Thursday, December 3, 2020

Prediction: AC Milan vs AS Roma

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Betfair

AC Milan will welcome AS Roma to the San Siro stadium on Monday evening in a game which will conclude the fifth round of this season’s Serie A roller coaster.

AC Milan

Milan’s 2020/21 campaign in the Italian flight up to this point can only be described as great. They won all four of the games they’ve played so far, brushing aside Bologna 2-0 at home, Crotone away 0-2, Spezia 3-0 at home, and topping it off with a win over city rivals Inter 1-2 away. It means they sit top of the table at the moment with 12 points and a game in hand over second-place Napoli who are on 11, as are Sassuolo in third and Inter in fourth.

Further more, they’ve started their Europa League run in a similar manner, by beating Celtic in Scotland 1-3 in the opening round of Group H. They are yet to face Ligue 1 side Lille OSC and Sparta Prague. It’s been a while since the last time it felt like the seven-time European champions could have been expected to have a truly successful season, but that’s exactly how it feels right now.

In all of their magnificent history, Milan have won their opening five league games only three times, most recently back in 1991/92. The prospect of doing so again will certainly represent strong motivation for Stefano Pioli’s men on Monday.

Team News

Winger Ante Rebic is expected to miss out again; he still hasn’t recovered from an elbow injury he’s been struggling with recently. Hakan Calhanoglu is also a doubt, but Pioli will be hoping to have the Turk at least on the bench against Roma.

AS Roma

The Gialorossi also started their Europa League campaign with a win on the road, by beating Young Boys in Group A where they will also face Romanian side CFR Cluj from Romania and Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia.

It hasn’t been as glorious for Paulo Fonseca’s men in the Serie A as for Milan so far, but even though they sit in ninth place at the moment, it hasn’t been too bad either. Of their four games so far, they won two (0-1 away to Udinese and 5-2 at home against Benevento) and gave champions Juventus a really hard time in their 2-2 draw in Rome. The only game registered as a defeat was actually a match that ended 0-0 away to Hellas Verona in the opening round, but the result was later officially changed to 3-0 for the home side because Roma had mistakenly included 23-year-old midfielder Amadou Diawara on the Under-22 list.

It must’ve felt like a hard blow to start the campaign in such an embarrassing manner, but they seem to have recovered well.

Team News

Fonseca is likely to be without the services of two important defenders for this game. Chris Smalling hasn’t recovered from a knee issue and is a big doubt. The same goes for Gianluca Mancini who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week, though it has been confirmed as a ‘false positive’ since. Diawara is in quarantine.

Conclusion

Given everything said above, this contest is likely to prove much more interesting that the respective table positions of the two teams suggest. Nonetheless, it should be another strong display and another win for the Rossoneri.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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