icardi will start but Martinez will likely make an appearance off the bench the only reason I say that is you don’t want to risk him of being injured again. So because of that Marco Icardi gets the nod up front. Inter Milan’s key player for this matchup I believe is Milan Skriniar just like Roma strong defensive display could play a huge part in the results.
There are a thousand storylines for this much-anticipated matchup. The chase for European football for Roma highlights this event at the San Siro. Inter are secured in a champions league spot. Now with that being said, they will still give everything in this game. Roma Inter Milan are not particularly fond of each other ask anyone that’s involved with either Club. Even though Inter Milan and Roma are not rivals they do not like each other. Everybody wants to win this match on this occasion it could be more than just bragging rights. This summer there was a transfer in regarding Radja Nainggolan who spent four years at the Stadio Olimpico and a young Inter Milan youth product Nicolo Zaniolo. The two players went in opposite directions Radja has been a little bit underperformed this season while Nicolo Zaniolo has been the breakout star of Italian football. This is the second meeting between these two teams performance for either can justify who won the deal. The San Siro can be a very tough place to play but against Inter Milan it’s very simple score first. In every match Inter Milan have conceded first they have lost. From a simply tactical perspective, Roma even without El Shaarawy has enough to make things very uncomfortable for Inter Milan. The difference is Inter Milan have not played all that well over the last few games while Roma is starting to pick up momentum. It all starts was performing defensively. If Roma can display a strong defensive performance it will make things very difficult even though they have strong players throughout their squad there’s nothing on Inter Milan at the moment that Roma has any reason to be scared of. If Kostas Manolas and the Roma defense can make things uncomfortable they’ll have an excellent opportunity to win this game. They must neutralize either Marco Icardi or Martinez if successful they won’t flow as freely. From an attacking perspective, it is going to come down to pace on the outside. But even more so between Bryan Cristante and Lorenzo Pellegrini the two of these are holding their Midfield positions and have the excellent passing ability if they can get the ball out quickly and execute runs they can counter as much as possible they could become very dangerous. Not to mention regardless of who Roma have on the outside they will have incredible pace and if they are able to feed 6’4 Edin Dzeko in the box it could be trouble especially with his imposing height and size. Roma has all the ingredients to be able to execute from their defense all the way to a striker. Nicolo Zaniolo Lorenzo Pellegrini and Diego Perotti if play together will be incredibly difficult to stop. Nicolo Zaniolo he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder against the team that gave up on him. From all aspects of that Roma will be in a great position to pick up all three points. From Inter Milan perspectives it is really important they get forward and execute as quickly as possible. Roma’s defense is not great if they get into those spaces I think they could make things a little bit uncomfortable for Roma. Roma are coming off back-to-back clean sheets so this is not the same scenario that we have seen earlier in the season but none the less they have the players within the squad to get into dangerous positions and make Roma nervous. Whether it’s Marco Icardi or Martinez they have players who are capable of finding the back of the net on a regular basis. Roma will do everything in their power to prevent The Inter Milan attack from getting service. Politano and Perisic are incredibly quick players with great whippage on the ball I think it is possible we see Crossing tactics to switch the fields to confuse Roma’s defense. Both teams will have to be on their best Tactically and in actuality and I expect they will be. However as tough as this might seem I think Roma will find a way to hold off and Incredibly strong Inter Milan team to secure what will be very important three points. This will be an incredibly emotional match given all the varying factors and the Roman connections. Zaniolo will prove that Inter Milan made a catastrophic mistake I believe he will be a big reason why Roma will win he won’t be the most important factor but he will make the impact necessary. Roma will go into the San Siro and Leave with points.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Antonio Mirante
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alexaandro Florenzi
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante, Stephen Nzonzi
ATT MID: Nicolo Zaniolo, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Diego Perotti
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Claudio Raneri
Inter’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
DEF: Asamoah, Devrij, Milan Skriniar, D’Ambrosio
DEF MID: Vecino, Gagliardini
ATT MID: Politano, Nainggolan, Perisic
Manager: Luciano Spalletti
Players to Watch
Kostas Manolas & Milan Skriniar
Date: Saturday April 20th, 2019
Venue: San Siro, Milan
Kickoff: 1:30AM (USA) 7:30PM (ENG), 8:30PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+