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Roma-Milan Preview: All Roads Lead to Rome

There was a time when literally, all roads led to Rome. That is obviously no longer true, but for Milan this week, it is. Tomorrow we face Roma in Serie A at the Stadio Olimpico. The players will then stay and train in Rome ahead of our Coppa Italia Semifnal second leg tie on Wednesday. Assuming we survive the wolf mauling we could get tomorrow, that is.

So much has changed for us since we last met, but will it be enough?

Roma are that team that are typically top five or maybe even top three pretty consistently, but they never win anything. True to form, they currently sit in third place, but 15 points behind second place Juventus. They have won a very respectable 15 games, with five draws and five losses. Sassuolo owes a great debt to Di Francesco, and he has done well enough in his debut season at Roma, but maybe not as well as many had hoped. Still, we know what he is capable of, and he certainly has enough talent at his disposal. Plus, after losing 2-1 to Shakhtar midweek in the Champions League, you can bet they will be motivated to win and win big against us.

For the match away to Shakhtar midweek, Di Francesco lined up Alisson; Fazio, Manolas Kolarov, Florenzi, Nainggolan, Strootman, De Rossi, Dzeko, Perotti, and √únder. The 20 year-old Turkish winger had not impressed as hoped for most of the season, but now has five goals in his last four appearances, including the singular goal on Wednesday. And if that form doesn’t scare you, remember that kind of scrawny kid with the really stupid haircut that scored 16 goals in one season for Milan a few years back? That’s right, il Faraone plays for Roma now, too, so watch out for his welcome.

What are you smiling about, little Pharaoh? That color is awful for you

Gattuso is still missing Conti, Storari, and Antonelli, but is bringing the entire team to Rome for the week. Which is kind of like packing your entire wardrobe for a five day trip. Except a wardrobe doesn’t need to train, so it’s probably good to have the whole team come and keep that unity going. I am certainly not going to question Gattuso’s motivational skills, he has certainly instilled the passion back into the team that was lacking before.

The man knows how to party

All of that said, it’s impossible to know how this will go tomorrow. We often suffer against Roma, like our 2-0 loss to them at home in October, but we also have a history of surprising them. We won our last Scudetto at the Olimpico with a painful 0-0 draw. I know, because Gattuso was there, sans shorts, singing with the Milan Ultras against Leonardo. The man certainly doesn’t know how to bridle his passion. But in a week in which for Milan, all roads lead to Rome, I can only hope he will be celebrating again at the Olimpico tomorrow after 90 minutes with his infamous unbridled passion. Only maybe this time, Mister, please keep your pants on.


This post inspired by the music of the Talking Heads’ “Road to Nowhere”



Serie A Week 26
Roma vs. Milan
Sunday, February 25th • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match will be shown LIVE on RAI Italia in the U.S.
(Subscribers can also watch on Roma RV, fubo TV, BeIN Sports Connect, and iGol online)

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