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Preview: Inter Milan vs. Roma – prediction, team news, lineups



Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Roma, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Having ascended to Serie A’s summit after nine rounds, Inter Milan now aim to regain top spot by beating Roma on Sunday evening.
After Juventus climbed above them on Saturday, Inter will host the current club of former boss Jose Mourinho at San Siro, where the visitors’ star striker is assured of a ‘warm’ welcome. ...Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview
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Two wins since returning from the international break have left Inter in good shape both domestically and in Europe, as after last week’s 3-0 victory over Torino, in midweek they moved onto seven points from a possible nine in Champions League Group D.

Last season’s beaten finalists put Red Bull Salzburg to the sword on Tuesday evening, when Alexis Sanchez and Hakan Calhanoglu were on the scoresheet, just days after the latter also scored in Turin to help take Inter top of the Serie A standings.
With an impressive record of 24 goals scored and just five conceded, Simone Inzaghi’s side have won seven of their first nine league matches and sit just above city rivals Milan, who slipped up against Juventus last week.
However, the Nerazzurri have failed to win either of their last two home fixtures in Serie A – losing to Sassuolo and drawing with Bologna – so before hitting the road for a Lombardy derby with Atalanta and the reverse fixture against Salzburg they will be keen to restore order at San Siro.
As some familiar figures from the club’s glorious past return to the grand old venue, Inter fans would love nothing better than seeing off Roma’s challenge there this weekend.
Precedent is certainly stacked in the second-city side’s favour: they are unbeaten in 11 of their last 12 league matches against their capital-city counterparts, winning four of the last five.
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Roma’s only win in that grim sequence came just over a year ago, when one Romelu Lukaku was still an Inter player, having re-signed for the Nerazzurri on loan from Chelsea.

Since then, a whole river of water has flowed under the bridge for the Belgian striker, who saw his permanent return to San Siro cancelled after secret transfer talks with Juventus were revealed; he then moved to Rome and has begun to thrive again.
Under his former boss Jose Mourinho, Lukaku’s goals have fired Roma up the league table, and having managed just one win from their first six league games this term, they have now won each of the last three – equalling their best such run under Mourinho.
Most recently, the Giallorossi scraped a 1-0 home win over 10-man Monza thanks to Stephan El Shaarawy’s late strike at Stadio Olimpico, and they went on to beat Europa League opponents Slavia Prague 2-0 on Thursday evening, when Lukaku found the target once again.
Closing in on qualification for the knockout rounds after making a perfect start to their Group G campaign, Roma will want to go one better than last season’s final loss by lifting the trophy in Dublin next year, but more urgently they still have plenty of ground to make up in Serie A.
Mourinho – who has lost six of his last seven games against former clubs in all competitions – has staved off questions about the future by tightening his team’s defence and leading them back into top-six contention, but meeting Inter in Milan will now truly test their mettle.

Inter Milan Serie A form:

Inter Milan form (all competitions):

Roma Serie A form:

Roma form (all competitions):

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Team News
© Reuters
Summer signings Juan Cuadrado (Achilles) and Marko Arnautovic (thigh) remain unavailable to Inter coach Simone Inzaghi this weekend, although both could be back in the fold sooner than expected.
After Marcus Thuram, Federico Dimarco and Nicolo Barella started on the bench against Salzburg, all three should return to the hosts’ XI on Sunday, while Francesco Acerbi is also set to be drafted into Inzaghi’s back three.
Up front, Lautaro Martinez has already blitzed his way to 11 Serie A goals this season, and only two players have fared better after 10 games in Inter’s long history – a hat-trick versus Roma would help the Argentina striker equal Giuseppe Meazza (14 in 1933-34), after whom San Siro is formally named.
However, Martinez has scored just once from nine league matches against the Giallorossi to date, ahead of reconvening with the other half of the famed ‘Lu-La’ pairing that once fired Inter to the Scudetto.
Sure to receive a frosty reception, Roma’s Romelu Lukaku has bagged eight goals in his last nine Serie A away matches, although he has failed to score in 10 of his last 13 played at San Siro.
After changing his goalkeeper and wing-backs in midweek, ex-Inter boss Jose Mourinho will revert to his strongest possible side; however, he will have to watch the action fold from afar, having been sent off for taunting Monza’s coaching staff last weekend.
Lukaku’s preferred partner Paulo Dybala again joins captain Lorenzo Pellegrini on the sidelines, alongside long-term absentees Marash Kumbulla and Tammy Abraham. Chris Smalling is back in full training but may not be risked from the start.
Inter Milan possible starting lineup:Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Martinez, Thuram
Roma possible starting lineup:Patricio; Mancini, Llorente, Ndicka; Karsdorp, Cristante, Paredes, Aouar, Spinazzola; El Shaarawy, Lukaku

