Roma v Milan
Serie A Match Preview
Two coaches on the verge of being replaced at their respective clubs go head to head in the Italian capital on Saturday evening, as Roma entertain Milan in the game of the weekend in Serie A.
TALK OF HIS DISMISSAL DOES NOT WORRY GARCIA
At his press conference on Friday, Roma coach Rudi Garcia told reporters that all the talk surrounding his future at the club “was of no interest to him.” After seeing his team capitulate once again on Wednesday in Verona against Chievo, the Frenchman, despite how much he deflects the subject, knows he’s on the brink of being relieved of his duties at the club and defeat to Milan on Saturday will almost certainly confirm that. Having lead 2-0 against the Flying Donkey’s in mid-week, Garcia watched helplessly again as his team gave another demonstration of X-rated defending, to let the home side back into the match – They eventually headed back to the capital with a point after a 3-3 draw. Despite having key players missing through injury and suspension, the teams tactical naivety when in total control of proceedings, cost them two precious points and may eventually cost the manager his job.
“GUNSLINGER” MIHAJLOVIC ALSO ON THE BRINK
Garcia’s opposite number on Saturday will be able to fully sympathise with his situation as Sinisa Mihajlovic fights to keep his place on the bench at Milan. Wednesday’s home defeat to Bologna in a game they dominated, was just about the final straw for owner Silvio Berlusconi, who is sharpening the axe ready to wield it if his team returns home on Saturday with anything other than a win. The best football betting sites currently price the Rossoneri at a mammoth *26.00 to get Champions League football next season, if things remain the way they are, they’ll be lucky to finish inside of the top 10. Ahead of the game,Mihajlovic stated that he was convinced his team were good enough to finish in the top three before describing himself and his opposite number as being like two “gunslingers fighting it out toe to toe.” The loser of this particular gunfight will almost certainly be taking the rest of the season off.
Garcia will welcome back Miralem Pjanic, RadjaNainggolan and Daniele De Rossi after all were unavailable in midweek due to injury and suspension. Club talisman Francesco Totti, will also return to the squad after missing over three months of the season through injury.He will start the game from the substitute’s bench. Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah is also fit despite hobbling off on Wednesday. The best sports betting websites currently quote him at *3.10 to be any anytime scorer on Saturday. 19-year-old Umar Sadiq, a scorer in Verona, will lead the line after EdinDzeko failed to get his two match suspension lifted.
Milan are still without the injured Mario Balotelli and Jeremy Menez with M’BayeNiang set to lead the line once again alongside Colombian Carlos Bacca. With goalkeeper Diego Lopez still unavailable, 16-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma continues his extended run in the side. Midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng is set to make his first start for the club since re-joining them from Schalke 04.
PROBABLE STARTING XI’S
Roma (4-3-3) Szczesny; Digne, ManolasRudiger, Florenzi; Pjanic, De Rossi, Nainggolan; Gervinho, Sadiq, Salah
Milan (4-4-2) Donnarumma; Antonelli, Romagnoli, Alex, De Sciglio; Bonaventura, Bertolacci, Kucka, Boateng; Bacca, Niang
HEAD TO HEAD
Three of the last six league meetings between the two in the Eternal City have finished without a goal and that was the outcome in the corresponding fixture last season. Milan hasn’t beaten Roma in the capital since 2011. This fixture is always competitive and their last six encounters have produced four red cards.
Roma 2.00 Draw 3.50 Milan 3.80
*odds courtesy of Bet365
Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)