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Meet & Greet: A Roma-Inter Preview with Serpents of Madonnina

Matt from SoM reached out across the aisle to swap some questions about tomorrow’s match.

FC Internazionale v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

For my money, next to the Dallas Cowboys there is no team on earth I hate more than Inter Milan. This animosity was stoked about a decade ago, when Jose Mourinho’s treble winning side kept Roma at bay for several years, denying us glory after glory after glory. Fortunately, one of my favorite aspects of our broader community is precisely that, it’s a community, full of fans and writers as passionate about their clubs as we are about ours. If nothing else, perusing the other SB Nation soccer sites gives a human face to clubs we might otherwise detest.

With that in mind, Matt from our Inter site, Serpents of Madonnina, reached out to me to swap a series of questions about Saturday’s match. Take a look!

1. Now that you have one game under the belt, what are your initial takeaways about Inter Milan? What do you see as the biggest concerns following the first game?

Serpents of Madonnina: Inter impressed on a lot of different levels. With Luciano Spalletti at the helm and an iffy mercato, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The offense clicked with Ivan Perisic, Mauro Icardi forcing the issue against Fiorentina’s defense. The big question was at midfield. Signing Borja Valero and Matias Vecino seemed good at the time, but really proved to be solid especially coupled with Joao Mario. Defense remains a question and wasn’t really pressured as Fiorentina was depleted offensively.

2. There is still time left in the mercato. Talk about Inter’s mercato and what positions does the club still need to address.

SoM: The Nerazzurri still need help at defense. Yuto Nagatomo showed flashes of good play, but reverted back to his old ways midway through the Fiorentina game. Dalbert will be good, but he may not be as ready as Spalletti would like him to be. Milan Skriniar is a good anchor in the back but the team needs help in the center and on the right. Another potential attacking option would be beneficial too.

3. For this match, which member of Inter will be the most crucial and why? Which matchup are you most excited about?

SoM: I think the midfield will be the biggest controller of the game to start. Valero will have to be on his game as Roma’s defense still appears to be a bit suspect to me. Icardi and Perisic should have the ability to exploit that defense, but Valero will have to marshall Inter on offense as well as on defense. In terms of exciting, I think the prospect of Icardi and Perisic against Roma’s defense is pretty darn exciting to me.

4. Which Giallorossi are you the most ready to face and which one scares you the most?

SoM: Just like I said above, I am pretty excited about our offense matching up with Roma’s defense. While Atalanta pressed, I think Inter’s attack is much more cohesive and potent. The opposite is what worries me. Aleksandar Kolarov connected on the set piece against Atalanta, but Radja Nainggolan is what concerns me the most in the Roma attack.

5. Patrik Schick has been linked to both Inter and Roma with Roma rumored to have submitted a €38 million bid for. Who has the upper hand in the battle for the 21-year-old and why?

SoM: I think Inter has the upper hand here because Schick has come out to say he wants to play in Milan. {Bren: These questions were generated during the early days of Schick Watch 2017, so things have changed since then}

6. Last, but certainly not least, pick the game. What’s the final score and how does the game flow?

SoM: Being the homer I am, I think Inter Milan’s offense will prove too much for Roma and the Nerazzurri defense will hold Roma’s attack in check. I can see Perisic and Icardi picking up goals along with Joao Mario notching his first of the year. I see this being 3-1 for the good … ahem … Inter.

So there you have it, if you’re curious about the Inter side of the equation, head on over to SoM, they do great work. Our general preview will be up shortly.