Roma has an inferiority complex. There's no doubt about it. When it's come to squaring off against Italy's top sides over the last few years, the Lupi have played more like cuccioli. The Giallorossi's record has been awful.
And the side that's probably given Roma managers more nightmares than anyone hasn't been Juve, but Inter Milan. The Giallorossi have dropped points in 10 consecutive league meetings (6D-4L) with Inter. So, whether it's been EDF, Fonseca, or now Mourinho, none of them has been able to break Il Serpente's spell over the Giallorossi.
With Inter dropping three of their first seven matches and Simone Inzaghi feeling the heat, there's no better time for Roma to strike at the San Siro than now. For that to happen, the Giallorossi will need their alphas to step up and lead the pack to glory. Just who may that be?
Read on to see our picks to click when Roma takes on the Nerazzurri at the San Siro.
Picks to Click: Inter Milan vs. Roma
After gutting through a muscle issue against Atalanta, all indications point toward Lorenzo Pellegrini starting from the opening whistle against Inter. Pellegrini's position on the pitch likely depends on whether Paulo Dybala plays. Assuming Dybala plays, then Pellegrini starts in the double pivot. If he doesn't, then he'll sit behind Tammy Abraham in the attacking midfield.
Either way, with Inter missing its midfield lynchpin Marcel Brozovic, there could be more space than usual to exploit in the Nerazzurri midfield. Brozovic's absence could mean more time on the ball for Pellegrini in attacking spaces and more opportunities to unlock the Inter defense with one of his killer through balls. Plus, Pellegrini's set-piece prowess is always a threat to find the back of the net or a teammate's head off a corner. Pellegrini could be instrumental in the Giallorossi's attack clicking in a big match.
Dybala remains a doubt for Saturday after completing individual training on Thursday. Still, whether it's as a starter or substitute, Dybala could have a big say in how this match ends. The Argentine playmaker has been the most consistent goalscorer in a season that's seen a plethora of chances go begging. Whenever he's on the pitch, Roma is a better team. He's always a threat but should be extra motivated to impact this one. Remember, Dybala was said to have a verbal agreement with Inter before the Nerazzurri decided to sign Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku will miss this match, giving Dybala the perfect opportunity to make Bepe Marotta regret his summer decisions.
Ibañez has been a stud this season. He's hitting levels we only dreamed of when he was a raw, talented youngster arriving from Atalanta. At 23-years-old he's beginning to feel like a grizzled veteran. With Chris Smalling marking Edin Dzeko the majority of the match, Ibañez will likely be tasked with stopping Inter's biggest goal threat, Lautaro Martinez, whenever he drifts toward Roma's left. Throw in the marauding Denzel Dumfries flying down that same wing, and Ibaeñz will have his hands full. However, the version of Ibañez we've seen this season can handle that job, and if he does, Roma could keep Inter's dangerous attack in check.
Spinazzola turned down a call from Roberto Mancini to continue improving his physical fitness over the last two weeks. There's no doubt the Italian speedster is still finding his form after returning from last summer's Achilles tear. After a failed move to Inter a couple of seasons ago, he took himself into the elite tier of fullbacks with Roma and the Azzurri. This could be a big match for Spina, as he looks to show that he's still got it.
Going toe-to-toe with Dumfries will be a tough defensive task, but if Spina plays positionally sound, he could find spaces behind the Dutchman to attack. His bursts down the left flank could keep Dumfries on his heels and put Roma in good attacking positions.
Who is your pick to click against Inter?
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