Preview: AC Milan vs Rome

Sports Mole provides an overview of Thursday’s Serie A clash between AC Milan and Roma, including predictions, squad news and possible lineups.

Seeking to keep pace with the league leaders in Serie A, runner-up AC Milan resume their campaign after the mid-term break with a tough clash against Rome.

Although inconsistency crept into a squeaky squad just before the break, the Rossoneri are still four points behind city rivals Inter, while their capital city counterparts have won two of their last three games. in 2021 to hang on to sixth place in the standings.


Match preview

© Reuters

After narrowly losing to Scudetto rivals Napoli the previous weekend, Milan were happy to end a year on a roller coaster with a win just before the break, beating an enterprising Empoli side 4-2 in of an eventful meeting at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.

A four-game losing streak in eight games since the Derby della Madonnina in November saw Stefano PioliThe Napoli side returned to third place – having dominated the table after Napoli’s disgrace – but a double by Franck Kessie, who out of necessity played a more advanced role, helped them return to second place at the end of the year.

Indeed, 2021 had started with the Rossoneri leading the pack as ‘winter champions’, before disappearing in the spring, so Pioli is hoping his young team will be able to reverse that trend this quarter.

With their victory in Tuscany, Milan became just the second team in Serie A history to score at least 17 away wins in a calendar year, but ahead of Roma’s visit this week, his home record is only the seventh best in the division.

The Rossoneri have lost two of their last three home games in the top flight – as much as they suffered in their previous 13 – and will therefore be delighted to see a number of more experienced players return to form early in the season. an eventful period.

While the next month includes the start of their campaign in Coppa Italia and top-level clashes with Juventus and Inter, it starts against a side they beat 2-1 earlier this season.

Roma's Tammy Abraham celebrates her third goal on November 25, 2021© Reuters

The frustration Roma supporters felt after their team’s draw against Sampdoria to end a disappointing year summed up the club’s lack of consistency, just days after an unexpected 4-1 victory over Atalanta.

The victory over a direct top-four rival was the Giallorossi’s second rebound success, following two previous losses, ending the sixth half of the season – just two points behind Juve, fifth, and six behind l ‘Atalanta in the Champions League final. berth – was a kind of consolation for the coach Jose mourinho.

True to the trend established by its Portuguese predecessor Paulo fonseca, the former Chelsea boss has maintained an impressive home record since taking office, winning six of their league games as host; keep five clean sheets in the process.

However, before heading north to the second city, the capital club did well on the road: losing five of their nine away games so far, as well as enduring that infamous beating. 6-1 at Bodo / Glimt in the Europa Conference League. .

Indeed, in 2021 a fragile Roma team lost a total of 12 away games in Serie A, and it was not until 1949 and 1950 that they suffered more in a calendar year. Mourinho and company will therefore be determined to combat this weakness in the months to come, but they start with a particularly difficult task.

AC Milan Serie A form:

AC Milan form (all competitions):

Roma Serie A form:

Rom form (all competitions):


Team news

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan celebrates his fourth goal with his teammates on 23 October 2021© Reuters

A fortnight of rest and recovery greatly helped the cause of Milan, as they were able to return to the attacking trio of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee), Rafael Léao (biceps) and Ante rebic (muscle), all of whom returned to training earlier this week following an injury and are expected to feature on Thursday.

Appointed captain earlier this term, Davide Calabria has also returned from a sideline and will compete for a right-back spot with his Italian colleague Alexandre florenzi, corn Ishmael Bennacer, Franck Kessie and Fode Ballo-Touré all represent their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations and will be absent for at least two weeks.

In the absence of Bennacer and Kessie, Sandro Tonali should join Tiemoué Bakayoko in the pair of midfielders which unites the favorite formation of Stefano Pioli in 4-2-3-1. However, the club have announced that another anonymous player has tested positive for COVID-19 and will join the reserve keeper. Ciprian Tatarusanu in self-isolation.

Roma, meanwhile, have not confirmed their current cases of the virus, but Borja Town Hall, Chris Smalling and Daniel Fuzato would be the three positive men, and the trio will not make it to San Siro.

Visitors, however, welcome back the captain Lorenzo Pellegrini to the side after an injury layoff in December, and he should start supporting Nicolo zaniolo and top scorer Tammy Abraham in the front.

Possible starting line-up from AC Milan:
Maignan; Florenzi, Tomori, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Bakayoko, Tonali; Messias, Diaz, Saelemaekers; Ibrahimovic

Possible starting line-up in Rome:
Patrick; Kumbula, Mancini, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Veretout, Cristante, Pellegrini, Vina; Zaniolo, Abraham


SM words green background

We say: AC Milan 2-1 Rome

Milan are averaging more than two goals per league game this season and have a number of their offensive stars back in action for the Serie A resumption.

They can therefore take advantage of the defensive flaws that have plagued Roma outside the capital and start 2022 with a victory that lifts their spirits.


Superior council

Our expert tipster partners on Sporita.com predict less than 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Under 3.5: data


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