October is here, and we are now into the thick of a hectic autumn period that will see the games come thick and fast across Europe. That includes the Italian Serie A, where seven games have already been played. The upcoming tight schedule can be blamed on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which was moved from June to November. There’s now a race against time for teams to get through their games as quickly as possible before Serie A is placed into hibernation until early next year. Until then, we have plenty to keep us entertained, including Inter Milan’s home game against Roma on Saturday from 17:00 GMT.
This match is one of just three games played from the top tier of Italian football on Saturday and looks like the pick of the bunch. Inter Milan is expected to challenge for the title this term, and they have every chance to do just that. Roma is another side with confidence in the camp, and they will believe, following last season’s efforts in Italy and Europe, there’s a great chance they too can challenge for the title. A win away to Milan would certainly improve their chances of doing just that, sending out a statement of intent to their rivals.
Saturday’s meeting in Milan will be the first time Inter and Roma have faced off since April of this year, when Inter claimed a convincing 3-1 win at this venue in the league. The pair met three times in the previous campaign, with Inter Milan enjoying a clean sweep of victories, including a 2-0 cheer in the Coppa Italia. An average of three goals were scored in those games, and armchair fans following this match live on television hope for more of the same with plenty of goals and even more talking points as the action returns.
Milan lacks consistency
Inter Milan may be one of the favourites to win the Serie A with respected pundits and Italian football experts, but they haven’t started the season too well, and with seven games on the board, they are already playing catch up. The locals enjoyed consistency last season, going on long unbeaten runs that kept them in a position to challenge throughout, but that hasn’t been the case in the opening weeks of this term. They have struggled to put points on the board and have lost matches they were expected to win at a canter.
Studying the Serie A table ahead of its return, we note Inter Milan are down in seventh place with their stats for the season showing four wins against three defeats, with their last five outings reading lose-win-lose-win-lose. It’s obvious that Inter Milan is a great side, and, at times, they have looked stronger than they were last term, but the lack of consistency is a worry, and that gives the coaching staff plenty to think about. Inter have looked more than capable of winning this championship in the games they have taken three points from, but in the losses, they have been miles off the pace.
A winning run is needed to breathe life back into their challenge, and this is a great place to start. Three points on Saturday could thrust the home team back into contention, but a second loss on the bounce would suck them towards mid-table, wrecking any remains of confidence that was left in the camp. The fans will turn out in force to cheer on their favourites, but the longer this game remains competitive, the more agitated the supporters will become, which will filter down to the pitch.
Roma has lost two of three
Roma make this trip knowing about the challenges faced by their opponents, but they won’t head into this game thinking Inter Milan is a soft touch. Instead, they will be wary of a strong team that is a wounded animal at present but is more than capable of lashing out and restoring their pride. The visitors know they must be at their best if they are to claim anything from this game, and they also know an away win would seriously improve their chances of challenging for major honours this season. A top-four finish would rate as a big achievement for the club.
Roma starts the weekend down in sixth place with stats of four wins, one draw and a pair of defeats, with eight goals scored and seven conceded. The 13 points against their name mean Roma is just one off Lazio and entry to the top four, four behind a Napoli side that is going great guns, leading both Serie A and their Champions League pool, including Liverpool, Rangers and Ajax. The quality that’s on show this season means there will be no room for passengers with each of the top four teams there on merit.
Despite their strong standing in the table at this early stage, Roma has lost two of their last three games, winning the spare. That unconvincing run began with defeat away to Udinese in a match that ended 4-0. That was something of a battering, and an embarrassment for Roma and the hurt remained despite a 2-1 win at Empoli. We last saw Roma in action at home when edged 1-0 by Atalanta, who had Scalvini to thank for bagging them the points. Two losses from three means Roma arrive under pressure, knowing back-to-back losses would damage their chances of competing.
Inter Milan v Roma prediction
Inter Milan is capable of much better than they have shown us so far this season. There have been hints of last year’s form and glimmers of hope for the support, but it has been a case of one step forward followed by one step back.
Roma showed last season what they are capable of, and after strengthening in the transfer market, they are a stronger team this term. Will that show in their results? There’s still a long way to go and plenty of football to be played, but a win is overdue.
Serie A odds
22bet members can back Inter Milan at 2.05, play Roma at odds of 3.06 or on the draw at 3.46.