Football Italiano’s 500 five – Roma and Milan set for battle

The clash between Roma and Milan will decide the number one contender for Inter’s title.

Adriano Galliani, Milan’s Vice President, has kicked off the pre-game banter by claiming that Milan and Roma are the two most appealing sides to watch in Serie A. This Saturday is likely to decide which of these two sides will prove to be Inter’s competitor for the Scudetto. After last week’s slip up at Napoli, it would be disastrous for Roma to lose more points at home against Milan in their bid for the title. Milan on the other hand are likely to have their minds on their Champions League encounter with Manchester United when they take on the Giallorossi. It promises to be a highly entertaining encounter as both these teams are predominantly attack minded and with so much at stake they are likely to go all out for victory.

There is good news for Roma as they will welcome back Luca Toni to their squad after the Italian was sidelined for the last five weeks through injury. Toni may not start the game on his comeback but he should feature in the game at some stage or the other. Conversely Milan will be sweating about the fitness of Pato, the Brazilian injured himself in last week’s win over Atalanta and will most definitely this game. However all efforts will be on in Milanello to get the Duck fit for midweek European action. Both teams will also be hoping that none of their players who are on international duty today pick up any knocks.

The form guide going into this game is decidedly in favour of Roma as the Giallorossi are unbeaten in the league since the end of October. However, Claudio Ranieri’s side lost both home and away to Panathinaikos in the Europa League and looked vulnerable again at the weekend against Napoli. In fact Roma has conceded eight goals in their last four games and Ranieri must be hoping for a quick turnaround against Milan. The Rossoneri are on a good run in the league and have won four games on a trot leading into this game. With the exception of the unfortunate loss to Manchester United in the Champions League, Milan have impressed in recent games. But it must be said here that Pato has been at the center of Il Diavolo’s success as he has scored half of Milan’s goals in the previous four encounters. In such circumstances, his absence will be acutely felt by Leonardo.

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There is a lot riding on this game as both teams will be equally keen to knock Inter off their perch at the top. The Nerazzurri face Genoa at home and that is never an easy fixture. Curiously enough though Roma and Milan are undoubtedly two of the best teams to watch in the Serie A, both have scored fewer times than Inter. With Roma now out of the Europa League, they will be more charged up to make an impression in the league. Milan may be only four points off Inter at this time but with the crucial Champions League game coming up, they may have their foot off the gas for this one. Either way, it should be an exciting game to watch and should provide plenty of action.

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