Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Prediction: Milan vs Roma

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

AC Milan need to win this game if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for Europa League through league finish, while they also need a favour from local rivals Inter Milan who face their top 6 rivals Sassuolo. Meanwhile, AS Roma would secure a place in the Champions League group stages if they defeat Milan and Napoli fail to beat Frosinone, meaning there could be plenty at stake at San Siro.

Milan

This will go down as yet another disappointing season for AC Milan, who didn’t even come close to challenging for Champions League position, although they still have a chance to win a major trophy this term. Namely, the Rossoneri took an advantage of an incredibly easy fixture list to reach Coppa Italia final, defeating the likes of Perugia, Crotone, Sampdoria, Carpi and Alessandria on the way to the final. However, with champions Juventus their last obstacle, AC Milan will need to produce a near-perfect performance if they want to win the trophy and secure a place in the Europa League group stages. Meanwhile, they stand a decent chance of leapfrogging Sassuolo and making it to the EL qualifying stages as a win over Roma would seal a top 6 finish unless the Neroverdi defeat Inter Milan. But, defeating in-form Giallorossi is easier said than done at this point in time considering they are unbeaten in last 16 Serie A fixtures. And with the Rossoneri failing to win last four at home, the hosts clearly face an uphill task on Saturday evening.

Team News

Ignazio Abate, Giacomo Bonaventura and M’Baye Niang are back in contention, although the Frenchman is likely to be left on the bench.

Full-back Luca Antonelli continues to miss out, whereas Andrea Bertolacci should be recalled to the starting line-up for the Roma clash.

Roma

AS Roma were on a similar path to their next opponents midway through the season, but club’s decision to replace Rudi Garcia with Luciano Spalletti proved a real masterstroke. The former Udinese boss quickly found a way to get the team playing to their potential and in no time, the Giallorossi not only closed the gap behind their top 3 rivals but cemented a third place in the standings and Champions League qualification. It was too late to revive their title bid, but such an impressive run in the second part of the season will hold Roma in good stead for the 2016/2017 campaign. While they were unable to get past Real Madrid in the Champions League despite showing a great deal of potential, the Giallorossi embarked on a 16-match unbeaten run in the league and came really close to pipping Napoli to the second place in the standings. Roma still have a chance to do so, but that will only happen if they defeat AC Milan and the Azzurri slip up against Frosinone on the final day of the season. Nevertheless, Luciano Spalletti’s men will certainly be looking to keep their part of the bargain.

Team News

Argentine forward Diego Perotti may not be ready to feature due to a muscle strain, meaning that Edin Dzeko should start up front.

Daniele De Rossi is likely to be preferred to fit-again Kevin Strootman, but Seydou Keita and William Vainqueur are definitely out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Milan failed to win in last four home games (D3 L1)
  • Both teams scored in three of those four matches
  • Roma are unbeaten in last 16 league fixtures (W13 D3)
  • Milan won just one of last seven games vs Roma (D4 L2)
  • Totti has four goals and assist in last five substitute appearances

Conclusion

AC Milan have failed to show any sort of improvement under Cristian Brocchi and their poor home record is something that red-hot Roma will be looking to exploit. The Giallorossi have won 13 of last 16 league fixtures and if everything else fails, they will also be able to call on iconic forward Francesco Totti.

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

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