Juan Jesus is relishing his return to Inter Milan as Roma look to end their recent Serie A slump with victory at San Siro.
The centre-back made over 150 appearances in all competitions during four years at Inter before joining Roma on loan in 2016, a move which was made permanent during last season.
The Brazilian has struggled to cement his place at the heart of Eusebio Di Francesco’s defence but the 26-year-old understands that whoever starts against third-placed Inter on Sunday evening, they will be ready for a stern test.
Jesus told the club’s official website: “Inter are always a tough team to face. I used to play in Milan and I know what it’s like.
“Roma v Inter is always a good game. Earlier in the season we hit the woodwork on multiple occasions but they ended up winning. We need to learn from what happened in that game and improve in defence.
“The result will have a big effect on the league table because we’re all really close together, so if we were to get the win it would be a massive step forward for us.
“I’ll be going back to San Siro again and it’s always a special moment.”
Roma, who sit fifth in Serie A, have won just one of their last five league matches but can go level on points with their hosts with victory.
Jesus said: “We’ve had a tough spell, but we need to stay focused because it’s not going to be an easy game.
“We’re up against a side that is doing well in the table, but they’re not in the best of form at the moment either. We need to take this chance to kick-start our season.
“We need to learn from what has been a difficult month to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes again. We know how much quality we have and we know we can do a lot better.
“This period has been tough for everyone – the coach and the players. We were trying to do our best but we just couldn’t get the results.”
Inter boss Luciano Spalletti guided his side to a 3-1 triumph in August over the Giallorossi, the club he managed for five years over two spells, and the 58-year-old is hoping another success against his former side can end their recent poor form.
The Nerazzurri have failed to win any of their last five Serie A games, drifting nine points behind leaders Napoli following a positive start to the season.
Spalletti told inter.it: “I’m expecting it to be a match where they come to press us high in our own half.
“It’s still too early to define the match as being decisive for Champions League qualification.
“It will be a match played on an equal footing. We want to attack Roma and confront the difficulties that we might find in the match.”
Danilo D’Ambrosio has recovered from a knee injury but may have to settle for a place on the Inter bench.
Holland defender Rick Karsdorp is out for the visitors with a knee injury, while French forward Gregoire Defrel is unlikely to be risked after being sidelined since November with a similar problem.