While the Italian league may have lost the global appeal of the bygone eras, it is still one of the most competitive leagues in European football.
In England, Manchester City have dominated the league, winning four titles in the last five years. Likewise, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have dominated the French and German leagues respectively.
On that front, the Italian league is a breath of fresh air. The country has seen four teams winning the title in the past four seasons.
Last season, Napoli finally broke their 32-year jinx to lift the Scudetto. AC Milan, who won the title in 2021/22, finished in fourth, 20 points behind Napoli.
Likewise, Inter Milan were also poor, but they did manage to reach the finals of the Champions League where they lost to Manchester City. AS Roma were very poor in the league last season, but they ended up in the finals of the Europa League where they lost to Sevilla.
The new season has started with a bang and the two Milan clubs have made a strong start already. The standout fixture will see the return of Jose Mourinho who has been serving a touchline ban following misdemeanours last season.
AS Roma preview
The Giallorossi have picked up just one point from their opening two games. They drew 2-2 against Salernitana and lost 2-1 against Verona, both are winnable games for Roma.
Mourinho will hope that new signing Romelu Lukaku will bring the much-needed inspiration to turn the season around. Roma will be without their talisman striker Tammy Abraham for long spells, as he is nursing a serious knee injury.
Lukaku, who joins from Chelsea on loan, is a known figure in Italy. He was brilliant during his time at Inter Milan. Mourinho – who brought him to Manchester United in 2017 – will look to bring the best out of him as the Portuguese doesn’t seem to keep huge faith in Andrea Belotti.
Roma have done decent business this summer. Apart from Lukaku, they have signed defensive midfielder Leandro Paredes from Paris Saint-Germain and Renato Sanches on loan from the same club.
The midfield has been further bolstered by Houssem Aouar from Lyon who joined on free transfer. There have been some notable departures as well like Justin Kluivert, but overall Roma have managed to keep hold of their best players.
Roma have never failed to win a single match in their opening three games since 2011-12, and Mourinho will be looking to return to winning ways. After signing Lukaku, AS Roma tickets for the Milan game are in high demand and it’s expected to be a sell-out.
AC Milan preview
Milan have made a perfect start to the season, winning both of their opening fixtures. They won 2-0 against Bologna and earned a comfortable 4-1 win against Torino.
Last season, Milan made a stuttering start to the campaign and they never really recovered to challenge Napoli. This time, they have added depth to their squad. The next two games will give an early indication that they are really ready for the title.
Milan will face Roma and Inter Milan in their upcoming two fixtures.
At the start of the summer transfer window, Milan suffered a huge blow after Sandro Tonali left the club to join Newcastle United. Milan have used the money wisely to sign players like Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea.
Samuel Chukwueze has joined from La Liga outfit Villarreal but he will need to keep fighting for his place. He is a fantastic player to watch, and he will get his chance to prove his class.
Milan also made a smart capture by landing Yunus Musah. The 20-year-old is a highly-rated central midfielder. A host of clubs in the Premier League were keen to sign the former Valencia midfielder, but Milan got his signature in the end.
Likewise, the forward line has been bolstered by the capture of Noah Okafor who joined from RB Salzburg. Olivier Giroud is getting better with age like old wine, but Milan needed depth in their attacking areas, and they Okafor will provide them the extra bit of quality.
Tijjani Reijnders joined from AZ Alkmaar in the summer. The midfield duo of Reijnders and Loftus-Cheek has made a big impact for Milan already, and early signs suggest that Piolli got his transfers spot on.
It wasn’t an easy task to replace a player like Tonali, but Milan deserve credit for the several smart additions they have made. The window could get really better for them if they can sign Porto striker Mehdi Taremi before the transfer deadline day.
AS Roma team news
Roma will be without Argentine forward Paulo Dybala for this match. He picked up a thigh problem in the previous game and won’t be fit to play against the Milan giants.
Dybala is not the only one suffering from health issues, left-back Nicola Zalewski also picked up a concussion. He is also likely to be rested for this game. In his absence, Mourinho could turn to Liandro Spinazzola.
Mourinho will be terribly frustrated to find that new signing Sanches has returned to the treatment table again. He has only played 26 minutes in a Roma shirt. Last season, he also had injury issues at PSG.
Both Abraham and Marash Kumbulla are long-term absentees. They are joined by Sardar Azmoun in the treatment room. It will be interesting to see if Mourinho brings Lukaku into the starting line-up straight away.
AS Roma predicted line-up:
Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Diego Llorente; Karsdorp, Pellegrini, Paredes, Aouar, Spinazzola; Belotti, El Shaarawy
AC Milan team news
Milan are winning at the moment, and Stefano Piolli probably will not make big changes to the side. After losing Sandro Tonali to Newcastle in the summer, many thought the Rosonnerri could find it really difficult to replenish the void.
However, former Chelsea duo Loftus-Cheek and Pulisic have been outstanding so far, along with Reijnders in midfield. The duo has proved to be an inspired signing, with Pulisic especially finding his feet very quickly.
AC Milan predicted line-up:
Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Hernandez; Loftus-Cheek, Krunic, Reijnders; Pulisic, Giroud, Rafael Leao
Prediction: Roma always find a way to score at home and expect them to score as well against Milan, especially if Lukaku can get back to some sort of form. At the same time, Milan are in terrific form at the moment, and they are riding high on momentum. Expect a 2-1 win for the visitors.
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