Milan vs Roma: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

Sunday’s Serie A action draws to a close at the Stadio San Siro with a mouth-watering showdown between reigning champions Milan and top-four hopefuls Roma.

Rafael Leao and Sandro Tonali scored within 15 minutes of the Rossoneri’s Wednesday trip to the Stadio Arechi to set the tone for the current runners-up’s 2-1 victory at bottom-half Salernitana.

Inter did Stefano Pioli’s side a favor upon the Serie A return in 2023 by beating pacesetters Napoli 1-0, helping reduce the distance between Milan and the Partenopei to a mere five points. 

Back at San Siro, where they’ve won their last four matches, including three in Serie A, the hosts are looking to prove their title credentials against Roma amid a dream attempt to win back-to-back crowns.

The Giallorossi flew out of the traps following the league resumption in 2022 as Lorenzo Pellegrini struck home a fifth-minute penalty to take down Bologna 1-0.

Jose Mourinho sat out a touchline ban in the stands, but he will reclaim his spot in the dugout for a must-win clash at San Siro on Sunday, hoping to inspire Roma’s resurgence. 

Despite going winless in three successive league games before the World Cup break (D2, L1), the visitors could still claw their way into the Scudetto picture with a victory here and a purple patch thereafter.



Milan long struggled to cope with Roma at home, but they’ve won three of their last four Serie A home duels (L1) – including a clear-cut 3-1 triumph in this corresponding fixture in 2021/22 – as many as they had in their previous 12 at San Siro (D2, L7). 

Pioli can bank on his team’s mightily run of ten victories from their last 11 Serie A outings on home soil (L1), accounting for the second-best home record in Italy’s top-flight since April. On top of that, the highly-rated tactician has made Milan one of those most exciting sides to watch this season.

You don’t have to look beyond the fact the Rossoneri have scored a league-high 28 goals from open play this term to understand how fluid their build-up play has been under Pioli. It’s no wonder they’re one of only three Serie A clubs to have smashed a 30-goal barrier in 2022/23 (31).


Unlike their hosts, Mourinho’s men have massively relied on set-pieces to shoulder the scoring burden this season. As many as 42% of Roma’s Serie A goals thus far have come from set-piece plays (8/19), suggesting Milan will have to pay close attention to such situations. 

Before being held to a 1-1 stalemate at Sassuolo on their most recent top-flight travel, Roma had won four straight Serie A fixtures on the road. Knowing Mourinho, the visitors may settle for a point here. It would be the first time since September 2019 that they’ve drawn back-to-back league games away from home.

However, that’s not a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination. Roma are one of just a handful of sides with a better away record than at home in Serie A, having lost once on eight league travels to date (W5, D2). 

Team News

Milan will be without long-term absentees Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Junior Messias, Fode Ballo-Toure, Alessandro Florenzi, Divock Origi, and Mike Maignan. However, Rade Krunic, Ante Rebic, and Simon Kjaer could still be in contention. 

No matter the absences, Pioli will lean on last season’s Serie A MVP, Leao, to lead the line. With seven goals and four assists, the in-demand Portuguese ace is the most prolific Milan player this term.

In stark contrast to a massive injury crisis in the Rossoneri camp, Georginio Wijnaldum remains the only high-profile Roma star unavailable for selection. Mourinho is still sweating over Andrea Belotti’s fitness, but with Paulo Dybala back to the fold, it shouldn’t be a problem.

But while you’d expect Tammy Abraham or Dybala to cause Milan the most problems, it could be captain Pellegrini. Despite winning just one of his ten games against the Rossoneri (D2, L7), the Italian midfielder has tallied one goal and four assists across those appearances. 

Milan vs Roma Potenital Lineups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Ciprian Tatarusanu; Theo Hernandez, Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu, Davide Calabria; Sandro Tonali, Ismael Bennacer; Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, Alexis Saelemaekers; Olivier Giroud. 

Roma (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez; Nicola Zalewski, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Bryan Cristante, Nemanja Matic, Zeki Celik; Paulo Dybala, Nicolo Zaniolo. 

Milan vs Roma Prediction

It’ll come down to who wants it more, and based on Milan’s performances against Salernitana, they do intend to dethrone Napoli. Moreover, they’ve had Roma’s number of late, as witnessed by their three-game winning H2H streak in Serie A.

Prediction: Milan Win


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