MX23RW : Tuesday, January 28 09:44:51| >> :600:4714851:4714851:
Dec 6, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (Milano)
Attendance: 67,008
Inter Milan

Preview: Inter Milan vs. Roma - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Inter Milan's meeting with Roma in Serie A on Friday, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.

Two teams enjoying a strong start to the 2019-20 Serie A season come together on Friday as Inter Milan play host to Roma at San Siro.

Antonio Conte's men find themselves top of the table following an excellent start to the Italian's tenure, while Roma are also enjoying life under their new manager, Paulo Fonseca.

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Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte reacts on November 5, 2019© Reuters

Perhaps nobody should be surprised that Conte, who guided Chelsea to a Premier League title during his first season in charge, is threatening to do something similar at Inter.

Following a number of years in the wilderness after Jose Mourinho's reign, with Inter appointing 13 different managers since the Portuguese's departure in 2010, Conte has instilled some genuine pedigree and stability into this side.

That they have only failed to win two of their 14 Serie A outings this term is a testament to the remarkably solid foundation on which this team is built.

However, despite the common perception of Conte as a conservative manager, Inter's performances this season have been largely hallmarked by building from the back, working the ball quickly through midfield lines and into the lethal pairing of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.

Most teams, like Napoli in 2018, who get close to Juventus tend to fall away, unable to sustain the same level over nine months, but this Inter team under Conte feels different.

Paulo Fonseca pictured as Roma boss in August 2019© Reuters

Although not on the same scale as Inter, Roma can also claim to be enjoying the start made under Fonseca, appointed over the summer following a disappointing 2019-20 campaign during which they finished sixth in the table.

Sitting just two points behind third-placed Lazio, Roma's performances in Serie A this term have been, above all, exciting to watch, with the side picking up four red cards since the end of September.

There is a youthful, exuberant feel about this team, with the likes of Patrick Kluivert and Nicolo Zaniolo nicely complementing the experience of Edin Dzeko and Javier Pastore.

At the back, Manchester United loanee Chris Smalling, deemed surplus to requirements by the under-pressure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has been one of the club's star performers, adding to the feeling that this is a side built on new and improved faces.

Victory at San Siro, however, would certainly serve as the biggest achievement of Fonseca's reign so far as Roma aim to consolidate their position in the Champions League places.

Recent Inter Milan form: WLWWWW
Recent Roma form: WLLWWW

Team News

Barcelona's Sergio Busquets in action with Inter Milan's Stefano Sensi in the Champions League on October 2, 2019© Reuters

Conte will be without important midfielder Roberto Gagliardini, who suffered a foot injury in Inter's most recent outing, while Stefano Sensi is out with a thigh problem.

Alexis Sanchez and Nicolo Barella are the two long-term absentees, with neither player expected to return until 2020.

Roma's injury list is notably more severe: Pastore is a major doubt due to a hip problem and Kluivert is definitely out following a recent thigh injury.

Antonio Mirante is out with an unspecified problem and Devid Eugene Bouah looks set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a cruciate ligament problem in September.

Bryan Cristante and Davide Zappacosta are the two other long-term absentees as both players face at least another month out of action.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, De Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Vecino, Brozovic, Valero, Lazaro, Martinez, Lukaku

Roma possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Santon, Mancini, Smalling, Kolarov; Veretout, Diawara; Mkhitaryan, Pellegrini, Under; Dzeko

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We say: Inter Milan 2-0 Roma

Inter feel imperious at this moment in time, playing with a system that is affording them greater control and precision, under a manager whose ruthless winning mentality is clearly transmitting to his squad. Roma look set to put up a good fight but, in the face of Inter's muscle, will ultimately come up short.

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Who will win Friday's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Roma?

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Romelu Lukaku in action for Inter Milan on September 25, 2019
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