As the new Serie A (SA) season gains momentum, all eyes are on Roma as they strive to clinch their first victory after a challenging start. The return of José Mourinho to the bench after serving a ten-day ban adds intrigue to their journey. However, with a pair of lackluster results (D1, L1), including a recent 2-1 loss against Hellas Verona, Roma faces the risk of an inauspicious record – failing to secure a victory in their opening three SA matches for the first time since the 2011/12 season.
A setback comes in the form of an injury to Paulo Dybala, further complicating Roma’s quest for success. Yet, the acquisition of Romelu Lukaku presents a glimmer of hope. Despite summer links to Inter and Juventus, Lukaku chose Italy’s capital as his new home. This move is expected to bolster the Giallorossi’s offense, a key area that lacked prowess in the previous season with a mere 28 SA home goals – ranking a modest tenth in the league.
AC Milan, in contrast, is riding high on their attacking prowess. A dominant 4-1 victory over Torino showcased the brilliant partnership of former Chelsea players Christian Pulišić and Olivier Giroud, building on their standout performances from the first round. Pulišić’s achievement of scoring in both of Milan’s opening SA matches joins him with an elite group of only four players in history. This remarkable feat has propelled Milan to a flawless start with two wins under their belt.
The memory of the 2021/22 SA season, which saw Milan claim the title after securing ten wins in their initial 11 matches, looms large. A 2-1 victory against Roma highlighted their early dominance. With Milan’s unbeaten head-to-head streak spanning seven matches since their last defeat in 2019, hopes are high for a similar outcome in this clash.
Key players to watch include Houssem Aouar, who recently opened his scoring account for Roma, displaying a penchant for 2-1 outcomes in four of his last five goalscoring matches. Olivier Giroud’s remarkable streak of scoring in each of his last five SA matches reflects his impressive form, reminiscent of his six-match streak with Arsenal in the Premier League back in 2015.
A notable statistic adds an element of suspense, with four of the last six head-to-head goals being netted after the 85th minute. As Roma and Milan gear up for this pivotal encounter, fans are poised for a thrilling contest that could redefine the trajectory of their respective seasons.
Roma possible starting lineup:
Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Diego Llorente; Karsdorp, Pellegrini, Paredes, Aouar, Spinazzola; Belotti, El Shaarawy
AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Hernandez; Loftus-Cheek, Krunic, Reijnders; Pulisic, Giroud, Rafael Leao
|Roma 1:2 AC Milan|
The match will be live-streamed on DAZN, Paramount+, and ESPN+ in the United States. It will also be available to stream on JK Sports360.