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Match Preview: Roma-Milan, 28-02-2021

The moment that Milan is living is definitely not the greatest, the two consecutive defeats against Spezia and Inter lowered the mood of the team. It seems like something has broken and the players are not the Rossoneri we saw during 2020. Indeed, Milan have so far lost 5 games in 2021 (4 in Serie A and 1 in Coppa Italia), a lot worse if compared to the only 3 defeats (2 in Serie A and 1 in Europa League) happened last year. Surely, it’s normal and understandable that a team cannot win every game forever, but the lack of play and the physical and mental condition showed in the last games should sound the alarm bells in Pioli’s mind.

During such a bad moment the team should stay strong and concentrate not to throw away the great season we’re living. The game against Roma is delicate and an away victory would be fundamental to rise up.

Roma are unbeaten in their last 16 Serie A home games (12 victories and 4 draws) and it’s the team who gained more points at home during this season, 30. Milan, on the other hand, are the team with the most points away from home, 28. If they draw, Milan and Roma could finish the season with two draws for the first time since 1999/2000.

Bennacer and Mandzukic are the only injured players who will miss the game. The Algerian will probably be back in two/three weeks, while the Croatian will be back earlier. Diaz has recovered from the injury and he’ll be on the bench but presumably he won’t play. Therefore, the starting eleven will be the same as the Inter game; Rebic and Leao are still contending to start on the left side, but the Croatian seems to be the chosen one.

The game against Braga gave Roma the pass into the Europa League round of 16, but it also took Dzeko away from the pitch for at least two weeks. The Bosnian will be replaced by Borja Mayoral, who has so far scored 6 goals in Serie A. Fonseca won’t be able to count on Ibanez and Smalling as well, who are out for an injury; for this reason, the former rossonero Cristante will play in the centre of the defence. Another former rossonero, El Shaarawy, will start from the bench after Thursday’s great performance.

Roma lineup (3-4-2-1): Pau Lopez; Mancini, Cristante, Kumbulla; Karsdorp, Villar, Veretout, Spinazzola; Lo. Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; B. Mayoral. Coach: Fonseca

Milan lineup (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessié; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic. Coach: Pioli

Referee: Guida


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