Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 17/20
In what could be a season-defining showdown from the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening, Roma will welcome AC Milan to town.
Starting with the hosts, while Roma might have punched their Europa League semi-final spot last week following an action-packed 4-2 victory against Dutch giants Feyenoord, Jose Mourinho’s side are seeking some recent stability. Last seen putting in a nightmare display as they slumped to a 3-1 drumming away at Atalanta, the former Manchester United boss knows that his squad faces a potentially season-defining showdown on Saturday evening. Opening this weekend’s fixtures with just their goal difference keeping them outside the Champions League spots, Roma will be glad to make a return to home soil here. In fact, Mourinho’s men have remarkably won eight of their previous nine appearances at the Stadio Olimpico – a run that stems back to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Cremonese on February 1st. With that run highlighted by a thrilling 1-0 victory against Juventus last month, Mourinho will be calling on a repeat display in Rome.
Missing last weekend’s 3-1 defeat away at Atalanta after picking up a recent knock, Dutch international Georginio Wijnaldum is once again a major doubt here. Likewise, Mourinho’s side are also sweating over the fitness of ex-Manchester United defender Chris Smalling on Saturday evening.
Now finding the net in each of his last three appearances across all competitions, Italian midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini will be looking to extend his recent flurry here. Although Tammy Abraham might have bagged just a single strike since back on February 4th, the former Chelsea starlet should keep his place in attack.
As for the visitors, long since accepting that they will not be able to defend their domestic crown this season, AC Milan simply have their sights set on claiming another top-four finish. However, stunning fellow Italian heavyweights Napoli last week as they punched their Champions League semi-final ticket following a nail-bitting 2-1 aggregate victory, Stefano Pioli’s men were also last seen putting in another eye-catching display. Eventually cruising their way to a 2-0 win at home against Lecce, the Rossoneri have lost just one of their previous nine appearances across all competitions – a run that stems back to a 2-1 loss against Fiorentina on March 4th. Although AC Milan might have been forced to settle for an action-packed 2-2 draw when they welcomed Roma to the San Siro for their reverse meeting on January 8th, they will be excited by a stellar record against Saturday’s hosts. It should be highlighted, Pioli’s side have collected 10 points from their last four Serie A appearances against their top-four rivals.
Missing last weekend’s 2-0 victory against Lecce after serving a one-match suspension, 26-year-old Davide Calabria should make a full return here. However, in what will be a major blow for AC Milan on Saturday evening, the Rossoneri will be without attacking talisman Olivier Giroud.
Notching yet another Serie A brace against Lecce last time out and with 12 top-flight strikes this season, Rafael Leao will spearhead Pioli’s attack in Rome. Making his return to Milan’s matchday squad following another injury set-back, 41-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic could feature at the Stadio Olimpico this weekend.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two Italian giants met for their reverse Serie A meeting on January 8th, Roma and AC Milan played out a 2-2 draw at the San Siro.
- However, the Rossoneri have collected 10 points from just their last four Serie A appearances against Saturday’s hosts.
- Roma have recorded just a single victory from any of their last 10 top-flight meetings against AC Milan – a run that stems back to May 2016.
- However, Mourinho’s side have won eight of their previous nine appearances at the Stadio Olimpico across all competitions.
- Eight of the previous nine meetings between Roma and AC Milan have finished with both teams finding the net.
Two sides involved in a heavyweight scrap to clinch that final Champions League spot, we could be treated to an enjoyable showdown on Saturday evening. With Roma and AC Milan playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw when they met for their reverse Serie A meeting on January 8th, they certainly have a habit of producing fireworks. It should be noted, with eight of the previous nine meetings between Roma and AC Milan finishing with both teams finding the net, we are expecting a similar outcome from the Stadio Olimpico.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 17/20
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