>AS Roma vs AC Milan Preview and Pick

AS Roma at AC Milan 9 AM ET Sunday May 24, 2009
by Jason Green of Predictem.com

In a big Italian Series A game AC Milan hosts AS Roma on Sunday afternoon. With a win AC Milan can secure a 2nd place finish in the league, as Inter Milan has already won the Series A title. This game may be bigger for Roma, as they are currently in 6th position in and they need to move up in order secure European play next season. This will be the last home match at San Siro for Milan legend Paolo Maldini, who will be retiring at season’s end.

Juventus is 3 points behind Milan and Fiorentina is only 4 points behind them, so the last 2 matches for Milan are important. The Italian giants are have not locked up bypassing the preliminary qualifying rounds in next season’s Champions League. Milan is not in the best form, as they drew with Juventus 2 weeks back and lost to Udinese last week, which secured the title for Inter Milan.

Roma has had a disappointing season and departing players, as well as not bringing new solid ones in have hurt them. This season the problem for Roma has not been their offense, but rather their defense. To date they have allowed 57 goals and they have only scored 58. OK, so they have had their share of injuries, but this Roma team is far from the one that has challenged Inter for the league title in the past few years. The Roma defense is what may keep them playing in competition in Europe next season. Since they are in 6th place they ae currently in position to qualify for the new Europa League, which is the new version of the UEFA Cup, but if they finish the season poorly they will not qualify, as both Palermo and Udinese can surpass them and take their place.

Milan is posted as the home favorites in this match at 1.8 and Roma as the away underdogs posted at 4.75 with a draw at 3.35.

Milan Recent Form:

19/04 Milan 5-1 Torino
26/04 Milan 3-0 Palermo
3/05 Catania 0-2 Milan
10/05 Milan 1-1 Juventus
16/05 Udinese 2-1 Milan

Roma Recent Form:

19/04 Roma 3-2 Lecce
25/04 Fiorentina 4-1 Roma
3/05 Roma 0-0 Chievo
10/05 Cagliari 2-2 Roma
16/05 Roma 4-3 Catania

Milan will not be at full strength for this match, as Marco Borriello, Christian Abbiati, and Kakha Kaladze are all done for the season. Gennaro Gattuso and Alessandro Nesta have been training, but they will probably not play in this match.

Returning from suspension are David Beckham and Giuseppe Favalli, so that will help them in this match.

Kaka is at full strength in this match and he, Seedorf, and Filippo Inzaghi will be counted on to provide the offense for Milan.

Roma is hurting in this match, especially on defense, as Cicinho, Max Tonetto, Juan and G Alexander Doni are out and MF Alberto Aquilani will also not play in this game.

For Roma they go how F Francesco Totti goes. He has led Roma in goals, yet again, and he will have to set the tone and set up or score some goals for the visitors in this match. Totti’s offense will decided whether or not Roma gets any points from this match. If Totti scores early and Roma takes the lead look for them to drop back and try to protect their lead.

Jason’s Pick: San Siro will be packed for this game, as they want to see off long-time captain Paolo Maldini with a home win. Even though the Milan attack is struggling lately I look for them to score at least 2 goals against a weak Roma defense. I see a 2-0 Milan win in this match.