Inter Milan vs. Roma: How Teams Will Line Up in International Champions Cup

Colin O'Brien@@ColliOBrienContributor IAugust 1, 2014

DALLAS, TX - JULY 29:   Francesco Totti #10 of AS Roma dribbles the ball against Real Madrid during a Guinness International Champions Cup 2014 game at Cotton Bowl on July 29, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Roma come into this game on the back of a confidence-inspiring win over European champions Real Madrid. The Spanish giants had looked the better side in the first half. But the Giallorossi grew into the fixture, and some inspired footballing from homegrown heroes Francesco Totti and Alessandro Florenzi eventually gave them a deserved lead. 

Manager Rudi Garcia should be impressed by his side's performance against Carlo Ancelotti's Madrid, and for the most part, how they acquitted themselves in their unlucky 3-2 loss to Manchester United earlier in the tournament. 

Walter Mazzarri's Inter has yet to secure a win in normal play at this year's International Champions Cup.

While the main purposes of the tournament are undoubtedly to experiment with new ideas, give players a chance to build some match fitness and expand the clubs' influence in the lucrative North American market, heading back to Serie A without at least one victory would leave something of a sour taste in the mouths of Interisti right before the beginning of the new league campaign. 

Experimentation will still be the name of the game for Garcia, but he also knows that if Real can beat United and Roma can produce a decent score against their Italian rivals Inter, the Giallorossi will go to the final on goal difference.

The US tour is more about laying a foundation for the season ahead than it is about relatively meaningless silverware, but nevertheless the confidence boost of winning something—even a friendly summer cup in the U.S.—could work wonders in the Giallorossi dressing room. 

Both managers have new signings and new ideas to work on before returning to Italy, but it's Garcia who has more viable, top-quality options in key positions. Roma have been bullish in the transfer market this season, making some key additions to strengthen what was already an impressive squad. 

Arguably one of the best starting XIs when full fit to be found in Europe last term, the Lupi now have options and quality in depth to protect themselves against injuries and fatigue in what's going to be a testing season for them, returning to the Champions League and attempting to win their first Scudetto since 2001. 

At the back, Roma should start with Lukasz Skorupski in goal behind a fairly recognisable line-up including the almost ever-present centre-back pairing of Medhi Benatia and Leandro Castan with Ashley Cole at left-back. After a fine showing against Real in the position, Garcia could be tempted to experiment with Florenzi at right-back again, and the youth team products Arturo Calabresi and Michele Somma and new signing Davide Astori could also make an appearance at some point. 

In the centre, Radja Nainggolan and Miralem Pjanic should be joined by Urby Emanuelson and Seydou Keita at some point because while the pair of new signings will be somewhat down the pecking order in terms of the starting XI back at the Olimpico, time is running out before the start of the new season and the manager will want to make sure they're well settled in the squad, and ready to play should he need to call on them. 

Up front, Garcia will be without one of his favourite players, Gervinho, who's been stuck in Italy with visa problems, but Francesco Totti will likely make an appearance at some point, but there could be a number of changes for Garcia as he tries to assess his squad properly. Juan Iturbe, Salih Ucan, Leandro Paredes, Antonio Sanabria are all new arrivals and will compete with Gervinho, Florenzi, Mattia Destro and Adem Ljajic for starting places, so games like this one are invaluable both to the player and their coach in terms of seeing what works. 

Mazzarri has fewer options, but can still field a very strong squad for the Nerazzurri's final game. With Samir Handanovic in goal, there'll be some security at the back whatever centre-backs he chooses. Nemanja Vidic will likely be given another chance to impress, alongside Andrea Ranocchia and possibly Juan Jesus. 

On the flanks, new signings Danilo D'Ambrosio and ex-Roma star Dodo should start, with Slovenian talent Rene Krhin in midfield with either Saphir Taider, Yann M'Vila, Zdravko Kuzmanovic or Mateo Kovacic, who was an unused sub against Man United. 

In attack, there's no reason for Mazzarri not to continue with Mauro Icardi, because the young Argentine needs game time and he'll be crucial to any success that the Nerazzurri manage this year. Ruben Botta could make another appearance, as could the young Romanian sensation George Puscas. 


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