Roma v Milan - Chase on at the top
AC Milan take on high-flying Roma on Saturday in another action packed weekend of Serie A fixtures.
New Milan manager, Filippo Inzaghi, must get his tactics perfectly right in order stifle a Roma side that has been playing with plenty of entertaining performances, with their high-scoring offensive line and physical defence proving a huge success this campaign.
The Rossoneri have been struggling this season, having only won twice in their past six Serie A matches, meaning a further slide down the table and a massive gap opening between them and the top five in the standings.
Roma currently occupy the second spot, behind only leaders Juventus in the table as the Christmas period draws near, but Inzaghi’s side are faltering four places below their rivals in 6th place.
The away side desperately need a good result to maintain a positive mentality going into the winter break and into the new calendar year. It’s the home team who will take confidence going into the clash, with Milan having not beaten La Maggica in the domestic league since March 2012.
Last term, remarkable Roma managed to take four points from the sides two league meetings, goals from Gervinho and Miralem Pjanic sealing a 2-0 victory in the most recent fixture.
Milan bounced back from their disappointing defeat to Genoa with a 2-0 win against Napoli at the San Siro in their last outing. But there was no place in the squad for Fernando Torres, who could be heading for a January exit despite being just six months into a two-year loan deal, after the club revealed he was suffering from flu-like symptoms.
Jeremy Menez opened the scoring after just six minutes, some swift reactions and quicker feet took him past Kalidou Koulibaly before calmly finishing his one-on-one against Rafael Cabral.
Meanwhile, Rudi Garcia's men overcame Genoa 1-0 on the road to end their hosts' nine-match unbeaten run in Serie A and close in on Juve. Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin received his marching orders with only 29 minutes played after bringing Radja Nainggolan down in the box, but Adem Ljajic saw his penalty saved by replacement stopper Eugenio Lamanna.
Nevertheless, Roma ultimately secured three points, just before the break, after Nainggolan bagged an acrobatic volley from the edge of the area, leaving Genoa fifth and Garcia's side on 35 points.
For the latest updates on these two European giants, plus all the others involved this season, fans can check Coral for regular news, odds and information.
The crucial encounter at the Olimpico will prove vital in both the challenge for the title and the race for a Champions League spot. Roma will be aiming to overtake league leaders Juventus with a victory, as only a single point separates the two sides pushing for the Serie A championship title. Struggling Milan are two points adrift of Sampdoria, who occupy the final Champions League place, with Lazio presently in third on goal difference.
The away side have emerged triumphant on only one occasion in the last 10 meetings in Rome, showing a tough test for Inzaghi’s under pressure side.