Stadio Olimpico, Rome
21st December 2014, 1:15 IST
Gameweek 16 of the Italian Serie A, features a clash between two powerhouses of Italian football, AS Roma and AC Milan. Although Juventus have already snatched the title of ‘Winter Champions‘, AS Roma will be looking to reduce the gap between them and the Turin based club, to just one point. AS Roma are gunning for a win, which would see them jump to thirty eight points, cranking up the pressure on the Bianconneri. AC Milan, however are reeling in seventh place with just twenty four points. Life under former AC Milan striker, Fillipo Inzaghi, has seen better days. AC Milan could still jump to a respectable third place finish come December end, as a win with a goal difference of more than two, would see them leapfrog Napoli, into third. Both teams, will be looking to ram heads, and grab all three points.
Team News And Tactical Brief:
Under Rudi Garcia, the Romans have cherished life. Building on from their campaign last season, which saw a failed attempt to catch Antonio Conte’s Juventus, AS Roma will, once again look test Juventus’s ability and mental capabilities. However, in this quest, the Romans have to also take note of their form and ensure that they do not fell victims to any blockade. One such blockade, which stands resiliently in AS Roma’s path is AC Milan. With Gameweek 16, the final match of this year, AS Roma are looking to end their year’s campaign on a high, whilst mounting pressure on Juventus.
Rudi Garcia, is expected to lineup in his favorite 4-3-3. Davide Astori, José Holebas and Miralem Pjanic are all suspended, which could prove a hefty blow for the Romans. Still there can be light found in the darkest of the hours, and the stunning form of captain Francesco Totti, is Roma’s leading light. With Totti playing as a striker, and often dropping deep to flush Milan’s defense out of place, Gervinho and Adam Ljajic are expected to start alongside Totti, in an attacking line of three players.
With Manolas and Yanga-Mbiwa at the heart of defense, the Romans could ensure some defensive solidity. Ashley Cole has tested Serie A defenses with his bombarding run forwards, and would look to test AC Milan’s defense, when he takes to the pitch, deployed as a left back against AC Milan.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Morgan DeSanctis, Maicon, Yanga-Mbiwa, Manolas, Ashley Cole, Radja Nainggolan, Danielle de Rossi, Keita, Francesco Totti, Gervinho, Adam Ljajic.
AC Milan, still needs to improve in almost every aspect of the game. Their inconsistent season has seen them drop out of the chasing pack – for the third position, but as the trailblazers themselves have dropped points, Milan have gotten a whiff of hope and may even end up in the coveted third place if results go AC Milan’s way.
Filippo Inzaghi, will have the usual problem of choosing his back four. Adil Rami would be replaced by Cristian Zapata, after the Colombian International had a decent outing against Napoli, and would partner Mexes, in the heart of defense. Bonera and Armero are expected to fill in as right back and left back, respectively.
The midfield trio of Andrea Poli, Nigel de Jong and Suley Muntari are expected to start. Although AS Roma, pose a more deadly and hefty looking midfield as compared to AS Milan’s, the Milanese midfield would look to thwart AS Roma’s midfield trio.
Lining his team up in a 4-3-3, Filippo Inzaghi is expected to crown his line with the attacking trio of Honda, Menez and Bonaventura. Although AC Milan put in a decent performance against Napoli, their inconsistent form has been a major worry this season, and with AS Roma in their way, Milan would look to build on their form and defeat the Romans.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Diego Lopez, Bonera, Cristian Zapata, Mexes, Armero, Andrea Poli, Nigel de Jong, Suley Muntari, Honda, Jeremy Menez, Bonaventura
- Roma have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 home matches in Serie A.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 7 of AC Milan’s last 8 games in Serie A.
- Roma are undefeated in their last 8 home matches in Serie A.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Roma’s last 3home games in Serie A.
- Roma are undefeated in 9 of their last 10 home matches against AC Milan in all competitions.
- Roma have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches against AC Milan in all competitions.
Players To Watch Out For:
Radja Nainggolan ( AS Roma )
Radja Nainggolan, has been a loyal servant in midfield for AS Roma. The Belgain has developed a flair for tackling opposing defenders. His tireless work-rate along with his ability to pick out a pass, could certainly wreak havoc for AC Milan.
Giacomo Bonaventura ( AC Milan )
With three goals and two assists to his name, Giacomo Bonaventura, has continued his form from Atlanta to AC Milan. The fleet footed winger’s pace makes him a threat in counter attacks.
AS Roma 2 – AC Milan 0
AS Roma are expected to edge AC Milan, by two goals to nil in this encounter. AS Roma are expected to dominate proceedings and could open their goal scoring charts- as early as within the first ten minutes itself.