Preview: Milan vs Roma – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

Stadio San Siro sets the stage for the first leg of Thursday’s all-Italian Europa League quarter-final tie between familiar foes Milan and Roma. With both sides likely to end up empty-handed in domestic football, going the distance in Europe is their best chance of avoiding a trophyless season.

Milan consolidated their pursuit of a runner-up finish in Serie A with a routine 3-0 home triumph against Lecce last Saturday. It was their seventh consecutive win across all competitions. Stefano Pioli’s high-flying men have set themselves up nicely for their first appearance in this competition’s semi-finals since 2001/02. 

After dropping down from the Champions League, Rossoneri have taken the Europa League by storm. Rennes and Slavia Prague were no match for Milan, as evidenced by aggregate scorelines of 5-3 and 7-3, respectively. Home legs played a pivotal role in their dominant run to the quarter-finals, with Pioli’s side bagging 3+ goals on both occasions.

Roma’s renaissance under Daniele De Rossi continued last weekend as Gianluca Mancini’s goal settled an ill-tempered Derby della Capitale. A 1-0 win against arch-rivals Lazio marked Giallorossi’s second consecutive clean sheet following a disappointing scoreless draw against minnows Lecce on their last league travel. 

De Rossi would probably sign up for an identical outcome if offered before the kick-off, especially considering Roma’s recent struggle in this fixture. Not only have his troops failed to beat Milan across their last nine meetings in Serie A (D3, L7), but they’ve lost both encounters this season ‘to one.’ 

Match Preview


Despite their long-standing rivalry in domestic action, Milan and Roma have never faced each other on the continental front. However, the hosts are no strangers to taking on fellow Italian rivals in Europe. They’ve played 13 such games thus far, suffering just three defeats (W5, D5), though two came on home turf.

That said, San Siro has been a near-unbreachable fortress in 2024. Barring a 2-1 Coppa Italia loss to Atalanta in January, Milan have gone unbeaten in all nine competitive home outings this calendar year (W7, D2), winning the last three in a row by a combined score of 8-2. On top of that, they’ve gone unbeaten in four of their five European home matches this term (W3, D1, L1).


With all due respect to De Rossi’s excellent work in Rome, sometimes it’s good to have Jose Mourinho on your side. The ‘Special One’ led Roma into back-to-back European finals, including last season’s Europa League title decider against Sevilla, where they lost on penalties. But the up-and-coming manager proved his continental credentials in the round of 16.

Roma hammered Brighton 4-0 in the first leg at home before losing 1-0 on the road. His maiden European experience as a coach saw Roma squeak past Feyenoord on penalties in the knockout playoff round. However, Giallorossi failed to win away legs on both occasions (D1, L1), contributing to their dismal traveling record in Europe to just one win in their last nine such matches (D4, L4). 

Team News

Long-term absentees Pierre Kalulu and Tommaso Pobega are no longer alone in Milan’s infirmary after Malick Thiaw suffered a foot injury. Pioli’s selection headache doesn’t end there as Fikayo Tomori’s yellow-card ban means he’ll have to remain in the stands. 

Simon Kjaer and Matteo Gabbia should fill the vacancies at the back. But on the bright side, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who served a one-game suspension against Lecce, returns to the fold, enabling Pioli to use his formidable attacking quartet for this high-stakes duel.

Meanwhile, Roma can call upon the services of the suspended Evan Ndicka and the injured Sardar Azmoun. Dean Huijsen and Rasmus Kristensen are not on the club’s squad list for the knockout stages, leaving Chris Smalling and Diego Llorente as the likeliest candidates to take Ndicka’s place. 

Moving higher up the pitch, De Rossi will have all of his midfield and attacking options fit and ready, including standout forward Paulo Dybala.

Milan vs Roma Potential Lineups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Matteo Gabbia, Theo Hernandez; Yacine Adli, Tijjani Reijnders; Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud.

Roma (4-3-3): Mile Svilar; Zeki Celik, Gianluca Mancini, Diego Llorente, Angelino; Bryan Cristante, Leandro Paredes, Lorenzo Pellegrini; Paulo Dybala, Romelu Lukaku, Stephan El Shaarawy. 

Milan vs Roma Prediction

Though both league clashes between Roma and Milan this season have produced high-scoring affairs, this fixture has a low-scoring theme written all over it. Pioli’s men head into proceedings in scintillating form, and we back them to secure a vital first-leg lead.

Prediction: Milan Win

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