Match Time: 6/28/2020 23:15 Sunday(GMT+8)
AC Milan will be looking to keep alive their slim European prospects when they welcome Roma to San Siro on Sunday afternoon. The Rossoneri beat Lecce 4-1 in their return to Serie A action last weekend and are eighth in the table, nine points off fifth-place opponents Roma.
One win from five games prior to the three-month hiatus, culminating in a 2-1 home loss at home to lowly Genoa, saw the pressure grow on Milan boss Stefano Pioli. Despite the comfortable win over Lecce in their first game back, it is looking increasingly likely as though Pioli will be replaced by Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season. Pioli, who brushed aside those rumours in the week, is now seeking successive wins for the first time since January in the hope of breaking into the top seven. Finishing seventh would be enough for Europa League football next term thanks to Napoli's Coppa Italia triumph last week, but the Champions League is well out of their reach. That is not the case for Roma, who still have hope of catching Atalanta BC in fourth place to secure a place in UEFA's flagship competition next season. Paulo Fonseca's side beat Sampdoria 2-1 in their first game back to remain fifth, a position that they have found themselves in since the start of February.
Edin Dzeko scored twice in the final 25 minutes to cancel out Manolo Gabbiadini's opener for Sampdoria, making it five games without defeat for Roma in all competitions. The Giallorossi will have to keep that run going if they are to make up the six-point gap on Atalanta in the remaining 11 fixtures. This weekend's trip to San Siro, while a daunting fixture on the face of it, presents a good opportunity to put three more points on the board. As well as losing to Genoa in their most recent home league outing, Milan have also dropped points to Hellas Verona, Sampdoria, Sassuolo, Napoli and Lazio at San Siro since early November. The Rossoneri have scored only 13 goals in their first 13 home games of this campaign - their worst such total since 1997-98 (12) - and that is ultimately what may cost Pioli his job. As for Roma, they are flying high under Fonseca and will not give up hope of breaking into the top four, knowing that they already have the safety net of a place in the Europa League barring a huge collapse.
AC Milan's Serie A form: DLWDLW
AC Milan's (all competitions): DWDLDW
Roma's Serie A form: LLLWWW
Roma's form (all competitions): LWWDWW
Milan centre-back Simon Kjaer is reported to have avoided ligament damage after picking up an injury against Lecce, but Pioli is unlikely to take any risks on Sunday. Leo Duarte is also carrying a knock, so Matteo Gabbia has been tipped to come in alongside Alessio Romagnoli for just his third Serie A start. Veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still out of action, but Ante Rebic has more than filled the gap, scoring 44% of Milan's total league goals this calendar year.
Roma have Gianluca Mancini back from injury and Fonseca may also make further changes to his lineup. Carles Perez and Javier Pastore started last time out but could be replaced here by Cengiz Under and Lorenzo Pellegrini. Up top, Dzeko has scored four goals against Milan in Serie A, three of which have come at San Siro.
AC Milan possible starting lineup: Donnarumma; Conti, Gabbia, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Castillejo, Calhanoglu, Bonaventura; Rebic
Roma possible starting lineup: Mirante; Zappacosta, Smalling, Mancini, Kolarov; Veretout, Cristante; Under, Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko
AC Milan VS AS Roma
Handicap Pick: AS Roma +0