Preview: Roma vs. AC Milan

Preview: Roma vs. AC Milan

Jose Mourinho will return to the sidelines for Roma’s home clash with AC Milan on Friday night in Serie A.

In one of the standout fixtures in a stacked looking weekend of Serie A action, Milan’s faultless start has them as slight favourites on their trip to the Italian capital.

Mourinho is already under scrutiny after a poor start for Roma in his absence, as he has been serving a touchline ban following misdemeanours last season.

The Roma boss will hope the loan signing of Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea can improve their fortunes, especially with Tammy Abraham out long-term with a serious knee injury.

Despite two goals on the opening day, Andrea Belotti has never been to Mourinho’s liking, so Lukaku will reunite with the manager who brought him to Manchester United back in 2017.

Many new faces have come through the door at Roma this summer, but Mourinho has been brutally honest in stating they are all players with a point to prove, as – in his words – no player who showed great form last season would have wanted to join the club.

Lukaku did show some promising signs in a largely frustrating season, starring late on in the Serie A campaign as Inter Milan secured Champions League football again, but his nightmare performance in the final still lingers in the memory.

For Houssem Aouar, Leandro Paredes, Renato Sanches and Sardar Azmoun though, all arrived out of form, with the latter two also currently out injured.

Mourinho needs a response from his side after picking up just one point from two winnable opening games this season.

Former Lazio man Antonio Candreva returned to the Stadio Olimpico and put on a dazzling display to earn Salernitana a 2-2 draw against the Giallorossi on the opening day.

Roma then slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the Bentegodi against Hellas Verona, with a woeful first-half performance turning out to be damaging.

Not since the 2011-12 season have Roma failed to win any of their first three league games, and they face a difficult task in avoiding repeating that feat.

Preview: Roma vs. AC Milan – prediction, team news, lineups

That is due to AC Milan’s fantastic start which has them top with a perfect record so far, and the league’s best goal difference.

French duo Mike Maignan and Olivier Giroud played their part at either end of the pitch to earn Stefano Pioli’s men a 2-0 win at Bologna to start the season.

New signing Christian Pulisic also scored on debut, and he netted another in a 4-1 thrashing of Torino last weekend.

The US international became just the fifth player in Milan’s history to score in his first two league games for the club, as Giroud also converted two penalties in the rout to move top of the Serie A scoring rankings.

Milan, along with Napoli, Verona and Inter, are the four sides with maximum points, but the Rossoneri have looked the most impressive, given the manner of their successes.

Roma Serie A form:

AC Milan Serie A form:

We say: Roma 1-2 AC Milan
Roma have found the net in 20 of their previous 21 home matches, while there have been three or more goals in nine of their last 10, and if they can get Lukaku on the pitch at any point, that will also heighten their goal threat.

However, despite winning only three of their final 14 away games last season, Milan have started brilliantly and have not lost to Roma since October 2019, winning four and drawing three in the seven meetings since.

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