AC Milan’s tough start to the Serie A season continues as they host Roma at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Friday night. The Rossoneri will be looking to bounce back from their 3-2 defeat at Napoli last weekend, whilst the Giallorossi will be aiming to return to winning ways following their 3-3 draw at home to Atalanta on Monday.
Italian Serie A
AC Milan vs Roma
Friday 31 August
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
AC Milan 15/10
AC Milan’s struggles at the Stadio San Paolo continued as the Rossoneri slumped to a 3-2 defeat at Napoli last Saturday. Milan led 2-0 after 50 minutes, only for a double from Piotr Zielinski and a late Dries Mertens strike to give the Naples-based side a second successive victory.
Squandering a two-goal lead was a bitter pill for Gennaro Gattuso to swallow, but despite the heartbreak, the Rossoneri fans should certainly remain hopeful for the season, with a lot of improvement shown already. Milan showed they can go to a top four team, away from home, and get themselves a two-goal lead. They just have to learn to hold onto a lead and not crumble under pressure.
After facing last season’s Serie A runners-up, Milan have another tough match against Roma, who were Champions League semi-finalists last year. The Rossoneri’s previous three home meetings against the Giallorossi all ended in defeat, however, Milan claimed a 2-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico in February. After a positive display against Napoli last weekend, Gattuso’s men will fancy themselves to get a statement win against Roma on Friday night.
Milan’s last two Serie A matches at home saw them claim convincing wins over Hellas Verona (4-1) and Fiorentina (5-1) respectively.
After drawing 3-3 at home to Atalanta on Monday, Roma will be hoping to return to winning ways against AC Milan. Eusebio Di Francesco’s side, who finished third in the Serie A last season, claimed a 1-0 win away to Torino in their season opener thanks to a late strike from Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian scored with a memorable volleyed goal following a mazy run by new signing Justin Kluivert. The Giallorossi will be looking to secure their fifth straight away win in the Serie A and their second in the league this season.
Roma have a superb recent record at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, having beaten the Rossoneri there in each of the last three seasons. The visitors will be looking to continue their impressive record in Milan and inflict a second straight loss on Gattuso’s side.
Roma suffered defeat against Milan at the Stadio Olimpico last time out. But prior to that, Di Francesco’s side were unbeaten in five meetings against them with four consecutive victories. This will be a tough test for Roma though as Milan have strengthened their squad, adding Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, while the Giallorossi have lost star goalkeeper Alisson and midfield powerhouse Radja Nainggolan.
Swedish shot-stopper Robin Olsen has replaced Alisson, while World Cup winner Steven N’Zonzi has been brought in to fill the void left by Nainggolan. Di Francesco also has Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore, who joined from Paris Saint-Germain.
Verdict: Double Chance – Draw + Roma (11/20)
Milan’s new-look team might need a bit more time to find their rhythm. Roma have a good recent record against the Rossoneri, especially at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. I’m backing Di Francesco’s side on the Win/Draw Double Chance.
Written by Chad Nagel