Takeover talk off the field and poor performances on it have sent AC Milan spiralling to 11th position in Serie A as they welcome a resurgent AS Roma to the San Siro on Saturday evening.
Three consecutive defeats and eight goals conceded looks certain to end coach Filippo Inzaghi’s association with the club at the end of the season. The only shining light for I Rossoneri is that their best form seems to have been saved for home matches with seven of their ten wins coming at the San Siro.
AC Milan will be without 16 goal top scorer Jeremy Menez who is serving a four game suspension for hurling insults towards the match referee after being sent off in the recent home defeat to Genoa. It looks like goalscoring responsibility will now fall to Mattia Destro, who is currently on loan from this weekend’s opponents, Japanese hitman Keisuke Honda and Giacomo Bonaventura ,who between them have only netted on 12 occasions this season.
Saturday evening’s opponents, AS Roma, will arrive full of confidence after back to back wins against Sassuolo and Genoa respectively without conceding a single goal. Seydou Doumbia, the striker brought in to replace Mattia Destro, is in a rich vein of form after scoring in both of those victories as is Alessandro Florenzi, who also comes into this match with a two in two strike rate.
Florenzi has been the fulcrum for the clubs return to form, his ability to play both as an attacking full-back as well as a wide man in a front three has made him the first name to go on Garcia’s team sheet. Francesco Totti looks set to start another game for AS Roma from the substitutes bench with top goal scorer Adam Ljajić likely to miss the game with a back injury.
AS Roma coach Rudi Garcia stated in a recent press conference that “every game has now become a cup final” as I Giallorossi compete with city rivals Lazio and Napoli for the final automatic Champions League spot and his team holds all the cards after returning to second place last weekend.
In the reverse fixture in Rome just before the winter break neither side was able to find a breakthrough playing out a 0-0 draw and Saturday’s match looks set to be another tight encounter. AC Milan are a club in transition and seem to be counting the days until the end of the campaign whilst AS Roma have lost the swashbuckling style that won them many plaudits last season although they do have the second meanest defence in Serie A behind champions Juventus.
Our Probable Formations:
AC Milan (4.3.3) Lopez; Bonera, Alex, Paletta, Bocchetti; Poli, de Jong, Van Ginkel; Honda, Destro, Bonaventura
AS Roma (4.3.3) De Sanctis, Florenzi, Manolas, Astori, Torosidis; Pjanic, De Rossi, Nainggolan; Ibarbo, Doumbia, Gervinho