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AC Milan vs Roma: Preview and Prediction

AC Milan, who are likely to finish second in Serie A this season, host Roma, last season’s runners-up, at San Siro for the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

After dropping out of the Champions League, AC Milan have reached their first quarter-final of the second European competition since 2001/02, scoring seven goals in their home games against Rennes and Slavia Prague.

Next up is an opponent that the Rossoneri know well, as they will face Roma for the 198th time (84 wins, 62 draws, 51 defeats). However, this will be the first time ever on the continental stage! However, Milan have already faced Italian teams 13 times in Europe and have only lost three times (5 wins, 5 draws, 3 defeats). However, two of those defeats were at home!

Roma do not have as good a record as their hosts when facing other Italian teams in Europe (1 win, 1 draw, 2 defeats) but they go into this match with confidence after their 1-0 win in the Rome derby on Saturday. This victory allowed them to keep their place in the top 4 of Serie A. The Giallorossi booked their place in the quarter-finals by finishing second in their Europa League group (4 wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat) before winning in the knockout stages against Feyenoord and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Roma will probably be happy to have a home second leg as their European record at the Stadio Olimpico (4 wins, 1 draw in 90 minutes) contrasts sharply with their away results this season (1 win, 2 draws, 2 defeats). In fact, their win at Sheriff Tiraspol earlier this season was their only continental away win in their last nine games (4 draws, 4 defeats). This run is sure to add to the nerves ahead of Thursday’s game.

Players to watch: Ruben Loftus-Cheek is flourishing on the European stage. Four of his last five goals have been scored in the Europa League and three of them have been decisive victories! He will be looking to outdo Romelu Lukaku, who is hoping to win the Golden Boot in the competition (7 goals). He has never drawn against Milan in his career (7 wins, 3 defeats) and has contributed to seven goals in these matches (5 goals, 2 assists).

Hot stat: Milan have avoided defeat in nine of their last 11 first legs in a European competition (7 wins, 2 draws, 2 defeats).

Prediction

Predicting the exact score of a football match is difficult, but based on the information provided, here’s a breakdown of what we can expect:

AC Milan: Strong at home (7 goals scored in home games during the Europa League group stage) and have a good record against Italian teams in Europe (only 3 defeats in 13 matches).

Roma: Shaky away form (only 1 win in their last 9 European away games) but are coming off a confidence-boosting win in the Rome derby.

This suggests a close encounter with a slight advantage for Milan at home. Here are two possible scenarios:

AC Milan 2-1 Roma: A narrow win for Milan capitalizing on their home advantage.

AC Milan 1-1 Roma: A tight draw with both teams struggling to break each other down.

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