Milan Coach Leonardo has not had much success with the team so far, only winning three games in Serie A and losing to Swiss minnows FC Zurich in the Champions League. A couple of players may not be playing at 100% because of last weekends draw against Ireland – Andrea Pirlo and Gianluca Zambrotta may be too drained to make a decent contribution. Roma only had one player on international duty, the young Danielle De Rossi has had all the time needed to recover his strength, and this match may not be as tough as you think. The Giallorossi are just coming off a 2-1 win over Napoli – while Milan just about managed a draw with Atalanta thanks to Ronaldinho. The Rossoneri will want to be in the news – but for football and not because of another scandal by Silvio Berlusconi – and beating Roma will help make them a newsworthy topic.
Andrea Pirlo put in an admirable performance against the Irish last weekend, playing in a more advanced role which allowed him more freedom to play his natural game – one might hope that Leonardo would have picked up on that. That is not all they should pick up. Milan Vice President Adriano Galliani has said that it is most likely that David Beckham will return to the Peninsula. His six month stay had been a herald of success and even helped him regain his spot in the England squad after a long absence. The threat of Becks coming back might even motivate Ronaldinho to consistently produce. He was not even supposed to be in the Milan side that drew against Atlanta, and there was a threat that he would be suspended for that game because he didn’t arrive for a training session. The fear of not playing may have been what motivated him to perform.
15 Zambrotta – 13 Nesta – 33 Silva – 18 Jankulovski
23 Ambrosini – 8 Gattuso – 21 Pirlo – 10 Seedorf
7 Pato – 11 Huntelaar
Roma are a club that may be in financial difficulty but do not lack the passion and desire to achieve great things. Claudio Ranieri has been given the task to re-build the empire to its former glory, and Francesco Totti is on the verge of signing a contract that will keep him there until 2014. For the Giallorossi, Totti is more than a mere footballer. He is an icon, and one who is considering a return to the national squad, which will mean that he should be playing at top form. What a better test of his skills than playing against Milan. There is also talk in the capital that Luca Toni may be arriving soon, a player that is also fighting for a spot for the Azzurri. To have players with the desire to get noticed by the national coach can make for a very interesting game.
77 Cassetti – 4 Juan – 5 Mexes – 17 Riise
14 Faty – 16 De Rossi – 20 Perrotta – 33 Brighi
9 Vucinic- 10 Totti
Both teams have been in the news lately, but for two very different reasons. One is in the news because of a political scandal while the other is in it for more positive reasons – a dramatic comeback by Totti. There has also been news that a certain Brazilian may be on the verge of return to Milan, though this time Adriano would appear on the red and black side. This could make this weekends game very interesting, as it will force Ronaldhinho to produce something spectacular or he runs the risk of losing his place in the starting eleven.
Milan will be looking to reaffirm their position for the Scudetto and try to win back the fans by winning the game and taking all three points. A win for the Rossoneri will certainly boost confidence, which they will need in abundance when they play Real Madrid in the Champions League. All eyes will be on Milan to produce something that is newsworthy, and something which is preferably football related.