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Week 15’s narrow and mostly unimpressive win vs Crotone carried some controversy as Niang took the ball away from Lapadula as the latter picked up the ball to take the penalty awarded to Milan. Niang missed the penalty but Lapadula rescued Milan with a late goal. In the absence of both Bonaventura and Mati due to injury the midfield trio consisting of Sosa, Locatelli and Pasalic seemed lightweight and questionable.
The two players have not recovered and will almost certainly miss a second match in a row. Kucka may have been the alternative but he is suspended and Bertolacci who recently returned to the squad after a long term injury may be as well. However, many indications are that the midfield might remain the same to start the match, or possibly Sosa making way for Bertolacci as some sources claim.
Other absentees include Bacca meaning Lapadula gets another start. The Colombian’s future at Milan is still in question and circumstances off the pitch may dictate his Milan fate. There is a chance that he will be sold in January to raise money while the Chinese sales saga drags on.
Niang may also give way and start on the bench, possibly giving Honda a rare start.
Roma are missing Leandro Paredes, Mohamed Salah and Alessandro Florenzi and for half the week it seemed that Kevin Strootman will miss this and Roma’s next vs Juventus after being suspended for squirting water at Lazio players in Roma’s week 15 match. His ban was somewhat controversially overturned and he will start for Roma. Roma, of course, feature Edin Dzeko, Serie A’s co-top scorer at the week 16 mark (12 goals) and are tied with Milan with 32 points.