Milan Will Fail To Conquer Romans
Roma v AC Milan
Title-chasers Roma welcome Milan to the Italian capital aiming to keep pace with champions and league leaders Juventus.
A hard-fought 1-0 win over Genoa last weekend gave Roma only their second win in five games to put them just a point behind Juve in the Serie A table and eight ahead of Napoli in third spot, although the Turin side subsequently extended their lead to four with a midweek win over Cagliari. It was only a second win in five for Rudi Garcia’s side and although they’ve lost just once in seven that proved to be a crucial defeat at home to Manchester City which saw Roma knocked out at the group stages of the Champions League and they now have to settle for the Europa League knockout phase next March. Roma also boast the best home record in the Italian top flight, with seven wins and a draw from eight outings on their own soil.
Serbian attacker Adem Ljajic is the club’s top scorer this term with six Serie A goals to his name.
Goals from Jeremy Menez and Giacomo Bonaventura earned Milan a vital 2-0 win over Napoli at the San Siro last weekend as they picked up only a second victory in their last seven games, and just a fourth in 13. Filippo Inzaghi’s men remain seventh following last weekend’s results with the win putting them just three points behind the Naples club in third as Inzaghi eased the pressure on himself after seeing his side garner six points from their past three games and holding out for clean sheets in each of their last two at home.
Menez is the club’s top scorer with eight Serie goals this season, including three in his past three.
Roma must do without three suspended players following last weekend’s bad-tempered affair against Genoa with Miralem Pjanic, David Astori and Jose Holebas all forced to watch from the stands while coach Garcia must also serve a touchline ban after becoming involved in an altercation with an official in the aftermath. Kostas Manolas, and Vasilis Torosidis are both expected to recover from minor problems in time to take part but Laendro Costan and Salih Ucan are both injured.
Adil Rami and Marco van Ginkel have both been added to Milan’s injury list after they suffered thigh and ankle problems respectively during the win over Napoli. M’baye Niang is doubtful as are the defensive trio of Ignazio Abate, Alex and Mattea De Sciglio although Sulley Muntari is expected to return from injury.
Head to Head
There’s nothing to choose between the sides over the past five years with three wins apiece and four draws in those ten meetings. Roma are unbeaten in the last four though, and won 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico last season thanks to goals from Pjanic and Gervinho while Milan’s 3-2 victory in October 2011 is their only win against these opponents in the capital in the past nine attempts.
It’s difficult to look past a home win here and the 3/4 shouldn’t put anyone off as Milan’s name historically seems to be worth much more than their patchy performances this season that sees them 11 points behind Roma. The 2/1 on a home win on the -1 handicap is another to catch the eye too while 13/5 on both teams scoring in an eighth home win of the season for Roma is a worthy punt.