We say: Inter Milan 2-1 Roma
Benefiting from two extra days to recover from their European exertions – and boasting more squad depth than their visitors – Inter are set to make it three wins on the spin in all competitions, cutting Roma’s resurgence short. The Giallorossi’s absentees are among their most important players, and Inzaghi’s men can be ruthless in front of goal. For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Preview: AZ Alkmaar vs. Almere City – prediction, team news, lineups




Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Eredivisie clash between AZ Alkmaar and Almere City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
AZ Alkmaar will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat last time out when they welcome Almere City to the AFAS Stadion on Saturday.
The away side, on the other hand, make the journey this weekend aiming to avoid a third defeat on the bounce and get their season back on track. ...Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview
© Reuters
AZ Alkmaar were on the receiving end of a narrow albeit shock 2-1 defeat against NEC Nijmegen in Wednesday’s encounter between the teams.

Pascal Jansen’s men found themselves two down at half time thanks to strikes from Bas Dost and Bruno Martins Indi after which Vangelis Pavlidis pulled one back.
Whie the Cheeseheads remain third in the Eredivisie table, they have now fallen a whopping 15 points behind PSV Eindhoven in the race for the title.
Coming up next is the task of facing off against an opposing outfit who have been beaten in the previous two editions of this fixture by a combined score of 4-0.
Off the back of what was only a first league at home in over six months, Saturday’s hosts will be confident of securing an immediate return to winning ways in front of their fans.
Eredivisie newcomers Almere City fell to a 3-0 thrashing against Heerenveen when the sides faced off at the Abe Lenstra Stadion on Friday evening.
First-half goals from Pelle van Amersfoort and Sven van Beek left Alex Pastoor’s men with a mountain to climb at the interval before Van Amersfoort made sure of the result 20 minutes from time.
With just 13 points amassed from 14 matches this term, De Zwarte Schapen sit 16th in the standings, although they are only in the drop zone on goal difference.

Having seen their five game unbeaten streak on the road come to an end last time out, Saturday’s visitors now set out to avoid consecutive away losses for the first time since August.

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:

AZ Alkmaar form (all competitions):

Almere City Eredivisie form:

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Team News
Mees de Wit is yet to make an appearance for AZ Alkmaar since late August and will not be playing any part in this weekend’s contest.
Vangelis Pavlidis has found the back of the net in each of his last four outings for the home side, making him one to keep an eye on here.
Twenty-three-year-old Hamdi Akujobi remains unavailable for selection having missed each of Almere’s last seven games through a damaged knee.
The home side will also be without the services of Faiz Mattoir but the Comoros international is not far off making a return to action.
AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:Ryan; Sugawara, Bazoer, Penetra, Wolfe; Clasie, Mijnans; Lahdo, De Wit, Van Brederode; Pavlidis
Almere City possible starting lineup:Bakker; Castell, Mbe, Van Bruggen, Jacobs, Floranus; Koopmeiners, Robinet, Resink; Hansen, Van La Parra

We say: AZ Alkmaar 4-1 Almere City
AZ Alkmaar hit a bump in the road last time out but we can see them serving up an immediate response with a comfortable win this time around, scoring plenty of goals en route.For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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Preview: Peterborough United vs. Oxford United – prediction, team news, lineups





Sports Mole previews Saturday’s League One clash between Peterborough United and Oxford United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Peterborough United will be aiming to continue their strong run of form in League One when they welcome Oxford United to London Road on Saturday afternoon.
The home side are currently fifth in the table, boasting 35 points from their opening 19 matches, while Oxford are third, having picked up 36 points from their first 18 games of the season....Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview
© Reuters
Peterborough maintained their fine run of results with a 3-0 victory over Arsenal Under-21s in the second round of the English Football League Trophy on Tuesday, which followed a 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup.

