Milan vs Roma Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 20

The Serie A resumes back in action with an exhilarating fixture Thursday evening as sixth-placed Roma are set to face off against second-place Milan at the historical Stadio San Siro. Without further ado, it’s time to preview the exciting clash and dive into the the expected lineups of both teams.

After a disappointing 1-1 draw against Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico before the Christmas break, Jose Mourinho hopes that his men demonstrate resilience in their upcoming fixture against the Rossoneri. With the return of the Italian international Lorenzo Pellegrini into the squad after suffering a muscular injury early on within the season, the ‘Special One’  hopes that his men can obtain a victory against Milan in order to keep Roma’s dreams of a Champions League spot alive.

Meanwhile, the Rossoneri are coming off of an impressive 4-2 victory over Empoli where Frank Kessié was the man of the hour, scoring a brace to help secure all three points at the Stadio Carlo Castellani. Pioli hopes that his men can maintain their stride in order to keep up with the pace of their cross-city rivals Inter.

Milan vs Roma Head-to-Head

The previous tie this season in October saw Milan triumph Roma in a 2-1 victory at the Stadio Olimpico where Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an incredible free-kick as he guided the ball beneath the wall and into the back of the net, as well as Kessié stepping up to the penalty spot and tucking the ball into the low-corner. Despite Stephan El Shaarawy’s outrageous top-corner stunner within the dying minutes of the game that cut the deficit by half, the Giallorossi were unable to complete the comeback and were forced to settle with a loss over a Milan side that played a man down for the majority of the second half. With a chance to seek redemption, Mourinho hopes to bounce back and avenge his disappointing defeat against the Rossoneri in the beautiful capital Rome.

Based on head-to-head statistics, Milan seem to have a slight edge over Roma as the Rossoneri have managed to win 18 out of the last 51 fixtures between the two Serie A giants. Despite Roma obtaining two victories short over Milan as they accumulated 16 victories within the previous 51 fixtures between the red and black of Milan, there is no doubt that the Giallorossi can cause trouble for Pioli’s men.

Milan Form Preview

After a series of terrible performances within the league, Pioli’s men have managed to find their rhythm as the Rossoneri have managed to pick up 10 points in their last five fixtures (3W,1D,1L).  As a result, Milan have managed to tighten their grip on second place as they possess 42 points within Serie A and maintain pressure on the league leaders Inter, who are only ahead by a four-point gap.

Despite their frustrating loss against Napoli, where Kessié’s equalizer was ruled off due to an offside call, Pioli has managed to rejuvenate this Milan side that has dropped in form significantly since their flying start to this year’s campaign.

Within the past five games, the Italian tactician has managed to implement a fearless attacking style of play, leading Milan to average two goals per-game throughout their previous five matches. In addition, Pioli has managed to maintain organization and structure within their defensive shape as Milan have only conceded an average of 0.8 goals within their last five Serie A matches.

Although it seems Milan will be without their star players Kjaer and Kessié for this vital fixture, there is no doubt that the Rossoneri can still display a masterclass performance as they have continuously demonstrated throughout the injury crises within this year’s campaign that they have an incredible squad-depth that is filled with talent and experience.

Player to Watch: Zlatan Ibrahimovic:

There is no doubt that Ibrahimovic has been Milan’s best player throughout this season’s campaign. The veteran striker has managed to score seven goals and provide one assist in 11 appearances within the Serie A.

The 40 year-old Swedish international has demonstrated that age is just a number as he has made himself the focal point of the Rossoneri’s offensive play within the final third of the pitch. Ibrahimovic will surely play a key role within this fixture through his aerial dominance and his prolific goal-scoring ability when near goal.

Roma Form Preview

After suffering two consecutive defeats to Bologna and Inter, Mourinho and his men have demonstrated resilience as they managed to obtain 7 points within their five previous fixtures within the Serie A (2W, 1D, 2L). Since the Giallorossi’s horrendous 3-0 defeat at home against the Nerazzuri, the “Special One” has made tactical adjustments and implemented a 3-5-2 formation, which involved pushing Henrikh Mjhitaryan out-wide, Matías Viña playing in the central area of the pitch, and Nicolò Zaniolo playing alongside Tammy Abraham. As a result of the change of tactics, Mourinho has transformed his Roma side.

Throughout the past three fixtures since the adjustments were made, the Giallorossi have managed to score an average of over two goals per-game. The Portuguese mastermind has managed showcase that his Roma side are capable of competing against the Serie A title contenders as his men shocked Atalanta in a 4-1 victory away from home, a fixture where Zaniolo and Abraham combined in brilliant fashion.

With only a four point-gap separating the Giallorossi from fifth-place Juventus, Roma must secure all three points within this critical fixture in order to keep themselves within the race for a spot in next year’s UEFA Champions League.

Player to Watch: Jordan Veretout

Since Mourinho’s appointment as manager of Roma, Jordan Veretout has flourished under the Portuguese mastermind’s tactics. The 28 year-old central midfielder has managed to score four goals and provide five assists in 18 games played within the Serie A, proving that he his arguably the best regista within the league this season.

With Roma’s star stopper Chris Smalling possibly unavailable as a result of testing positive for Covid, the French international will have to rise to the occasion and play a pivotal role within the midfield through his astounding capability to win the ball back in key areas, as well as his immaculate creativity within the final third of the pitch.

Milan vs Roma Predicted Lineups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Alessandro Florenzi; Fikayo Tomori; Alessandro Romagnoli; Theo Hernandez; Tiémoué Bakayoko; Sandro Tonali; Junior Messias, Brahim Díaz; Alexis Saelemaekers; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Roma (3-5-2): Rui Patrício; Marash Kumbulla; Gianluca Mancini; Roger Ibañez; Rick Karsdorp; Jordan Veretout; Bryan Cristante; Lorenzo Pellegrini; Matías Viña; Nicolò Zaniolo; Tammy Abraham.