ROME ON FIRE: Clash of the titans as Roma host Inter at Stadio Olimpico

Inter and Roma, second and third in Serie A, are in the running to finally dethrone Juventus and end the Old Lady’s nine-year stranglehold on the Scudetto. Roma will be looking for another win after the 1-3 Serie A success over Crotone while following on a shock 2-1 loss in their previous game against Sampdoria in Serie A action, Inter Milan and their travelling supporters will be hoping that they can get a better result in this one. The loss prevented Inter Milan going top of the table as AC Milan lost 3-1 to Juventus. The midweek results around the peninsula have given the Scudetto fight a new twist. Juventus are just seven points back of AC Milan and six from second-placed Inter Milan.

Roma are not out of the question when it comes to the title fight. The Giallorossi are four points behind AC Milan in the race for the Scudetto. A win against Inter Milan would pull the capital club level with Inter Milan on points.

The last five matches between these teams in Serie A finished in draws. It is a remarkable run as neither team have been able to take full points when meeting over the last two and a half years. Roma are unbeaten in nine of their last 10 matches in all competitions versus Inter Milan. They posted a 2W-7D-1L record versus the Nerazzurri.

season’s match at the Stadio Olimpico finished in a 2-2 draw between Roma and Inter Milan. Stefan de Vrij opened the scoring in the 15th minute for Inter Milan. Roma’s Leonardo Spinazzola and Henrikh Mkhitaryan then found the back of the net before the hour-mark. Inter Milan were able to level the score in the 88th minute thanks to a Romelu Lukaku penalty.

Roma have the best home points total in Serie A with 20 from 24 possible. They are the only side in Serie A not to lose at home this term. The Giallorossi have scored 19 goals while allowing seven to opponents.

Each of their last three matches at home ended in victories over Torino, Sampdoria, and Cagliari. Roma won in midweek, 3-1, versus Crotone thanks to goals from Borja Mayoral (two) and Mkhitaryan.

Inter Milan have the division’s second-best away points total. They have taken 17 points from 24 possible on their travels. The Nerazzurri have scored 18 times while allowing eight goals to opponents. Inter Milan are coming off of a 2-1 loss away to Sampdoria in midweek.

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has several players on the injured list. In spite of the injuries, Roma shouldn’t be too affected by them. Riccardo Calafiori is a doubt due to a muscle strain. Pedro Rodriguez is also a doubt as he recovers from a thigh strain.

Goalkeeper Antonio Mirante could be fit to make the squad on Sunday. He is nursing a hamstring issue. Leonardo Spinazzola is also recovering from a hamstring injury. He is a doubt for the fixture. Meanwhile, Nicolo Zaniolo is out until March with an ACL injury.

Antonio Conte has three names on his injury list going into the game on Sunday. Danilo D’Ambrosio is out until early February with a knee injury. Andrea Pinamonti is a doubt for the game with a muscle strain. Matias Vecino is on the chopping block at San Siro and the club claimed they will sell the midfielder if the right offer comes in. Aston Villa are said to be interested.

Inter Milan striker Lukaku has bagged 12 goals in 15 Serie A matches. He has an expected goal figure of 10.57. Lukaku is second in Serie A in goals scored.

This tie is definately the match of the weekend in Serie A. These teams should put on an exciting fixture when they meet. Both clubs are desperate to get a victory. Roma are just four points off of AC Milan while Inter Milan are one point back. AC Milan have a tricky match versus Torino, which means they could slip up and drop points.

Roma have the opportunity to move into second place with a win, level with Inter Milan. A Scudetto fight is on and Roma are a part of it. Can the Giallorossi get a big win and stay unbeaten against Inter Milan? Tomorrow’s early fixture will be an exciting affair with two titans of Italian football playing.

In other Serie A games this weekend, fifth meets sixth as Serie A holders Juventus welcome Sassuolo. The Bianconeri trail Milan by 10 points but will still be confident of closing the gap, and, indeed, taking their place at the top of the table as the business end of the season approaches. In the opposing camp, a Europa League berth remains the objective.

Andrea Pirlo is keen to bring in winter reinforcements as Juventus battle on multiple fronts. The Bianconeri could play in excess of 35 games between now and May if they reach the latter stages of the Coppa Italia and Champions League, and the Turin giants have been linked to a host of strikers.

Veteran duo Fabio Quagliarella and Olivier Giroud fit the bill of understudy to Alvaro Morata, while Memphis Depay represents a shrewd, cut price option.

In the meantime, Morata will partner Cristiano Ronaldo in attack with the Portugal skipper is only 17 away from a century of goals for the Bianconeri and the milestone target is certainly achievable before the end of the term.

AC Milan’s unbeaten start to the Serie A season – and indeed a run of 27 league games without a loss dating back to last season – finally came to an end as they succumbed to an impressive Juventus side on Wednesday evening.

Fortunately for them, city rivals Internazionale also slipped up so they remain at the top of the standings heading into this round of games. They have an opportunity to bounce back here against Torino tonight at the Giuseppe Meazza, although the visitors, thought 17th on the table, are enjoying their best spell of the season having gone four games unbeaten. AC Milan lost its last match 1-3 against Juventus. In the 24 games of the past six months, the home team has won 17 games and has had eight victories, four draws and one loss at their home stadium. In the current season 20/21, Milan has so far managed to win 4 out of 8 home games. Three games ended in a draw and one game was lost at home. In total, Milan has won 11 out of 16 season games.

*With agency reports

Naija Exhibit

Political analyst and Writer

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