There was a time, not that long ago, that Roma v Inter meant a Scudetto showdown, one from which (unfortunately) Roma never emerge victorious. While Roma has been the decidedly better side over the past 18 months or so, they're both choking on the exhaust of the Juventus machine in varying degrees. The Giallorossi enter this match even on points with Lazio but firmly in third place thanks to tie breakers. With Lazio hosting 13th place Chievo, the pressure is squarely on Rudi Garcia and Roma to gain some ground on their Capital neighbors this weekend.
Due to time constraints, we'll unfortunately have to keep this one brief.
November 30, 2014: Roma 4, Inter 2
No, your eyes do not deceive you, there was actually a time when Roma scored four goals in one match...Four!
Thanks to some exquisite play and quick ball movement, Roma made fools out of the Nerazzurri. Highlighted by Jose Cholebas' slaloming, mad dashing run towards the endline, truncated by a wicked left footed strike, Roma poured four goals past Samir Handanavoic and the rest of Roberto Mancini's men.
This was probably the last time we saw what Roma was really capable of, before, you know, it all went to shit.
How Will They Win This One?
Fortunately for Roma, Inter is in a spell of their own, winning only one of their past six matches, while drawing four of the remaining five in that set. Maybe it's just an Italian thing—can any team in this league win a match besides Juve, without cheating, that is.
While Roma has had to deal with injuries and suspensions seemingly every week, Garcia has nearly his full squad at his disposal, save for the season long hold outs like Kevin Strootman and Leandro Castan. Highlighting the reinforcements is none other than Gervinho. The Predator is making his return after three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and should, if history holds to form, play nearly 90 minutes, setting off a worldwide chorus of groans among discontent fans.
Aside from that, the usual names and faces are raring to go. Federico Balzaretti, Ashley Cole and Jose Cholevas have all made the trip up north, giving Garcia carte blanche among terrible left backs, while Victor Ibarbo and Seydou Doumbia have also made the cut this week. Yes, Garcia haters, you'll have plenty of ammunition this weekend.
Roma may have won four of their past six against the Nerazzurri, but this is still Inter we're talking about here. Italy's tenth place side is still within shouting distance of Europa League qualification and features one of the game's most dynamic young talents, Argentine whiz kid Mauro Icardi, he of 16 goals and three assists this season. Between Icardi and the return of Fredy Guarin, Inter has more than enough to threaten Roma's always disjointed defense.
We're not living in the post-calciopoli days when Inter were world beaters, but with Roma's current form, they simply can't take anything or anyone for granted.