Chris Smalling is back in the Roma squad as the Giallorossi look to continue their recent positive form when they host Inter Milan on Sunday.
Roma are on a run of three straight wins, having beaten Parma, Brescia and Verona recently. A tougher opponent awaits on Sunday, though, as Inter Milan are visiting the Stadio Olimpico.
Still technically in the title race, although it looks unlikely now, Inter have had a relatively strong debut season under Antonio Conte – a coach who rejected the chance to join Roma instead last summer.
Conte has not beaten Roma since his time with Juventus back in 2014. The Giallorossi famously got the better of his Chelsea side in the miraculous 2017-18 Champions League campaign.
And in the last meeting between the two sides, Roma showed they were up for the challenge. A goalless draw at San Siro saw the Lupi become the first club to stop Inter scoring this season. Only Juventus have matched that since.
Inter have won their last two games, but like Roma, their form after the mid-season break has been mixed. For example, three games ago, they could only draw with the team Roma beat last, Verona.
Roma go into the game boosted by the return of Chris Smalling from injury. The Englishman will probably not start, but his experience has been vital this season. He will be a strong option to call upon if needed.
One man not in the squad, however, is former Inter youngster Nicolo Zaniolo. Having recently returned from an ACL injury, the Italian prodigy is sidelined with a minor calf strain.Embed from Getty Images
The win over Verona saw Aleksandar Kolarov deployed in the back three, and Paulo Fonseca has confirmed the Serbian could occupy that role again. The coach also revealed that Lorenzo Pellegrini – who captained Roma for the first time in the reverse fixture – will keep his starting place in attacking midfield, as may Bruno Peres at right wing-back.
This will be Roma’s penultimate home game of the season, with three of their other four remaining fixtures being away.
Roma haven’t beaten Inter at home since 2016, so will be looking to rectify that. With the last four meetings at either venue between the two sides ending in draws, they will be eager to find something – or someone – to separate them on Sunday night.
The game kicks off at 8:45pm UK time and will be available to watch live on Premier Sports 1.