The big games are coming thick and fast in Serie A this weekend, and while much is being made of the game between traditional powerhouses AC Milan and Juventus, it is the matchup between Roma and Inter Milan which will have a bigger impact on matters at the top of the table.
Second-placed Roma, nine points behind leaders Juventus with a game in hand, cannot afford to lose. If they slip a full nine points off top spot, they can kiss goodbye to any remote hope of winning the Scudetto this season.
Meanwhile, for Inter Milan, who are fifth and five points behind Fiorentina in fourth, this game is a must-win if they are to retain any chance of catching the sides above them and not slipping further off the pace.
Below are all the vital statistics you will need for the game in one handy table.
|Fixture||Date||Time||Stream Info||Tv Info|
|Roma vs. Inter Milan||Saturday, March 1||7:45 p.m. GMT, 2:45 p.m. ET||Sport.BT.com||BT Sport 1|
Following Erick Thohir's takeover of Inter Milan this season, it appears that the club are in a state of flux with manager Walter Mazzarri battling against the tide before a summer overhaul.
The emergence of Fiorentina, Roma and Napoli as properly competitive sides at the top of the table has left Inter lagging behind, and they are in need of a revamp in order to return to the Champions League once more.
With 11 goals and five assists in 25 Serie A games this season, Rodrigo Palacio is the club's standout player and main goal threat, but Inter will have their work cut out facing a Roma side who have not lost at home this season.
In fact, Roma's only league defeat this season came at the hands of a Juventus side comfortably clear at the top of the table. And although they are the best side in the division, Roma, six points clear of Napoli in third with a game in hand, are easily the second best outfit in Italy and a very hard unit to beat on their day.
Rudi Garcia has reinvigorated the club and, without European football to distract them, has put together an athletic and organised unit hungry for success.
But as ESPN's Roma blogger Julian De Martinis reports, they could be without some key men for the game against Inter:
Bad news ahead of the Inter match: Totti, Florenzi, Maicon probably not recovering in time and now Gervinho has the flu.— Julian of Martinis (@JulianDM11) February 26, 2014
It is hard to see anything but another routine win for a Roma side on the march. With a trip to Napoli next up in the league for Garcia's side, they will want to maintain their cushion and send out a message that they are the real deal.