The last time Darren Ferguson’s side played a league match was the 2-2 draw against Stevenage on November 28, leaving them in fifth place with 10 wins, five draws, four defeats and 35 points after 19 matches.
Peterborough have actually been victorious in seven of their last 13 league matches, while they have lost just once – away to Wigan Athletic in November – since the start of September.
After being demoted from the Championship in 2021–22, the Posh went on to finish sixth in League One last season, losing a thrilling playoff semifinal match to Sheffield Wednesday, who went on to defeat Barnsley in the final at the end of May.
Peterborough and Oxford settled for a goalless draw when the two sides last locked horns at London Road in April, but the reverse fixture ended in a 2-1 win for the Posh.
Oxford were also in EFL Trophy action on Tuesday, recording a 1-0 victory over Forest Green, which secured their spot in the next round of the competition.
Des Buckingham’s side also won 2-0 against Grimsby in the FA Cup on December 2, though they are winless in their last two in League One, including a goalless draw with Bolton Wanderers last time out.
Oxford have won 11, drawn three and lost four of their 18 league matches this season to collect 36 points, which has left them in third place in the third tier of English football.

The U’s have been great on the road this season, winning six and losing three of nine away matches in the league; however, they were beaten by Cheltenham Town on their last trip.

Peterborough United League One form:

Peterborough United form (all competitions):

Oxford United League One form:

Oxford United form (all competitions):

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Team News
Peterborough boss Ferguson could name the same XI that took to the field for the first whistle against Doncaster in the FA Cup on December 2.
As expected, a number of squad players and youngsters were involved against Arsenal in the EFL Trophy earlier this week, but the big-hitters will be back for this contest.
Kwame Poku and Ephron Mason-Clark have both scored seven times in the league during the 2023-24 campaign, and the pair will again feature in attacking areas for the hosts this weekend.
The visitors will be without top scorer Greg Leigh, who is currently sidelined with a calf injury.
Mark Harris is expected to lead the line once more, while Ruben Rodrigues should start in the supporting role.Peterborough United possible starting lineup:Bilokapic; Kioso, Knight, Edwards, Burrows; Kyprianou, Collins; Poku, Randall, Mason-Clarke; Jones
Oxford United possible starting lineup:Beadle; Stevens, Moore, Thorniley, Brown; McGuane, Brannagan; Mills, Rodrigues, Murphy; Harris

We say: Peterborough United 1-1 Oxford United
Peterborough have not lost to Oxford in their last six competitive meetings, but the visitors are different this season. The home side have been great in front of their fans, while Oxford have been solid on the road as well. We predict a close match with the score level at the end.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Thomas Frank confirms “bad” Bryan Mbeumo injury




Brentford head coach Thomas Frank reveals the club’s top scorer Bryan Mbeumo will miss “weeks” with a “bad” ankle injury....Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Brentford Frank has confirmed Bryan Mbeumo is set for a spell on the sidelines with a “bad” ankle injury.
The Cameroon international picked up an injury in Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Mbeumo, who opened the scoring from the penalty spot, was forced off in the 40th minute after he rolled his ankle in an attempt to defend against Pascal Gross.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s away meeting with Sheffield United, Frank revealed that Mbeumo will be out for “weeks”.
“It is bad,” Frank told reporters at Thursday’s press conference. “He’ll have a scan later, but we don’t know the exact number of weeks he will be out.
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“He will definitely not play on Saturday, and he will be out for weeks. We will know more in the next couple of days.”

“[Bryan] must be number two after Ivan Toney in terms of goals and assists, which is key. His work rate for the team is incredible; you don’t see many wingers who work so hard and mean so much.
“He’s become the key man – ‘give me the ball, I’ll take this’. Who will that man be now? We’ll find out in the next weeks.”
Mbeumo is Brentford’s top scorer this season with seven Premier League goals, helping fill the void left by Toney, who is serving an eight-month betting ban.
Unfortunately for the Bees, the forward has been added to a lengthy injury list, which includes Rico Henry, Kristoffer Ajer, Aaron Hickey, Josh Dasilva, Nathan Collins and Kevin Schade.
© Reuters
Despite having to contend with a number of injuries, Frank is trying to remain “positive” ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bramall Lane.

“Football is such a marginal game,” the Brentford boss added. “Inside of the post, outside of the post, deflection – there are so many things that you can’t control.
“And another thing is injuries. We need to do everything we can to recover well, assess and get players back, but there’s also just bad luck in it. Bryan’s injury is a clear one – it’s bad luck. He got caught, got pushed and rolled his ankle. It’s very frustrating, but I’m a positive guy and we’ll find a solution.”
Brentford were provided with a much-needed boost in midweek after Mikkel Damsgaard returned from injury to play the final 20 minutes against the Seagulls.
Frank has also stated that a late decision will be made on Mathias Jensen’s availability for Saturday’s contest, with the midfielder closing in on a return from a three-game injury absence.
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