AC Milan look to extend their 11-game unbeaten run as they visit third-placed AS Roma on Sunday evening, which will be a tough encounter for both sides.
Fabio Borini sealed the deal for AC Milan against Bulgarian side Ludogorets, beating them 4-0 on aggregate, three of which were scored away from home.
As mentioned, the Rossoneri are looking to extend their unbeaten run, currently 11 games. In fact, Milan have gained 16 points in their six Serie A games in 2018. Only Juventus and Napoli (18) have gained more.
After rotating quite a lot in the second leg against Ludogorets, Gattuso looks set to field his best players on Sunday, with the likes of Gigio Donnarumma, Jack Bonaventura and Suso returning to the lineup.
Leonardo Bonucci started on the benched against Ludogorets, but came on in the second half. He’s expected to pair up Alessio Romagnoli, as usual, in the defence. On the defensive flanks, Davide Calabria, as well as Ricardo Rodriguez, are expected to start.
Biglia was also rested against Ludogorets, in favour of Manuel Locatelli. However, it looks like he will return to the starting eleven in the midfield, as well as Giacomo Bonaventura.
The attacking trident will feature Suso, Cutrone and Calhanoglu, a trio that has done very well under Gattuso. The only question mark is Cutrone, despite his current form, Kalinic is a strong contender for the starting spot.
Probable AC Milan XI vs. Roma: G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Bonucci, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Cutrone (Kalinic), Calhanoglu.
Roma have done fairly well this season, although their form has seen some ups and downs lately. In fact, Roma have won just one of their last four matches at home in Serie A, winning last week against Benevento.
They are currently sitting in third place, nine points ahead of Milan. After selling Salah, Paredes and Rudiger this summer, many didn’t expect them to do this well. However, manager Eusebio Di Francesco has done well to work with the players at his disposal.
However, they’re far from safe in third place, as Lazio and Inter are just one respectively two points after the Giallorossi. With that said, it will be an important game for the hosts as well.
LAST TIME OUT
Milan’s last match was against Ludogorets in the Europa League. The Rossoneri won 1-0 thanks to Fabio Borini’s goal in the first half, which saw Milan advance 4-0 on aggregate to the last 16 of Europa League, where they will face Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Roma lost their most recent game. They travelled to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, and after taking the lead through Cengiz Under, the Giallorossi conceded two goals.
One man to keep an eye on for the Rossoneri is certainly Giacomo Bonaventura. After failing to impress under Montella, the Italian midfielder has certainly done the opposite with Gennaro Gattuso. In fact, Since Gennaro Gattuso’s appointment as manager, Giacomo Bonaventura has scored five times in Serie A, more than any other Milan player. However, under Montella, he did not score a single goal in nine games.
For the visitors, veteran striker Edin Dzeko will be perhaps the most important player. In fact, Dzeko has been directly involved in four goals in his last two games against Milan in Serie A (3 goals, 1 assists). Romagnoli and Bonucci will have to keep an extra eye on last season’s capocannoniere.
It will certainly be a tough game for both sides, as Roma have struggled a bit lately, while Milan are in their best run this season. We believe that Milan have a big chance of getting something out of this game, perhaps even all the three points.
It will be tough for the Rossoneri to keep a clean sheet, but outscoring the home side is certainly not out of reach.
Prediction: Roma 1-2 Milan.