AC Milan Welcome Roma in Serie A Meeting

AC Milan

AC Milan take on Jose Mourinho’s Roma at the San Siro in a monumental fixture to start off 2022. As things stand, Milan are currently in second place in the Serie A table. They’ve collected 42 points from 19 matches but sit four points behind city rivals Inter Milan. The Rossoneri are cruising steadily towards a top-four finish, but remain in the thick of things for the Scudetto.

Roma are sixth in the table. Although they have a very realistic shot at making the Europa League, their ambitions are much higher. This, of course, is due to having Mourinho as their manager. Roma drew their last match, but just over two weeks ago completed a 4-1 thrashing of Atalanta. Six points stand in between Roma and a top-four spot.

AC Milan v Roma: Match Preview

Team Form

Milan endured a tough end to 2021. Their last match was a victory against Empoli, but a lack of defensive effort meant two goals conceded against a mediocre attack. Before that, they lost to Napoli, drew with Udinese, and lost to a short-handed Liverpool, which cost Milan a shot at the Champions League Round of 16.

Before that, however, Milan were on a three-game winning streak where they beat their opponents by a combined score of 8-1. They must return to those ways to compete for the Serie A crown. A major player remains out for the rest of the season in Simon Kjaer, however.

Roma’s last couple of games were previously mentioned. Before that, they beat Spezia and CSKA Sofia but fell 3-0 to Inter. The team is good but rather inconsistent and doesn’t always hang with the top-tier opponents.

The last time the two clubs faced off was in October last year. Milan found themselves 2-0 up but played shakily after a red card. Roma scored to make things interesting at 2-1 but it came too late in the 93rd minute.

Line-up Issues for Milan

Kjaer’s absence is a major loss. Alessio Romagnoli fills the void, at least for now, before any potential January transfer is made. Romagnoli remains the captain of the club, but his play has been declining over the last couple of seasons. Fikayo Tomori is very reliable in the back, but there are worries regarding Romagnoli.

Franck Kessie and Ismael Bennacer are attending the African Cup of Nations for their respective countries. This means the likely midfield double-pivot will be Sandro Tonali and Tiemoue Bakayoko. Tonali has been fantastic all season long. Like Tomori, there’s no worries regarding his spot in the line-up. The worrying surrounds Bakayoko. Although very good in his original Milan stint a couple of seasons ago, he hasn’t been an ideal player this season. Much of this can be due to his injury and recovery, so perhaps the holiday break will bring a reinvigorated player.

Injuries to Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic caused a major decline in Milan’s attack. Replacements in Junior Messias and Alexis Saelemaekers haven’t been the best, but they’re likely to start against Roma. Brahim Diaz will have to shoulder much of the creativity.

Milan will also have to make a decision upfront between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud, both of whom have struggled with injuries all season long.

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