MX23RW : Thursday, August 5 04:06:16| >> :120:20623:20623:
May 12, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at San Siro
Inter MilanInter Milan
Brozovic (11'), Vecino (20'), Lukaku (90')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Mkhitaryan (31')
Darboe (6'), Santon (28'), Kumbulla (71'), Karsdorp (82')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Roma, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Champions Inter Milan welcome Roma to San Siro on Wednesday, having showed no signs of taking their foot off the gas since securing their 19th Scudetto.

While their visitors ended a disastrous spell with successive wins and the surprise appointment of Inter legend Jose Mourinho as their new manager, the Nerazzurri turned on the style to add another game to their long unbeaten streak.

Match preview

Inter Milan's Achraf Hakimi celebrates scoring against Crotone in Serie A on May 1, 2021© Reuters

Crowned champions of Italy last week, after an 11-year title drought, Inter confirmed their Serie A supremacy with four rounds to spare and have now gone unbeaten in the league since their surprise away loss to Sampdoria in early January.

Having registered a run of 14 wins and four draws since that distant defeat, the Nerazzurri were seeking a 14th straight home win against the same opposition last Saturday.

Following an impressive 5-1 thrashing of a Samp side with little left to play for, Antonio Conte's much-changed side secured a new club record - beating a streak of 13 set back in 2011. With regulars such as Romelu Lukaku and Stefan de Vrij offered a rare rest at San Siro, third-choice striker Alexis Sanchez netted a double, while young forward Andrea Pinamonti fired home his first Serie A goal for the club.

Against the backdrop of serious financial problems which could constrain Conte's plans to conquer Europe next year, Inter will now continue their lap of honour against a team whom they have drawn with in all of their last six Serie A meetings - a sign of how well-matched the two clubs had previously been.

However, this year, the Nerazzurri have streaked clear of an ailing Roma side by virtue of posting the second-best attacking figures in the top flight, allied with undoubtedly the tightest defence in Italy.

Having conceded only 30 goals in 35 matches to date - added to a tally of 14 clean sheets - is reflective of the intense work ethic Conte has instilled in his charges this season. So even with the title won, Roma should expect a typically highly-charged encounter on Wednesday night.

Roma manager Paulo Fonseca pictured on January 15, 2021© Reuters

The Eternal City was at the centre of the football world late last week, as it was announced that current Roma coach Paulo Fonseca would leave at the end of the season to be replaced by his globally renowned countryman Jose Mourinho - still a towering figure in Serie A, due to overseeing Inter's historic treble back in 2010.

Having previously stumbled through a run of six games without a win - including several fixtures against top-flight minnows and a Europa League thrashing by Manchester United - the Giallorossi have since ended a tumultuous period with back-to-back wins at Stadio Olimpico.

A consolation victory over United last Thursday was followed, on Sunday, by a 5-0 stroll versus hapless bottom side Crotone, who continue to shatter all kinds of records for defensive deficiencies. Both Borja Mayoral and Lorenzo Pellegrini bagged braces, with the capital club making short work of the Calabrians - overcoming a debilitating injury list to chalk up a 12th home win of the season.

Still highly-rated by many in the Italian game, exit-bound Fonseca will now be aiming to finish on the front foot, by at least securing a return to continental competition next season. His side, however, have won only two of their last nine league games to sit seventh with a slim two-point buffer to Sassuolo heading into the final three games.

The first of which comes at San Siro, where Roma venture to in the knowledge that they rank only 13th in the 'away only' standings this season - a major factor in why their current coach will depart for pastures new at the end of the month.

Inter Milan Serie A form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Roma Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W

Roma form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Antonio Conte surprised many at the weekend by giving a rare opportunity to several squad players, such as Roberto Gagliardini, Danilo D'Ambrosio and Matias Vecino, but is likely to revert to a marginally more familiar XI for the visit of Roma.

Only injured pair Aleksandar Kolarov and Arturo Vidal - yet to return to fitness after knee surgery - are set to be sidelined for Inter, so the ex-Juventus boss has numerous options to choose from.

Christian Eriksen's berth in the Nerazzurri engine room may be in jeopardy, as the Danish star and Gagliardini are set to be replaced by Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolo Barella, who both appeared as substitutes last time out. Meanwhile, out wide, Matteo Darmian will battle it out for a place on the right - with Ivan Perisic poised to feature on the opposite flank.

Top scorer Romelu Lukaku should be promoted from his role as unused sub to take a place in the lineup, ahead of either Lautaro Martinez or Alexis Sanchez.

By contrast with the hosts' embarrassment of riches, Roma's injury woes roll on, as Chris Smalling suffered a thigh problem against former club Manchester United last week and fellow centre-back Federico Fazio came down with tonsilitis ahead of Sunday's game.

Furthermore, first-choice goalkeeper Pau Lopez will miss the remainder of the season as he undergoes shoulder surgery, so Daniel Fuzato is expected to start again.

Midfield options Amadou Diawara, Gonzalo Villar, Riccardo Calafiori and Carles Perez could all still be sidelined on Wednesday, with Jordan Veretout and Leonardo Spinazzola both considered unlikely to return before the end of the season. Therefore, teenage prospect Ebrima Darboe could be involved again from the start.

Defender Gianluca Mancini returns from suspension to make the trip north, so will slot straight back into the lineup; allowing Paulo Fonseca to revert to his preferred three-man back line if required - though Davide Santon could come in at full-back in a four.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Radu; Skriniar, Ranocchia, D'Ambrosio; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Vecino, Perisic; Sanchez, Lukaku

Roma possible starting lineup:
Fuzato; Santon, Kumbulla, Mancini, Karsdorp; Cristante, Pellegrini, Darboe; Pedro, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko

SM words green background

We say: Inter Milan 2-1 Roma

Antonio Conte's 100th game in charge of Inter should see his 63rd win, as even on cruise mode, the Nerazzurri have far too much firepower for an injury-hit visiting side.

Roma have stabilised somewhat since seeing their season sink down the plughole in recent weeks, but they are still defensively suspect and have struggled away from their capital headquarters in 2020-21.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl

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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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