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SerieAWeekly On September - 17 - 2011

Serie A Matchday Preview - Inter vs Roma

Serie A Weekly welcomes guest writer Anthony Lopopolo to our pages with a view to the Saturday showcase match between Internazionale and AS Roma at the San Siro in Milan.


Left reeling from an embarrassing week of losses in both Serie A and the Champions League, Inter will try to gather their first points of the season against Roma at San Siro. Inter failed to score a goal in an upsetting 1-0 loss to Trabzonspor, putting additional pressure on coach Gian Piero Gasperini and his ability to get the best out of his men.

It is early in the season, but let us not forget that Inter lost the Scudetto last season chiefly due to their slow start off the blocks under the misguided supervision of Rafa Benitez. Last year, they only picked up 7 wins in their first 15 games in Serie A. But a loss to Roma could make their start a historically poor one, as Inter has never lost their first two domestic games since 1983.

Much ado has been made about the 3-4-3 formation employed by Gasperini, but even four defenders at the back against the Turkish side couldn’t help them. Inter owner Massimo Moratti pressured Gasperini to adopt different tactics, but his intervention with the strategy of the Italian coach — the third coaching hiring by Inter since the departure of Mourinho — has yielded nothing productive.

New signing Diego Forlan did score his first goal for Inter against Palermo and will need to provide a jolt into a squad desperate for results.

On the side of the opposition, though, Roma is no model of strength. They wilted to a 2-1 defeat to Cagliari at home last weekend and looked exactly how a rebuilding project should appear under coach Luis Enrique: disjointed and out of sorts. There’s some undue pressure on Roma to succeed, but time must be given to a side that’s started anew with young players. Luis Enrique has the confidence of the dressing room and an owner sympathetic to the process of adaptation. Before the game, he told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he understands there’s little patience in football, but it is exactly patience that is required.

“When a project is started up and the man is chosen to carry it forward, he has to have the confidence of the club. Last week, I thanked the board for their confidence in me,” he said. “We speak to each other in complete frankness and when the club ceases to believe in me we shall solve the problem straight away.”

Inter will most likely be without Maicon, Thiago Motta and starlet Andrea Poli, while Roma’s Juan will miss the match through injury.

Gasperini has yet to win a competitive game with Inter. He said he received lots of food for thought in his Serie A debut for Inter.

As far as history goes, Inter will either win or lose. Inter’s bench boss has never shared the points in any of his previous Serie A contests with Roma in the past. If they lose to Roma, there will be a feast.

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