Milan, Roma try to keep focus

Rome, Italy (Sports Network) – Both AC Milan and Roma have big Champions League contests coming up this week, but they first must play each other in a Serie A showdown at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Milan will meet Bayern Munich and Roma takes on Manchester United in Europe’s premier soccer competition, but Milan first must make sure that they will qualify for the Champions League next season, as they are currently four points behind Palermo for the final spot.

An eight-point deduction for match-fixing at the start of the season has left the Rossoneri out of qualification at the present time, but with 10 games remaining and a struggling Palermo side within reach, Saturday’s game has a lot more meaning to the visitors.

Roma, meanwhile, have their Champions League place pretty much secured for next season. The club enters Saturday’s clash with a nine-point lead on third- placed Lazio, but is hopelessly stuck in second behind runaway-leaders Inter Milan, who have a whopping 18-point cushion.

Milan comes into the game with more urgency, but also more in the way of injuries to deal with. Manager Carlo Ancelotti will have to due without the services of suspended defender Daniele Bonera, while fellow back-line mate Kakha Kaladze will miss the game due to injury, and captain Paolo Maldini is questionable with a knee problem.

Roma boss Luciano Spalletti is likely to rest a number of players who have slight injuries ahead of the team’s Champions League showdown. Defenders Max Tonetto and Matteo Ferrari both have a small problem with muscle strains and will likely be held out, but the return to the back line of Cristian Chivu will provide a boost to Serie A’s top defensive team.

In Saturday’s other Serie A contest, relegation-battling Reggina, who is just one point clear of the drop zone, hosts Siena.

On Sunday, Fiorentina continue to battle for a spot in Europe and visit Atalanta, Cagliari hosts Messina, who is in the midst of a relegation struggle, Sampdoria looks to remain in the top half of the standings when they travel to Chievo and Empoli tries to hold on to their top-five ranking with a win on home soil against last-placed Ascoli. League-leaders Inter Milan can take another step towards the league crown with a home win against Parma, Livorno battles Catania Calcio at Armando Picchi, fourth-placed Palermo needs a win at Torino to hang on to its Champions League spot and third-placed Lazio takes to the road to meet Udinese.


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  • Stanley

    Roma should enjoy their moment in the sun back home in Italy & try to push for a win because I think ManU will teach them a thing or two when they meet up. One of the Italian teams might make it through this next round, but not both that’s for sure!

  • Spivey Point

    It’s unlikely both Roma & Milan will get through the final eight. I’m really interested in seeing if Valencia can keep it rolling & get through. They have a good side this year.

  • Hugo

    Milan is the better of the two remaining Italian sides in the Champions League. I think Roma has the more difficult task at hand having to face Manchester United. I don’t think United is just going to step aside & let Roma move on. Roma really has their work cut out for them that’s for sure.

  • David Jennings

    Good point. I think Roma have two hard games ahead of them against United. There’s been a lot of stick here at the forum against English sides but they sure can’t be that bad as out of the 8 remaining teams in the final 8, 3 of them are English sides & that say’s something. It sure is not luck.

  • wolfen

    It’s anyone’s game right now, no one thought Roma would make it past Lyon,and look at what happened,who would have thought Porto would have won a couple of years ago?,Milan has a good chance to go through,as does Chelsea and so on,I wouldn’t be suprised at anything at this point,sometimes playing with your heart means a lot,I wasn’t too familiar with the AS Roma squad till now and they have a good solid team,Totti is superb,De Rossi is awsome,Mancini and Pizarro are good, and the back line is awsome as well Panucci,Chivu,and Mexes are all experienced internationals,don’t be fooled,they have a solid team that plays together as a team.

  • soccer dr nyc

    what are you people watching man u teach roma a thing. look at the england team
    poor in euro 2008 all because of the epl
    kick and run soccer fast and foolish.roma will win man u cl for sure.larson is gone
    rooney no playing well.

  • Ronald

    dr nyc if the EPL is so bad how come 3 English sides are in the final 8? As for wolfen, .Roma is ok at best & Totti is not what he used to be & I think he’s in for a very tough run against United. The EPL is the richest league in the world with the best overall players’ & fans’! Eat your hearts’ out!

