Serie A PREVIEW | Milan v Roma

After exiting from the Coppa Italia earlier last week, Milan and Roma will look to get back to winning ways when they face each other tonight in a packed San Siro.

While Rafael Leao’s 45th-minute strike put the hosts in the lead versus Atalanta, Teun Koopemeiners equalised shortly after and completed his brace in the 59th minute to knock Milan out of the Coppa Italia competition. The 3-0 victory over Empoli before the cup exit extended the Rossoneri’s winning run to three consecutive matches and their unbeaten streak to five games in a row. 

It has been a very swinging season for Milan as their hopes of mounting a vigorous Scudetto challenge is virtually fading away as Inter have become a formidable side and they are not looking to falter in their stride. Stefano Pioli’s men are six points clear of 4th-placed Fiorentina and their only objective now remains to hold onto that spot, keep winning games and see if a very late title challenge could be staged. 2nd-placed Juventus are seven points adrift and the San Siro dwellers will have to muster together a run of positive performances to overtake the Bianconeri.

Meanwhile, like their tonight’s opponents, Roma too suffered an exit from the Coppa Italia. They faced city rivals Lazio in the Derby della Capitale in a match where they were left frustrated with the lack of attacking prowess from themselves. The match turned into a bad-tempered one as Edoardo Bove was struck by a bottle and racist slurs hurled towards Romelu Lukaku. Sardar Azmoun and Gianluca Mancini were sent off as Lazio saw Pedro receiving a red. 

The Giallorossi are winless in their last eight encounters with Milan, suffering 5 defeats since a 2-1 win in 2019. Manager Jose Mourinho is set to serve a suspension from the sidelines as Rome gear up to to hopefully climb the table in the next few games.

Results from their last five matches across all competitions

Milan:

L W W W D

Roma:

L D W L W

Team News

Milan have a defensive crisis as Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori and Malick Thiaw are out of the fixture with injuries. 

Ismael Bennacer and Samuel Chukwueze have travelled to the AFCON. Tommaso Pobega might not make it for the match.

Christian Pulisic is set to join Oliver Giroud and Rafael Leao upfront. Noah Okafor has recovered from his injury and his available for selection.

As for Roma, Paulo Dybala suffered a muscular injury in the derby which will keep him out tonight. 

Stephan El Sharaawy and Andrea Belotti are set to start the match. 

Dean Huijsen’s mistake led to the penalty against Lazio and it will be a chance for him tonight to redeem himself. 

Predicted Starting XI

Milan (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Hernandez, Jimenez; Reijnders, Adli; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Leao; Giroud

Roma (3-5-2): Patricio; Mancini, Cristante, Llorente; Kristensen, Pellegrini, Paredes, Bove, Zalewski; Belotti, Lukaku

 

Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN

 

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