Milan-Roma Preview: Cry Wolf

One game under our belts against the Serie A runners up from last seasons, and there is a lot of speculation about a lot of things. Surprisingly, some fans are still incredibly optimistic about our chances for Friday’s match against Roma. Perhaps it was Atalanta’s three goals against them this weekend in the first half, or maybe they just didn’t see Roma’s comeback in the second half to come away with a point. Or maybe they are not familiar with the story of the boy who cried wolf, or what happened to his sheep when the wolf actually showed up.

Gattuso's got the proverbial ball

Di Francesco did not do for Roma last season what fans probably hoped he would. But after making the jump from Sassuolo, he also didn’t do too badly. They ended in third place in Serie A, while shockingly eliminating Barcelona in the Champions League to make it to the semifinal. This year, they are in the Champions League again, and will learn their fate in the Group Stage later today. But we are more concerned with their Serie A form, which was the 3-3 draw vs. Atalanta on Monday.

For that match, Di Francesco lined up Olsen; Fazio, Manolas, Kolarov, Florenzi, De Rossi, Pellegrini, our old pal Cristante, Dzeko, Pastore, and Ünder. Florenzi sustained a knee injury in that match, and will likely not be available. Perotti also has a sprained ankle and may not be available for this match as of this writing. Strootman was sold this week to Monaco, so will no longer be with the club.

N'zonzi made his Olimpico debut as a sub in Monday's fierce battle

Gattuso will still be missing Strinic, who is out indefinitely with a heart issue, and Conti will not be available until the beginning of October. Zapata’s injury makes him uncertain as of this writing. However, I believe everyone else is healthy at this point. Calhanoglu will return after serving a one match suspension, which will give us a great boost. Gattuso has the wonderful problem of choosing his starting eleven from a deeper bench than last season. Another problem he faces, however, is that with so many players who are new to Serie A, it’s easier to trust the players he relied on all last year. Rumors say that Caldara may get the start ahead of Musacchio. That poor guy keeps getting bumped just out of a starting berth. Aside from that, Higuain is the only other new player who is most likely to start.

Will Gattuso put his trust in the young Caldara to start?

If you listened to this week’s podcast, we discussed Gattuso’s strengths and limitations, as well as his tactical liabilities. While the team as a whole made many mistakes against Napoli, I do feel that Gattuso’s stubbornness contributed to the loss. So this match will be a great chance for everyone, players and coach alike, to get a better result. Roma made some impressive moves in the transfer market, even if they were unable to find a keeper that is remotely as talented as Alisson was. Although this is the third place team from last year, they showed some definite weaknesses against Atalanta. And they played two days later than we did, so will not be as rested. Perhaps since we are also playing at the San Siro, that will give us enough advantages to surprise them. Otherwise, no one will listen to us when we cry wolf.

This post inspired by the music of Wolfmother

Serie A Week 2
Milan vs. Roma
Friday, August 31 • 20:30 CEST (2:30pm EDT)
This match will NOT be shown LIVE on TV in the US
(can be streamed on ESPN+)

Learn our Europa League fate in the Group Stage Draw
Friday, August 31 • 13:00 CEST (7am EDT)

Milan-Roma Preview: Cry Wolf Milan-Roma Preview: Cry Wolf Reviewed by Elaine on 6:34 AM Rating: 5
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