Week 35: Milan – Roma
Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.
Dropping points versus lowly teams has become a major issue for Milan. The 1-1 tie vs Crotone reduces the chances of making it to the Europa League next season, a target that new CEO Marco Fassone has repeatedly stressed is very important. As is it is already unlikely that the fifth placed team, Atalanta five points ahead of Milan, can be caught with so few games left. Milan’s only route to European football next season may be via an extra spot due to both Juventus and Lazio contesting the Coppa Italia final being ahead of Milan and top five in Serie A.
Romagnoli will miss another game and the poor and mistake prone duo of Paletta and Zapata will face a much stronger team in Roma. In midfield Kucka is suspended as a result of his two yellows against Crotone. Sosa however is back from suspension – as is De Sciglio – and is likely to start at the expense of Locatelli. The continual light use of Locatelli is something that adds a few questions for Montella to answer. Up front Bacca continues to add very little and Lapadula may start again. Roma are coming off a 1-3 home loss to Lazio and have Antonio Rudiger and Kevin Strootman serving suspensions.
Having said all that, the summer transfer activity is capturing a lot of fans’ attention. Whether the promised millions, as high as €150 million according to many rumours, will really materialize is up to question, as is the ability of Milan to attract top players. For now players like Franck Kessie and Lorenzo Pellegrini are the subject of most rumours. Fassone has also said that the aim is to build a strong Milan ready for the Champions League. It remains to be seen how easily that can happen with players like the two aforementioned midfielders. Mateo Kovacic may be difficult to pry away from Real Madrid but is a better option. Up front a top class replacement for Bacca will be needed but whether one can be found is difficult to tell, many fans hope of the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but that is not very realistic. At the back a partner for Romagnoli is near the top of team need and Mateo Musacchio continues to be linked. Lots to be done to take Milan back into Europe.