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The Italian Job

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AS Roma vs AC Milan preview

In recent years, among the top five leagues, it is safe to say that Serie A has become perhaps the most competitive league. In an era where clubs such as Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain have dominated their leagues, Italy has seen four teams win the title in the past four seasons. Last year, Napoli finally broke their 32-year drought to win the Serie A.

This season, the race for the title looks to be competitive, with the top three favourites, Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan, winning their first two games to set the pace. After winning the title in the 2021-22 season, AC Milan produced a very lacklustre display of title defence, finishing in fourth, 20 points behind champions Napoli.

This is why the club went on a shopping spree, adding Samuel Chukwueze, Christian Pulisic, Yunus Musah, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to their ranks. This has resulted in an immediate improvement in the squad, with the team currently on top of the Serie A table (on goal difference).

However, now they face their toughest challenge as they travel to the Stadio Olimpico to face AS Roma. Jose Mourinho’s have had a far from perfect start to their season, with the team yet to win a game. They are currently 13th on the league table and desperately need a win to get their season back on track.

Roma also ventured into the transfer market to buy Leandro Paredes, Renato Sanches, Sardar Azmoun, and Houssem Aouar. However, the new signings have yet to gel with the team, with the performances of the first two games leaving much to be desired.

However, the match against AC Milan could be a season-turning moment for them. A prominent opponent at home where victory will not only provide three points but also give them a massive boost of confidence for the next set of games.

AS Roma vs AC Milan lineups 

AS Roma lineup

In their previous game, AS Roma succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Verona, which must have been disappointing for Mourinho considering Verona were down to 10-man for the last ten minutes of the game. Roma also outscored Verona on shots by 25-5 and also on shots on target by 7-3 but failed to come away with any points.

This could prompt Mourinho to make one or two changes to the starting 11 against Milan. One change could be replacing Nicola Zalewski with Leonardo Spinazzola. Other players who could get a look are Sanches and Aouar.

AS Roma predicted lineup: Patriciol; Llorente, Smalling, Mancini; Spinazzola, Cristante, Paredes, Pellegrini, Nisses; Belotti, Dybala 

AC Milan lineup

Meanwhile, AC Milan are running like a well-oiled machine. Their two performances have been a combination of attack, defence and midfield. This has taken their game to a new level as the team no longer depends on one or two players. Coach Stefano Pioli played the same starting lineup in both games, winning by an aggregate of 6-2.

The addition of Christian Pulisic has also helped the team establish a lethal attacking triumvirate that, on its day, can tear the opposition’s defences into shreds.

AC Milan predicted lineup: Maignan; Hernandez, Tomori, Thiaw, Calabria; Reijnders, Krunic, Loftus Cheek; Leao, Giroud, Pulisic

AS Roma vs AC Milan predictions 

On paper, AC Milan look to be the far better side and are primed to take all three points from the clash. However, the things about matches like these are that it has the highest chance of providing the most unlikeliest of results.

After their slow start, AS Roma would love nothing more than to beat one of their biggest rivals. However, the current trajectory of both teams appears to be going in a different direction. However, the home crowd at Stadio Olimpico have always acted as the 12th men, which could provide the motivation that will help Roma escape with something from the game.

FootTheBall predicts a 1-1 draw.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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