AS Roma vs AC Milan: Preview and Prediction

AS Roma will host AC Milan in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, with the Giallorossi keen to maintain their advantage.

Daniel De Rossi continued to impress in the dugout, tightening the grip on the club’s Europa League campaign once again. Last week, in an all-Italian quarterfinal affair, AS Roma came out on top, albeit with a slender lead over rivals AC Milan.

Gianluca Mancini’s 17th-minute strike proved enough, as Roma kept the Milan attackers at bay despite their 25 attempts on goal. De Rossi will want to take Roma to a third consecutive European final at the end of the season, but they have a lot of work ahead of their second-leg clash on Thursday night.

Roma’s preparation for this game was cut short after their match with Udinese was called off after defender Evan Ndicka collapsed on the field in the 72nd minute. The defender will watch on the sidelines on Thursday as Roma host Milan in the Italian capital.

Stefano Pioli might not have had too many complaints about his team’s performance in the first leg, as his players produced the right attacking display. Roma were resilient at the back, which was the only reason they did not score a goal.

In any case, Milan will want to get one over the line and produce a solid performance in the Italian capital. However, their recent record in European competitions, when they lost the first leg of a knockout tie at home, does not favour the Rossoneri, who have exited the competition the last eight times in such a scenario.

They were also held to a 3-3- draw by Serie A strugglers Sassuolo, which may haunt them in their quest to keep hold of the second spot on the table. For now, Pioli will want his players to lend their focus on reaching the semifinals of the Europa League, with a big clash away to Roma awaiting the Rossoneri.

Team News & Tactics

AS Roma

Evan Ndicka’s medical problem will keep him out of the contest on Thursday night, while Sardar Azmoun seems the only one set to miss out on this clash with an injury problem. Beyond that, Daniele De Rossi has a fully fit squad at his disposal. Moreover, he rested the likes of Paulo Dybala, Gianluca Mancini, and skipper Lorenzo Pellegrini against Udinese.

The trio will be back in the starting lineup for the encounter against AC Milan. De Rossi might make further changes to his lineup, as midfielder Edoardo Bove could come in for Bryan Cristante, while Chris Smalling may get his chance as a replacement for Ndicka.

There needs to be more space in the squad for Dean Huijsen or Rasmus Kristensen, as they were not included in the list for the knockout phase. Smalling could partner Mancini at the heart of the Roma defence, while Leonardo Spinazzola and Zeki Celik will play the full-back roles.

Leandro Paredes and Pellegrini will assume their midfield roles alongside Bove. The well-rested Dybala will partner with central striker Romelu Lukaku and Stephan El-Shaarawy in the front three.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Svilar; Celik, Smalling, Mancini, Spinazzola; Bove, Paredes, Pellegrini; Dybala, Lukaku, El-Shaarawy

AC Milan

Like Roma, Stefano Pioli has few injuries to worry about ahead of this crucial clash in the Italian capital. The only players missing are midfielder Tommaso Pobega and defender Pierre Kalulu. The Rossoneri are undoubtedly boosted by the return of essential defender Fikayo Tomori, who missed the first leg through suspension.

Mike Maignan was rested over the weekend, so he should come into the lineup and be between the sticks. Simon Kjaer suffered a minor problem, so there is a chance Pioli does not risk him from the start and begins the game with Malick Thiaw instead, who will partner Tomori at the heart of the defence.

Alternatively, Matteo Gabbia is also a choice for Pioli to consider at the back. Tijjani Reijnders remains the firm choice for AC Milan in central midfield and will partner with Yacine Adli, with Ismael Bennacer as an option on the bench.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is the best option for that attacking midfield role, with Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao the ideal options for Pioli on the wings. Olivier Giroud will continue to lead the line for Milan and aim to score a goal to help his team progress.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi, Thiaw, Tomori, Hernandez; Adli, Reijnders; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Leao; Giroud

Key Stats

  • Last week’s victory was AS Roma’s first against AC Milan in their previous ten meetings.
  • AS Roma are aiming to reach their third consecutive European final this season.
  • AC Milan have yet to progress the last eight times they lost the first leg at home in a European knockout tie.
  • AC Milan have failed to score only one of their last 30 games across all competitions, which came last week against AS Roma.
  • AC Milan had 25 attempts on goal against AS Roma but failed to score in the end.

Player to Watch

Rafael Leao

Embed from Getty Images

The man for the big stage and occasions has found himself in the exact position that many fans would want him to become the game changer. With AC Milan needing a stellar result away from home to go past AS Roma to reach the semi-finals, can the Portuguese international deliver on the promise?

Leao will have to show the personality that Stefano Pioli wants him to have in games like these, and this is a big chance for the attacker to showcase his stature. AS Roma are somewhat weakened in defence, and Leao must take full advantage and help Milan reach the semi-finals of the Europa League.


AS Roma 1-1 AC Milan

The game had a different feeling at San Siro when nobody expected AC Milan to lose to AS Roma. They proved their worth with an attacking performance, only for the Giallorossi to show defensive resilience to keep the Rossoneri attackers at bay.

Now, AC Milan are expected to dominate the game once again, but AS Roma will have the home advantage and that could see their strike force firing on all cylinders. The game has all the ingredients to produce a big winner. But as things stand, they are headed for an eventful draw that would see Roma go through with that slender advantage they took at San Siro.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.