Roma was coming off a week of disappointment and frustration. Just a few days ago Roma was robbed by the officials in their Europa League group match against Borussia. Chris Smalling was called for a phantom penalty in the closing moments of that game in which the referee claimed that it was a handball however it did not hit his hand it hit the face. As we witnessed the worst call in the history of sports. Roma is not going through the best moment having only secured a point in a 0-0 draw with the bottom of the League Sampdoria last weekend. A motivated and inspired Roma team host fellow strugglers AC Milan who has dropped three of their last four games who are without a win in 5 games. In what has turned out to be a very important game this weekend. A Sunday night clash between two Italian heavyweights in the Eternal City. Roma lost the season series to AC Milan last season with a loss at the San Siro and points being split at the Stadio Olimpico. These teams look to salvage their season and try to get the momentum and confidence that these sides have been lacking this season. As injury-riddled Roma goes to battle against AC Milan and a new manager Stephen Poli who is in search of his first win since being put in charge. Both teams are in desperation mode and are searching for points as soon as possible to try to get themselves back on track in a better position. Will AC Milan finally get a victory or will the hosts avenge Thursday’s results with an emphatic three points we will find all that and more when AC Milan make the trip to the Stadio Olimpico on what should be an exhilarating Sunday night in Rome.
A.S Roma 6th 13points 3-4-1
Roma’s injury concerns have forced Paulo Fonseca to adjust his tactical approach. We saw that in the game on Thursday to change the formation for the first time this season. The big problem that Roma have as they do not have a lot of defensive midfielders and the formation at that he typically likes to play requires two of them because of this I see him keeping the formation he used on Thursday night. In goal, we can expect to see Pau Lopez as always. The backline should stay more or less the same with maybe some minor adjustments. At left-back should be ALEKS Kolarov beside him I would go with the center-back partnership of Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling. Then at right-back in all likelihood will be Leonardo Spinazzola again. In Roma’s defensive midfield should be Jordan Veretout as he is the only player at this position right now. As Roma’s Central attacking midfielders we should see the duo of Nicolo Zaniolo and Javier Pastore. Zaniolo is probably better suited on the wing but given the situation in the limitations, they have this week they have to put him back into the middle. Justin kluivert received a red card in his last game so he will not be starting in his typical position on the left-wing. Coming in to replace him will likely be Diego Perotti meanwhile on the other side on the right-wing should be Alessandro Florenzi with Nicolo Zaniolo moving to the middle. Then upfront as the team’s lone Striker will be Edin Dzeko he will prove to be very important in this game. The bench options will be very limited that’s why Fonseca must get the lineup right.
A.C Milan 12th 10Points 3-1-4
AC Milan failed to win their first game since Stephen Poli took charge last week they will look to try to change that. AC Milan’s new manager operated his team out of the 4-3-3 formation it is a very good possibility that he sticks with that. He has favored this formation the majority of his career with Florentina and Inter Milan. In goal without question the team’s best player Gigi Donnarumma who is the best young goalkeeper in Europe. We should see a very similar backline to what we saw last week against Lecce. At left-back we should see the very versatile Theo Hernandez beside him we should see the center-back partnership of Romagnoli and Musacchio then right back it has been confirmed that Andrea Conti will get the start. In the AC Milan midfield in the central position we should see Lucas Biglia beside him on the left we will likely see Lucas Paqueta then on the opposite side on the right Franck Kessie. While the front three should be Rafael Leao as a striker then on the wing Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu. Milan will have good depth on the bench with Kristoff Piatek who came off the bench last week and scored he will start this game from the bench this game as the manager is going to use a similar tactic.
Last Meeting: 1-1
Both AC Milan and Rome have significantly struggled this season. Roma is the better team I don’t think it’s a debate. The difference between these two teams as Roma have shown glimpses of promise and it is shown that they have a plan in place of what direction the club is going. AC Milan doesn’t have that which is why it is so concerning that they have struggled so much to start the season. They have not picked up a victory in the last five games this is a serious problem and Roma is going to do everything they can to exploit that. Roma suffered a soul-crushing heartbreaking draw in the Europa League on Thursday. A Phantom Tennessee denied them of three points they deserve. Which reiterated the fact that we need video replay in the Europa League. In what was one of the worst calls in the history of football. It was an outraged and angry Stadio Olimpico as the players felt robbed of the victory that they deserved. Now that normally would not affect a future game. However, the way and the matter in which that game ended give Roma a ton of momentum and confidence this team is fired up and is looking for blood this Sunday. AC Milan picked the wrong day to come to the Stadio Olimpico. In terms of form, they don’t seem not too far apart. However tomorrow night it will be much more than that. Roma will be looking for vengeance after being denied three unjustified points. This team will play Angry and show everyone how much quality they have. The response will be blatantly clear on Sunday. Roma will beat AC Milan. Given what happened on Thursday I don’t see a situation in which Roman don’t dominate this match and take up all three points. Let’s be clear Roman needs points to get back into the champions race. Roma will find a way to exploit AC Milan it will largely have to do with their performance in the Midfield and trying to service Dzeko who I think could be in for a big day. Defensively they have been nothing short of spectacular over the last few weeks and I don’t see that as a real problem anymore. AC Milan is a good team with quality players however that won’t matter Sunday night at the Stadio Olimpico given the circumstances of what occurred on Thursday AC Milan won’t stand much of a chance Roma is fired up and is ready to deliver.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-1-4-1
GK: Pau Lopez
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Gianluca Mancini, Federico Fazio, Leo Spinazzola
DEF MID: Jordan Veretout
ATT MID: Diego Perotti, Javier Pastore, Nicolo Zaniolo, Alessandro Florenzi
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Paulo Fonseca
Milan’s Projected starting XI 4-3-3
DEF: Hernández, Romagnoli, Musacchio,Conti
DEF MID: Franck Kessie,Bigila, Paqueta
ATT MID: Suso, Leao, Hakan Çalhanoğlu
Manager: Stephan Poli
Milan’s Gigi Donnarumma & Roma’s Edin Dzeko