Europa League

Europa League – AC Milan vs AS Roma: Preview & Predicted Lineups

RomaPress Staff
I

Tonight’s Europa League quarterfinal presents a captivating showdown as Milan welcomes Roma to the iconic San Siro for the first of two encounters. The tie is not just a battle for a place in the semifinals, but also a storied rivalry, adding a layer of intensity to the proceedings.

With Milan winning both league fixtures this season, the Giallorossi will have revenge on their minds as they face Stefano Pioli’s men for the first time with Daniele De Rossi on the bench.

Tonight’s match is schedule to kick-off at 20.00 CET at San Siro in Lombardia.

Milan

After a rollercoaster first half of the season, Milan have shown resilience in recent months, overtaking Juventus for second in the Serie A table. They’ve only lost three games since the start of the New Year across all competitions and seem revitalised under Stefano Pioli.

Moreover, the Rossoneri won’t be short on confidence given they easily swept aside Roma in both league encounters this season—defeating the capital side 2-1 in September then 3-1 in mid-January. However, Pioli admitted they’re unsure what to expect on Thursday since it’s the first time they’ll face Roma under manager Daniele De Rossi.

“It will be difficult, the important thing is to keep playing regardless of the ebbs and flows of the game, and believe in our strength,” Pioli told reporters in his pre-match press conference.

“I expect the best version of Roma. They are in good form and are coming off an important win in the Derby and their only loss was against Inter. They’ve changed a lot since Mourinho’s departure so we didn’t re-analyse our two league wins, only the games with De Rossi on the bench.”

Adding, “De Rossi is doing a great job but I’m not strictly talking about their playing style. Rather, he’s found a way to get the team to give him their total availability.”

“Tactically, though, Roma were always tough to break down since Mourinho defended with so many players. It won’t be easy for us especially not knowing what choices De Rossi will make.”

As for his team, Pioli will have to deal with multiple absences in defence with Fikayo Tomori suspended while Pierre Kalulu remains out injured. Though, Malick Thiaw is back and available after missing last weekend’s league win over Lecce due to plantar fasciitis.

Roma

Meanwhile, the visitors are riding high coming into Thursday’s first leg as they continued their rebirth under manager Daniele De Rossi.

The Giallorossi won 1-0 over rivals Lazio on Sunday evening, marking their first win in the Derby della Capitale since March 2022. The win put them back on track and improved their record to 10W-3D-2L since De Rossi’s appointment three months ago.

Despite their recent success, Roma have faced significant struggles against Milan, winless in their previous nine meetings.

“Of the remaining sides, AC Milan is one of the strongest. Aside from the advantages of being well acquainted with them, we would have wished to avoid them because they are so strong,” De Rossi said prior to the game.

“They have their weaknesses but also many strengths, their negative run seems to be over but we are ready to get them in trouble.”

Like his counterpart, De Rossi will be missing a couple key names, notably first-choice central defender Evan Ndicka, who’s suspended for the match. In addition, backup striker Sardar Azmoun is still out injured from the hamstring injury suffered during the recent international break.

With Ndicka out, De Rossi is expected to rely on veteran Chris Smalling alongside Gianluca Mancini with Zeki Celik and Leonardo Spinazzola occupying the fullback positions.

Predicted Lineups

MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Gabbia, Theo Hernandez; Bennacer, Reijnders; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Leao; Giroud

Unavailable: Fikayo Tomori, Tommaso Pobega, Pierre Kalulu

ROMA (4-3-3): Svilar; Celik, Mancini, Smalling, Spinazzola; Cristante, Paredes, Pellegrini; Dybala, Lukaku, El Shaarawy

Unavailable: Sardar Azmoun, Dean Huijsen, Rasmus Kristensen, Evan Ndicka

Match Center

MatchDay 38
26 May 20:45
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