Scudetto Showdown, Inter vs. Roma
Serie A action tomorrow evening will hopefully re-ignite the title race in Italian football as Inter meet second place Roma who currently trail the leaders by nine points. The gap between the two had been as high as eleven but Inter drew 1-1 to Sampdoria over the weekend while Roma triumphed over fourth place Fiorentina clawing back a vital two points.
Last seasons results saw Roma walk away 3-1 victors over their Milanese rivials, could we be heading for a repeat finish? The Nerazzurri had planned to crack open the champagne as scudetto winners but were put on ice for another day by Francesco Totti and company.
Timing is everything and Inter are definitely out of sorts after losing the away leg against Liverpool, a week ago in Champions League play. Additional news coming out of the Nerazzurri camp doesn’t look good for star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibrahimovic having fallen out with team mates over the public condemnation of Materazzi’s red card incident, has more importantly in recent weeks been coping with a serious knee injury. Inter will also miss midfielder Dejan Stankovic who is again sidelined with injury, meaning new signing Maniche should have an opportunity to impress manager Roberto Mancini.
The flip side is Roma have rediscovered their winning ways at the right time. The Giallorossi are coming off of back-to-back wins against some pretty stiff opponents in Real Madrid and Fiorentina and are sporting no injuries from the encounters, but will have no Amantino Mancini and no Cicinho on the pitch as both are suspended from play. Hopefully Spalletti’s experiment with Totti as sole striker is over, and the skipper will be played in position marshalling the midfield with support by Daniele De Rossi.
Christian Panucci is set to get the nod at right-back despite seemingly falling out of favor with boss Luciano Spalletti.
Inter (probable): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Rivas, Materazzi, Maxwell; Zanetti, Vieira, Cambiasso, Maniche; Crespo, Suazo
Roma (probable): Doni; Panucci, Ferrari, Mexes, Cassetti; De Rossi, Pizarro; Giuly, Perrotta, Taddei; Totti
Tuesday February 26th
Juventus – Torino
Wednesday February 27th
Atalanta – Sampdoria
Catania – AC Milan
Fiorentina – Livorno
Genoa – Napoli
Inter – Roma
Lazio – Reggina
Palermo – Empoli
Parma – Udinese
Seina – Cagliari