NEWS
Sunday February 28 2021
Line-ups: Roma v Milan

It’s a massive game for the top four, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Borja Mayoral lead Roma with a makeshift defence against Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Milan, who drop Alessio Romagnoli.

It kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico at 19.45 GMT.

You can follow the build-up and action as it happens on the LIVEBLOG.

The pressure is on both teams to deliver, because Milan could drop seven points behind leaders Inter, while a win would propel Roma into third place, just two adrift of the Rossoneri.

It’s also a battle between the best home and away records in Serie A this season, and two sides who qualified for the Europa League Round of 16.

Roma are forced into using a makeshift defence, as Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez and Davide Santon are still out injured, with Marash Kumbulla recovering only for a spot on the bench.

Federico Fazio is therefore given his second start after last week’s surprise pick, returning Leonardo Spinazzola to the left wing, with Gianluca Mancini and ex-Milan man Bryan Cristante in the back three.

Edin Dzeko and Nicolò Zaniolo are also out of action, so Borja Mayoral is supported by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Former Milan star Stephan El Shaarawy is on the bench and hoping to make an impact.

Milan are still missing Ismael Bennacer and Mario Mandzukic, while confidence is low after a series of poor results, including Thursday’s 1-1 against 10-man Red Star Belgrade.

Alessio Romagnoli has been criticised by fans and pundits alike in recent weeks, so Stefano Pioli has taken a bold step and dropped the captain against his old club, favouring Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads the attack with support from Alexis Saelemaekers, Hakan Calhanoglu and Ante Rebic.

It’s going to be a strange week coming up for Ibra, as he’ll spend the next five days at the Sanremo Music Festival, interrupting it only for the midweek match against Udinese.

He will have a personal trainer with him throughout the experience.

Roma: Pau Lopez; Mancini, Cristante, Fazio; Karsdorp, Villar, Veretout, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Borja Mayoral

Roma bench: Fuzato, Mirante, Juan Jesus, Kumbulla, Bruno Peres, Diawara, Pastore, Pedro, Carles Perez, El Shaarawy

Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic

Milan bench: A Donnarumma, Tatarusanu, Dalot, Gabbia, Kalulu, Romagnoli, Castillejo, Brahim Diaz, Hauge, Krunic, Meite, Leao

Ref: Guida