Capello breaks down Milan-Roma tie: “It’s impossible to name a favourite”

By Isak Möller -

The former AC Milan and Roma manager Fabio Capello has shared his thoughts on the Europa League quarter-final tie between the two sides. From the key players to the schedule, the manager believes that it’s a tough game to call. 

Milan are currently on a four-game winning run, gaining some momentum after reclaiming second place, while Roma have done brilliantly since the sacking of Jose Mourinho. Unlike the previous two games this season, in which the Rossoneri prevailed, this tie will be tough to call.

Interviewed by Gazzetta dello Sport (see photo below), the former Milan and Roma manager Capello was asked about the tie and what the fans should expect. The 77-year-old also shared his thoughts on the schedule of both sides, as well as the key players.

On the draw…

“The beauty of the derby is that we will have an Italian team in the semi-finals of the Europa League, and this is very important.”

Who is the favourite between Milan and Roma?

“It’s impossible to name a favourite now, also because there is an international break upcoming. As a coach, you know how players leave but not how they will return.”


«Milan are in a favourable moment at home, the first leg at San Siro can help them, even if Roma have now been set up very well by De Rossi. The first match must be played with great intelligence by the Rossoneri, because we have seen that when Roma find space, they have the quality to hurt Milan. And the defence will also be important”

For which team?

“Both. Milan must find their defence again, while Roma seem to have found their compactness at the back. We also saw it in Brighton, so it is to be feared in all respects. And it seems to me that Roma really have a team spirit, a group spirit. They play with a lot of humility.”

Are these the merits of Daniele De Rossi?

“Not only that, tactically he also seemed very smart, he has given the team a style but he also looks at how the opponents move, this is already a sign of intelligence. As a former midfielder and regista, he understood that we must fear and take into consideration the strengths of our rivals.”

You said that Milan was a puzzle. Is it still the case?

“They have achieved very good results and are playing a little better, but we cannot look at the two matches against Slavia Prague, played in numerical superiority for a long time, but the fact that Leao scores has made Milan grow.”

The key duels?

“Many interesting duels. On the one hand, Dybala and Lukaku, if there is space, with the insertions of midfielders, because when Roma attack, the two strikers do not remain isolated. As for Milan, I would say Leao’s imagination, the left wing which is the strength of the team and Pulisic who has found himself fully, is playing at a high level.

“But, I repeat, the conditions of the players after the break will have to be assessed. Let’s take the example of Napoli: we have seen that with or without Osimhen, it’s a completely different story.”

Calendar: Rome derby before the first leg and Milan derby after the return leg, how much will that weigh?

“A lot. The one in Milan will be less important for the standings, but there will be Inter’s anger. In the match in Rome, there will also be the anger of Lazio, but the Giallorossi are aiming to reach the Champions League, so it will be very heated.”

Indeed, as the newspaper highlighted in a separate piece this morning, Stefano Pioli’s future will likely be decided by the outcome of this tie. At least a potential exit, which would certainly be confirmed if the Rossoneri were to be knocked out by Roma.

Tags AC Milan Fabio Capello Roma
Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.