Set pieces and a deadly duo: The threats Roma pose to Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

Roma are an opponent that AC Milan know very well, but in a paradox of sorts they are an unknown quantity to the Rossoneri under Daniele De Rossi.

The official website presents some of the date ahead of the game, starting with the fact that Roma have kept clean sheets in their last three matches (W2, D1) and have not had more clean sheets in a single season since October 2017.

However, they have won only two of their last 14 away matches in the main European competitions (6D, 6L), while Pioli’s side have won their two home Europa League matches this season and could grab three home victories in a row in the tournament for the first time ever.

Aerial duels and set pieces

Roma have kept some tendencies under De Rossi that they had under Jose Mourinho, such as making the most of both aerial balls and set pieces.

It is no coincidence that they are one of the two teams to have scored the most headed goals in this season’s Serie A: 12, including the most recent one in the Rome derby scored by Mancini last weekend.

The Giallorossi have also scored 19 goals from dead-ball situations, less than only Inter in the current campaign (23), so Milan will have to make sure they do not give them too many chances.

However, there are not only positive numbers for for Roma given that they have shown varying difficulty in managing the ball, especially in their own half of the pitch, conceding 52 shots on goal following a high recovery (first in this negative ranking in Serie A 2023-24) and conceding four goals from these situations.

It is a important element for Pioli’s man, who have already shown that they know how to take advantage of counter-attacks and direct forward play, resulting in the team having the most direct attacks in this year’s Serie A (68).

The deadly duo

Paulo Dybala is the creative force for Roma and the Argentine has actively participated in 13 goals against Milan in all competitions (8 goals and 5 assists) and since his arrival in Italy (July 2012) only Berardi (18) has had more direct involvement in a goal than the Argentinian against the Rossoneri.

This season he is one of the two Giallorossi players – together with strike partner, Romelu Lukaku – to have taken part in the most goals in the league and cups: 22 each with 14 goals and eight assists for Dybala, and 18 goals and four assists for the Belgian.

Lukaku meanwhile has scored 39 goals in 70 games at San Siro, which is only less than the career tally he boasts at Goodison Park (48) with clubs from Europe’s top-five leagues.

In addition to the two best Giallorossi scorers this season, another mention must go to one of the ex-Milan players, Stephan El Shaarawy: the winger has provided five assists in nine appearances in this Europa League campaign.


Tags AC Milan Milan Roma

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