AC Milan (+178) vs Roma (+187), Draw (+261)
AC Milan (4-0-2, 12 points) host Roma (4-0-1, 12 points) this Sunday (October 1st) in an important Serie A fixture. Both sides are six points from the top of the table and need to stop leaking points in order to compete with Juventus and Napoli, who both sport a perfect 6-0-0 record to date.
In an attempt to reclaim their place at the top of Europe (or, at the very least, contest the Serie A title once again), AC Milan went all out over the summer to improve their squad. But so far the club has had mixed results.
Even after picking up Juve’s Leonardo Bonucci (€42 million), the Milan defense remains leaky. They’ve conceded eight goals in six league matches and their crushing 4-1 loss against Lazio placed their defensive weaknesses on full display.
This is surprising given the money they’ve spent strengthening their backline. Along with Bonucci, they went big on three other defenders — Atalanta’s Andrea Conti (€25 million), Villarreal’s Mateo Musacchio (€18 million), and Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodríguez (€18 million). On top of that, they managed to hold onto goalkeeping prodigy Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Roma finished last season in second place in Serie A, falling four points short of ending Juve’s five-season reign. But their season-ending four game win streak (which included a brilliant 3-1 win over Juve) wasn’t enough to overcome the Italian giants.
They weren’t nearly as active as Milan over the transfer period, but they also required fewer changes. Edin Dzeko remains their star striker, with six goals in five league matches, and Radja Nainggolan is still their main man in midfield. The absence of Mohamed Salah and Antonio Rüdiger has been noticeable this season, but Roma seems to be doing alright without them.
With their new signings, AC Milan could go on to become a top-flight Serie A club once again. But it’s going to take some time before they get there. The backline is still disorganized and they lack a world-class finisher. I expect that to come back to haunt them when they take on Roma, so back I Giallorossi if and when you wager on this game at one of the best online sportsbooks.
Pick: Roma (+187)