Roma - AC Milan Preview: Rossoneri prepare for capital visit
Massimiliano Allegri's men can leapfrog the Giallorossi and move up to sixth in Serie A with victory, while defeat would pull them further away from the Champions League places
By Daniel Edwards
Piris, Burdisso, Marquinhos, Balzaretti
Bradley, De Rossi, Pjanic
Lamela, Osvaldo, Totti
De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Constant
Nocerino, Ambrosini, Montolivo
Robinho, Boateng, El Shaarawy
The absence of Leandro Castan forces one defensive change for Roma after the Giallorossi slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chievo in the last round of Serie A fixtures. The Brazilian centre-back is suspended for AC Milan's visit, and will be replaced in the middle by Nicolas Burdisso; Marquinhos, meanwhile, will remain after passing a fitness test during the week.
Elsewhere, Miram Pjanic drops back into midfield allowing Erik Lamela to retake his place as part of an attacking trident - Alessandro Florenzi will be the man who makes way.
Mauro Goicoechea trained with the first team during the week after starting against Chievo, and could keep his place instead of Maarten Stekelenburg between the posts.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is likely to make just two changes to the team that demolished Pescara 4-1 at the weekend. Phillippe Mexes is once again fit and would be a straight swap for Cristian Zapata in the centre of defence, after sitting on the bench as an unused substitute during that last victory.
In attack, meanwhile, Kevin-Prince Boateng could be handed a start alongside Robinho and Stephan El Shaarawy in the front three. The Ghana international would replace Giampaolo Pazzini, who failed to find the net against Pescara.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- AC Milan hold a decisive historical advantage over Saturday's rivals. The Rossoneri have won 71 of the 156 encounters played between the teams, while Roma have only 39 triumphs to their name.
- The last clash finished 2-1 in favour of Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic supplying both goals for the home side at San Siro.
- Roma currently lie sixth in Serie A, two points ahead of their next opponents who occupy the place below.
- Stephan El Shaarawy is both Milan's and the league's top scorer so far, netting an impressive 14 times during the first 17 games of the 2012-13 season.
- The most prolific Giallorossi stars, meanwhile, are Erik Lamela (right) and Pablo Osvaldo. The former River Plate wonderkid has registered eight strikes this term.
- Roma's squad includes 12 players of South American heritage: six Brazilians, three Argentines, two Uruguayans and Paraguay international Ivan Piris. This includes Osvaldo, who was born in Buenos Aires and debuted for Huracan, before opting to represent Italy at international level thanks to his dual nationality obtained in 2007.
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Top 3 Predictions
Roma 1-2 AC Milan
- 17.63 %
Roma 1-3 AC Milan
- 14.34 %
Roma 0-2 AC Milan
- 8.61 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||16 Dec 2013||AC Milan 2 - Roma 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||12 May 2013||AC Milan 0 - Roma 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||22 Dec 2012||Roma 4 - AC Milan 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||24 Mar 2012||AC Milan 2 - Roma 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||29 Oct 2011||Roma 2 - AC Milan 3|
|1 Mar 2014||Roma 0 - Inter 0||SR-A|
|22 Feb 2014||Bologna 0 - Roma 1||SR-A|
|16 Feb 2014||Roma 3 - Sampdoria 0||SR-A|
|12 Feb 2014||Napoli 3 - Roma 0||ITAC|
|9 Feb 2014||Lazio 0 - Roma 0||SR-A|
|3||Iván Rodrigo Piris||Defender|
|16||Daniele De Rossi||Midfielder|
|17||Pablo Daniel Osvaldo||Striker|
|2||Mattia De Sciglio||Defender|
|92||Stephan El Shaarawy||Striker|
The veteran one-club man may trail Lamela and Osvaldo in strikes, but it is his creative verve and eye for a pass that fuels Italy's most prolific team in front of goal. At 36 years old, he is still an indispensable part of Roma's attack.
|Stephan El Shaarawy|
The goals are flowing for Milan's new young idol, who only turned 20 less than two months ago. The Serie A top-scorer will be hoping to further add to his tally and give his team a timely Christmas present of three valuable points.
Neither Roma nor Milan have had any trouble finding the net during 2012-13, but keeping goals out has been a different story. That combination could make for an entertaining clash between two sides that is too close to call.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed