The last time a Roma team led by Zdenek Zeman (pictured) faced Inter Milan was in May 1999. The sides shared nine goals on that occasion and while there is unlikely to be quite such a deluge in this Serie A match, expect goals this time too (Sunday, September 2, 19:45 BST).
Inter began their season with an impressive 3-0 victory away to newly-promoted Pescara, putting together some nicely controlled passing moves and creating little triangles to keep possession.
Their front three of Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito and Wesley Sneijder were particularly superb in their link-up play.
Milito crossed low for Sneijder to tap in for 1-0 on 17 minutes and then neat interplay between Cassano and Sneijder took the former into the area, from where he pulled back for Milito to finish for 2-0 two minutes later.
Milito also laid on Inter’s third, a late tap-in for Philippe Coutinho, and looked sharp throughout. Against Roma, Milito is 5/6 to score anytime with Bet365, which is an attractive bet.
Roma twice came from begin to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Catania on the opening day. The Giallorossi’s goals were both wonder strikes: Pablo Osvaldo aiming a fantastic flying volley into the top corner and young debutant Nicolas Lopez saving his side a point with a neat touch past a defender and finish in stoppage time.
Zeman was furious after the match, criticising his players’ “pointless” horizontal passing, and the positioning of Erik Lamela and Francesco Totti, both of whom he felt played “too wide.”
With his words ringing in their ears, expect the Roma players to come out onto the San Siro pitch eager to prove themselves. Despite Inter keeping a clean sheet against Pescara, there were a couple of moments that suggested Zeman’s men could have some joy against their Sunday hosts.
Inter’s coach Andrea Stramaccioni sets his team up in a 4-3-2-1 formation, which means they are reliant on the full-backs getting forward to provide width. Against most Italian teams this is a strategy without a great deal of risk. That is because narrow midfields and the proliferation of 3-5-2-like systems in Serie A mean that most teams only offer one source of threat. That danger is on each flank and usually comes from the full-back or wing-back breaking forward from a deep position.
Pescara, whom Zeman coached to the Serie B title last season, are one of the few sides in Serie A who play with two out and out wingers. Stramaccioni had clearly instructed the two players on either side of his three-man central midfield to hold back and cover whenever the full-back on their side of the pitch progressed beyond them. This proved inadequate as both of Pescara’s best chances came when they took advantage of the Inter full-backs being out of position high up the pitch.
Gianluca Caprari ran onto a through-ball in the right channel and flashed a shot just across goal, while Emmanuel Cascione ghosted in at the back post into space vacated by Javier Zanetti to aim a header at goal that was superbly saved by Luca Castellazzi.
Pescara’s full-backs were not as adventurous as they might have been, despite looking threatening whenever they broke forward to create 2 v 1 situations on the flanks. If Roma can get Ivan Piris and Federico Balzaretti forward from full-back on a regular basis, in support of the wide forwards, in Zeman’s 4-3-3 then there is a good chance of them causing damage to an Inter side that looked comfortable defending danger emanating from the centre of the park.
Inter v Roma Betting Tips Verdict
With both sides possessing potent attacking forces and defences that have a degree of vulnerability, betting on a high number of goals would appear a good way to get a return on this match. However, the bookies have quickly grown wise to Zeman’s propensity to produce teams who score as readily as they concede and the over 2.5 goals market offers little value, with odds sitting at 19/40 with Bet365.
- With this in mind, it is the little utilised over 3.5 goals market that is our pick for this match. Bet on Inter Milan v Roma producing over 3.5 goals @ 6/5 with Bet365
- In addition, we are expecting a frantic start to this match, and therefore taking both teams to score in the 1st half @ 11/5 with Paddy Power would appear a good shout.
- Bet on Milito @ 5/6 to score any time with Bet365.