The race for the Serie A title intensifies once again this weekend as AS Roma and AC Milan clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
Currently sitting in the top four, both sides still have a realistic chance of lifting the title. Milan occupy second spot, just four points behind great rivals Inter, whilst Roma are two places and five points behind. Whilst their nine-point deficit at the current time might well rule them out of contention, a win against Stefano Pioli’s troops could suggest they won’t be going away without a fight. As it stands, the capital club are at large odds of 45/1 with Paddy Power to win the league come the end of the campaign, whilst AC Milan are far more fancied at 11/1.
Despite that, the visitors come into this game in somewhat indifferent form. Their 1-1 draw against Crvena Zvezda in the Europa League means that they have just won two out of their last eight matches in all competitions. Roma meanwhile are in fine fettle, winning five out of their last seven matches in all competitions – the only blots on their copy book being a defeat to Juventus and a stalemate against Benevento. On current form then, Roma are favourites to claim victory on Sunday – and the bookmakers agree. The hosts sit at a price of 7/5 with William Hill to win, with AC Milan less favoured at 2/1. A draw can be backed at 11/5.
Whatever the scoreline, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will surely want to be involved once again. The Swedish striker scored twice in the dramatic 3-3 draw between the two sides earlier in the season, netting in just the second minute of the game. He can be backed at a price of 7/2 with Betfair to score the opening goal of the game this time around. Meanwhile, his opposite number Edin Dzeko has not scored in each of his last six league games but played a pivotal role in Roma’s victory against SC Braga in the UEFA Europa League. The Bosnian might well be an outside bet to score first, also at a price of 7/2.
In injury news, Pioli only has a few problems to concern him for the game with Daniel Maldini, Ismael Bennacer and Mario Mandzukic all remaining ruled out. The news is not so positive for Roma though who are suffering somewhat of a crisis in defence. Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez, Davide Santon and Riccardo Calafiori all remain restricted to the sidelines, whilst Marash Kumbulla is a doubt. Midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo remains out with a cruciate ligament rupture.