AC Milan vs. Roma, Preview: Victory sends Milan back into the Champions League

Paolo Bruno

Two of the form sides of the second half of the Serie A season meet with both sides needing victory to boost their respective European ambitions for next season.

In different circumstances, this match could've been a play-off for the final Champions League spot in Serie A, but Roma conspired to lose to Chievo in midweek with Milan winning, meaning in reality ten points separate the sides in the table. The Rossoneri sit four points above Fiorentina meaning that a victory here would guarantee their place in the play-off round for the Champions League next season. In midweek, they trounced already-relegated Pescara 4-0 with Mario Balotelli grabbing a brace and the in-form Mathieu Flamini scoring his fourth goal in five matches, having managed just three in his 87 other Milan appearances.

Having helped MIlan's European ambitions by beating Fiorentina last weekend, Roma could now throw a spanner in the works by taking points off them here. Roma have their own ambitions of continental play after a dramatic upsurge in form under Aurelio Andreazzoli has seen them climb the table, losing only three times since he took over. Crucially, one of those losses was in midweek as Chievo smash-and-grabbed their way to a 1-0 victory with a last-minute goal, meaning that fellow climbers Udinese took over sixth place however Roma have another opportunity to go into the Europa League with the Coppa Italia final against city rivals Lazio taking place in two weeks' time.

Both of these sides have been in good form lately and hopes are high for an entertaining contest. Roma struggled in midweek against Chievo's packed five man defence but Milan will undoubtedly come forward more than the Flying Donkeys, hopefully leaving Roma a bit of space to operate in and affording both sides the opportunity to attack.

Milan will be without Riccardo Montolivo and Bojan Krkic and have a host of players in doubt, similarly Roma have a number of players who's participation hangs in the balance, whilst Bogdan Lobont should continue in goal due to Maarten Stekelenburg's injury.

Milan injuries and suspensions

Out: Nigel De Jong, Riccardo Montolivo, Bojan Krkic (injured). In doubt: Philippe Mexes, Mario Balotelli, Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Bonera, Ignazio Abate, Luca Antonini

Roma injuries and suspensions

Out: Maarten Stekelenburg (injured). In doubt: Alessio Romagnoli, Vasilis Torosidis, Pablo Osvaldo, Daniele De Rossi, Alessandro Florenzi, Miralem Pjanic, Federico Balzaretti

Match date/time: Sunday 12th May 2013, 8:45pm local, 2:45pm E.T.

Venue: San Siro, Milan

TV: Sky Sport 1 Italia, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio, Premium Calcio (Italy), beIN Sport, RAI Internazionale (USA), ESPN UK/HD (UK)

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