Goal.com Special: Inter-Roma Key Personal Battles

Goal.com's Stefan Coerts takes a look at the key personal battles ahead of this Sunday's Serie A clash between Inter and Roma.
After a pretty disappointing start to the season, it seems as if Inter are slowly nearing top form. The Nerazzurri have climbed to third position in the table, trailing table toppers Milan by seven points, but with one game in hand.

Roma have been equally impressive in recent weeks, even though they were held by Brescia in midweek, and currently sit fifth in the Serie A table with only two points fewer than Inter. This makes Sunday evening's match a rather important game in the race for the Scudetto as the loser of this game will probably have to end their dreams of winning the league title. A number of exciting personal battles await in Giuseppe Meazza and the following players could play a key role on Sunday.

Samuel Eto'o v Juan
Cameroon Nationality Brazil
29 Age 32
Central forward Position Central defender
83 Castrol Ranking 511

Inter coach Leonardo will be looking to Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o to provide Inter with goals on Sunday. Eto'o has been in excellent form all season long and has so far scored 13 league goals for the Nerazzurri. The former Barcelona star will undoubtedly be looking to add to his tally at the weekend.

If Eto'o is to do so, he'll have to find a way around Juan though. The experienced defender has been a key figure at the back for Roma in the 2010-11 campaign and he'll be determined to help the Lupi to a good result by keeping a clean sheet.

Wesley Sneijder v Daniele De Rossi
 
Netherlands Nationality Italy
26 Age 27
Attacking midfielder Position Holding midfielder
195 Castrol Ranking 174

The Dutch international returned to match action in the 3-0 win over Bari in midweek after a lengthy injury lay-off and Sneijder immediately showed what he's capable of. The gifted playmaker guided Inter to a comfortable away win with his excellent passing and scored once to show the world that he's back.

Daniele De Rossi hasn’t been too consistent this campaign but the Italy international will play as the defensive midfielder for the Lupi. De Rossi is an all-round midfield player but against Inter he will primarily have defensive responsibilities. Which, in turn, means that the Roman will have to stop Sneijder from weaving his magic and also stop passes going to and from him.

Esteban Cambiasso v Jeremy Menez 
 
Argentina Nationality France
30 Age 23
Holding midfielder Position Attacking midfielder
240 Castrol Ranking 399

Cambiasso has been one of the few Inter players who hasn't really been affected by injuries or a dip of form this season. The Argentina international never stops running in midfield and seems to really enjoy hassling his direct opponent all match long. He'll be looking to do exactly that on Sunday in an attempt to help his side pick up the full three points.

Menez will be Roma’s main source of creativity both down the wings and through the centre. He will be eager to express his vision and creativity on Sunday evening. The Frenchman does have plenty of talent but he often tends to suffer from inconsistency. He will have to step up his game at the weekend though in an attempt to exploit Inter's 'weaknesses' at the back.

Andrea Ranocchia v Marco Borriello
 
Italy Nationality Italy
22 Age 28
Central defender Position Central forward
852 Castrol Ranking 106

The young Italy international impressed at Genoa in the first half of the season and was consequently signed by Inter to replace long-term injury concern Walter Samuel. Ranocchia might still be relatively inexperienced, but there's little doubt that the centre-back has plenty of potential. It's now up to him to show that he has what it takes to succeed at top level as well.

Borriello has often been criticised since joining Roma from Milan last summer and it's not only his haircut that offends his critics. However, the powerful attacker has been the Lupi's main attacking threat this season and he has already netted 10 league goals this season. A good performance at Giuseppe Meazza will further silence his critics and could prove to be crucial in Roma's title challenge.

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