Saturday February 5 2011
Leonardo: 'Inter-Roma is intense!'

Leonardo expects tomorrow night's Inter-Roma to be “as intense as always and can give important signals for this season.”

The Coach was won all but one of his matches in charge since replacing Rafa Benitez and climbed up to third place with a game in hand.

“The confrontation between Inter and Roma is a tradition now with so many recent examples at the highest level. It will be a great match, as intense as always and can give important signals for this season.

“I am very satisfied with the positive run of results, because Serie A is truly very difficult,” noted Leonardo.

“I knew this team could do well and it has. I also believe we can do even better. I do really like strikers,” he grinned when asked why he fielded Giampaolo Pazzini, Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito together in Bari.

“If the system didn't really work in that occasion, it was only because we missed that link in midfield. The fact there were so many strikers was not the problem. Milito is naturally trying to find his form after a long injury.”

Yuto Nagatomo is expected to make his debut against Roma, but Cristian Chivu begins his four-match ban for punching Bari's Marco Rossi.

“Nagatomo is settling in well on a human level and that's also important for helping him fit in tactically.

“I already talked with Chivu. He is an extraordinary lad and was the first to realise he made a mistake, so was quite rightly suspended and Inter chose not to appeal. Case closed. He has been here many years and it's the first time such a thing has happened.”

Meanwhile, Roma could be without Francesco Totti after he came down with flu symptoms.

“Totti is a great player and when he is not there, Roma lose an important resource. In my view, Marco Borriello is currently one of the best Italian centre-forwards.”

Inter squad: Julio Cesar, Castellazzi, Orlandoni; Cordoba, Zanetti, Maicon, Ranocchia, Materazzi, Nagatomo, Natalino; Thiago Motta, Sneijder, Kharja, Cambiasso, Obi, Coutinho; Pazzini, Eto'o, Milito, Pandev