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4 vs 2
December 22, 2012 7:45 PM GMT
Stadio Olimpico — Roma
Referee:‬ G. Rocchi‎
Attendance:‬ 50746‎

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

Roma Vs Ac Milan @ Serie A

Piris, Burdisso, Marquinhos, Balzaretti
Bradley, De Rossi, Pjanic
Lamela, Osvaldo, Totti

AC Milan
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.

  • 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.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Dec 16, 2013 AC Milan 2 - Roma 2
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ May 12, 2013 AC Milan 0 - Roma 0
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Dec 22, 2012 Roma 4 - AC Milan 2
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Mar 24, 2012 AC Milan 2 - Roma 1
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Oct 29, 2011 Roma 2 - AC Milan 3
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Last Five Matches
Apr 19, 2014Fiorentina 0 - Roma 1ITA1
Apr 12, 2014Roma 3 - Atalanta 1ITA1
Apr 6, 2014Cagliari 1 - Roma 3ITA1
Apr 2, 2014Roma 4 - Parma 2ITA1
Mar 30, 2014Sassuolo 0 - Roma 2ITA1
AC Milan
Apr 19, 2014AC Milan 3 - Livorno 0ITA1
Apr 13, 2014AC Milan 1 - Catania 0ITA1
Apr 7, 2014Genoa 1 - AC Milan 2ITA1
Mar 29, 2014AC Milan 3 - Chievo 0ITA1
Mar 26, 2014Fiorentina 0 - AC Milan 2ITA1
Team News
Available Squads
-M. GoicoecheaGoalkeeper
3Iván Rodrigo PirisDefender
-Nicolas BurdissoDefender
42Federico BalzarettiDefender
4Michael BradleyMidfielder
15Miralem PjanicMidfielder
16Daniele De RossiMidfielder
11Erik LamelaMidfielder
17Pablo Daniel OsvaldoStriker
10Francesco TottiStriker
1Bogdan LobonţGoalkeeper
1Maarten StekelenburgGoalkeeper
46Alessio RomagnoliDefender
20Simone PerrottaMidfielder
24Alessandro FlorenziMidfielder
-Panagiotis TachtsidisMidfielder
17N. LópezStriker
22Mattia DestroStriker
1Marco AmeliaGoalkeeper
2Mattia De SciglioDefender
5Philippe MexesDefender
21Kevin Constant Midfielder
33Mario YepesDefender
-Antonio NocerinoMidfielder
9Kevin-Prince BoatengMidfielder
18Riccardo MontolivoMidfielder
21Massimo AmbrosiniMidfielder
92Stephan El ShaarawyStriker
32Christian AbbiatiGoalkeeper
17Cristian ZapataDefender
20Ignazio AbateDefender
25Daniele BoneraDefender
3Luca AntoniniDefender
4Sulley MuntariMidfielder
20Mathieu FlaminiMidfielder
28Urby EmanuelsonMidfielder
11Giampaolo PazziniStriker
9M'Baye NiangStriker
-Bojan KrkicStriker
Players to Watch
Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
22 7 0 0
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
Stephan El Shaarawy
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 92
Games Goals YC RC
4 0 1 0
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.
Editor's Prediction
Roma 2
Milan 2
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
20 0
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Hellas Verona
18 2
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
17 5
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
15 0