Roma-Milan Preview: Here We Go

By the time Roma-Milan kicks off on Friday night, a sense of reality may kick in. By that time, we will have learned what our fate is in the Champions League Group Stage this season, and the transfer window will be closed as well. We will face a Mourinho side that is winless in their first two matches, and who will also have a busy Friday, with their Europa League draw set for the same day as the transfer window closes. For better or for worse, we will all know which teams we will be facing in European competition, and our squads should be set until at least January. Here we go!

Pioli's favorite starting 11 is ready to go...

There was some big news for Roma this week. And by big, I mean 6'3" (191cm) and 205 lbs. (93 kg) big. Romelu Lukaku was the star of Inter's Champions League final (another final, another star performance), then controversially reportedly spoke to Juventus, then managed to anger both sets of fans back and forth all summer long before finally agreeing to a loan from Chelsea to Roma this season. He took his medicals for the Giallorossi on Wednesday and trained with the team, with only his imminent official announcement lacking as of this writing. The most primadonna star in Serie A joins the most primadonna manager in Serie A, and personally, I have stocked up on popcorn for this season.

As per Mourinho's standard method of complaining operating, Roma cleared out a bunch of players, but with FFP limitations, the players they brought in were mostly free transfers or loan deals. They did well enough, however, bringing in the aforementioned Belgian, as well as Leandro Paredes and Renato Sanches from PSG. They also signed Evan Ndicka, Diego Llorente, and Houssem Aouar on free transfers early on in the transfer window, amongst other signings.

Roma's big new signing.

Unfortunately, the changes have not been enough to start their season well, as they drew with Salernitana in week one, then lost 2-1 to 10 man Verona last week. The Roma team that Bruno Conti lined up for that match was: Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Llorente; Kristensen, Pellegrini, Paredes, Cristante, Zalewski; Dybala, and Belotti.  Mourinho was still serving a touchline ban that he earned last season with yet another controversy with a referee (who would have ever guessed?) He will return to the sidelines for our match, so I hope that Rapuano is ready for whatever insults "The Special One" has in store for him this time. Mourinho will be missing several important players to injury on Friday, however. Dybala was injured last week and will miss this one, and Mourinho will also be without Renato Sanches, Kumbulla, and Tammy Abraham, who is out long term with an ACL injury. It is also reported that Lukaku will not be on the bench yet for this match.

"The Special One" vs. The Not-suspended One.

Pioli was on the bench for both of Milan's first two matches, which were not only both wins, but gave Milan the best goal differential to start us out at the very top of the table. (I don't know how long this will last, so yes, I am putting this in a preview after only two matches.) He is also only missing one player to injury, Bennacer, so has all of the nine new players gifted him this summer to choose from.

He will no longer have Saelemaekers, who left this week for a loan with option to purchase to Bologna. With the transfer window ready to close, Milan have reportedly been working on signing a backup to Giroud. If that goes through, then Colombo is likely to go on loan again as well. Which would make 15 players out and 10 players into the first team this summer. That is a lot of change. But so far, so good, we are still scoring more goals than we concede, and that is okay for now. Plus, we have the exquisite away kits going for us.

Grazie, Saelemaekers. At least you got your 15 minutes of fame as captain.

This match will be a bigger test than the first two matches, playing Roma at the Olimpico. Not only are they a tougher opponent in a very difficult stadium, with their manager returning to the bench, but they will be hungry for more than just the one point they have achieved thus far. So even if there is a lot of news to happen before kickoff between European competitions and transfers, this match is coming at us fast. Here we go.

This post inspired by the music of Jane's Addiction's "Stop!"

AC Milan will play in Group F in the Champions League
with Donnarumma PSG, Borussia Dortmund, & Tonali Newcastle
(It is the group of ex-es: Dortmund is Pulisic's ex-team)

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 3
Roma vs. Milan
Friday, September 1, 2023 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
In the U.S., you can use a VPN to access a Serie A provider elsewhere
For example, sign up for BeIn Sports in Australia or SuperSport in South Africa,
they both use the World Feed commentary for Serie A, which is fantastic
(and they also do not sponsor Inter's kits)

Roma-Milan Preview: Here We Go Roma-Milan Preview: Here We Go Reviewed by Elaine on 3:00 AM Rating: 5
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