Roma vs Inter Milan, 2013 Coppa Italia preview: Deja vu all over again?

Paolo Bruno

Sunday's Serie A matches ended with a 1-1 draw between Roma and Inter. Three days later, the two sides meet again, this time in the Coppa Italia semi-final -- but will anything change?

The Coppa Italia heads to Rome for another dose of Zemanlandia. In case you're wondering, "Didn't I just see this match?" yes, yes you did. Roma and Inter met last Sunday, playing out a 1-1 draw. Francesco Totti scored a contentious penalty after Andrea Ranocchia executed what appeared to be a perfect sliding tackle on Michael Bradley. But the visitors took revenge just before the halftime whistle, when Fredy Guarín pulled back to place the ball perfectly at Rodrigo Palacio's toe, giving Inter the equalizer.

Perhaps surprisingly, those were the only goals in Sunday's match. Many were expecting a goal-fest -- but they really didn't take into account the fact that Inter's weakened attack couldn't threaten Roma's easily startled defense as easily as some other sides. Conversely, Roma's helter-skelter attack are often able to sink themselves, as evidenced by the nerazzurri defense needing to do little but watch the ball fly high or wide.

A lesson to take away from that match might be that it's pointless to have expectations when it comes to calcio. But if you're the type that requires a prediction, it's likely fair to say that, if anyone will come out on top, the odds are on the visitors. By the end of the last match, Inter looked to have Roma figured out. They didn't quite manage to unlock a goal, but they came close, and it would be surprising if they don't manage to penetrate the leaky defense this time around. Marquinohos will almost certainly be just as excellent as he was on Sunday, but the absence of Daniele De Rossi, and possibly Federico Balzaretti, will only make it easier for Inter.

AS Roma Injuries and Suspensions

Daniele De Rossi (injured); Federico Balzaretti and Pablo Osvaldo (in doubt); Dodo, Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Taddei (suspended)

Well, maybe if Zdenek Zeman wants a full squad to chose from for this Coppa semi-final, he shouldn't let his boys get into brawls in Florence. Then again, they likely won't miss Dodo or Taddei all that much.

Inter Milan Injuries and Suspensions

Antonio Cassano, Walter Samuel and Dejan Stankovic (injured)

Ricky Alvarez is back, but he'll likely be on the bench, as Andrea Stramaccioni wants him to have had a bit more training before giving him the starting nod. With Cassano out, rumors suggest it will be Tommaso Rocchi starting alongside Rodrigo Palacio, which would be a shame considering how well Marko Livaja did against Roma at the weekend.

Match Date / Time: Wednesday, January 23 at 8:45 p.m. local / 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome

TV: RAI Uno, ESPN UK, beIN Sport en Español

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