  • Kerry Tranberg

    I just saw on the news that the United fans’ that travel to Italy this week are going to be kept locked down in the stadium for a full 90 minutes after the game for their own safety. Wow! Can you imagine that. The police in the city where the game will be played don’t even trust their local fan’s. That’s just plain crazy! Now I understand why the majority of games in Italy are played to half empty stadiums. People must feel their lives are at risk going to games there. Tha’s sad & pretty bad that things are so out of control with fans’ in that country.

  • Santiago

    Yes lot’s of problems’ for football in Italy at the moment. It was a nice quiet Football country for a long time & now the fans’ there have become very violent. Hard to say what caused it but that’s why the stadiums are half empty for matches’. Maybe the average fan feel’s it has become to risky to go see a match so they stay home & watch it on tv. With all the scandals of last year & teams losing very good players’ to other leagues maybe fans’ there are just fed up. Hard to say actually.

  • wolfen

    Dear scotty: I never bashed the EPL,I like english soccer as much as any other league, why don’t you learn how to read before opening your mouth! You are bias and a know it all but obviously knows nothing!!, if you had a third of my soccer career I would be surprised

  • Scotty

    Calm down wolfen, I also have a right to an opinion. Believe it or not I do have soccer experience. I’m on the west coast & play in the PDL for the SF Valley Earth Quakes up front as a striker so I think it’s fair to say I might have a little more than a third of your experience & then some.

  • wolfen

    Hey scotty. I’m glad your’e playing,I miss the game tremendousley,I had the pleasure of using soccer to pay for college(scholarship) and play in semi-pro teams in the east coast till injuries held me back ,being from Irish descent I love european soccer,and follow it especially serie A,after Brady went there in the 80’s,regardless I respect everyone’s opinion and best of luck to you in your soccer.Scun thorpe united ??? never heard of them.

  • giova * * * *

    Roma 1 Man U 0

  • Scotty

    Your talking about Liam Brady right wolfen? That’s a little before my time but I’ve seen tapes & dvds’ of him he was a great player, very smart on & off the ball. Now Ireland, or should I say the two Irelands’ have two good squads at the moment. David Healy from Northern Ireland is on fire at the moment with Euro qualifying. 9 goals so far & two of them the other night against sweden. I’ve actually been to Ireland as though my Dad is from Scotland his Parents’ are from Ireland but I was born in Milan as my Mom is from Italy so I’ve been all over the place.Guess you could say I have a poison mix of cultures but it’s ok as where ever I have been I have soccer family that’s why I’m playing at the level I’m at now at a young age. As for Italian teams I have always pulled for Juve & Scotch teams I have always pulled for Celtic & English teams’ it’s always been Manchester United & Newcastle & I like Ajax from Holland. This team I’m on now is pretty good though I’m the youngest I still start. I hold my own & play with my head as my Dad has trained me like a professional since I started kicking a ball around & I have a clean sheet as a player, I’ve never been booked which is difficult sometimes as older players’ like to stick it to me. I think they get frustrated as I’m young & very fast. Some guys’ never grow up. I’m a big kid though, over 6 feet tall so I make them work to try & foul me. Glad to hear your a real player wolfen with experience. I respect that so you & I can agree that sometimes we will disagree which is alright. As for the other person I’ll just ignore him. I think he is an unhappy person which is too bad as life is short. The Manchester United/Roma game should be a good one though I’m not too sure who will win as both teams are even player wise across the board. The only edge I give to United is they have so many players’ that can score. Still it should be a good game.

  • Santiago

    I think this match is pretty much even. Though United have a few players’ with injuries they run deep & they are loaded with lot’s of players’ that score often. With Roma I think Totti is the only proven player that scores on a regular basis. It should be a good game. The Bayern/ Milan game should be an interesting one as well. I never though Bayern could pull it off over Madrid but I was wrong, they did.

  • wolfen

    Hi scotty: I truely hope you keep playing and pursue your dream,life is short and you have to take chances,as they don’t come often.I played even after the injury (but I was idle for 3 years)and lost everything,scouts etc..I played with lots of europeans,Italians mostly,Albanians,Irish and Germans regardless of what nationality we were we were one on the field,and that is the beauty of the game,a guy I played with at college is a big gun with the LA Galaxy,keep up the good work and someday who knows……as for Brady,yes it was him,I like Ajax too,because I still believe till today that Johan Crujiff was the best ever,anyone can win this CL,best wishes.

  • Scotty

    I’m with you on Cryuff. The only player now that seens to be on his level is United’s Ronaldo. I bet United are thanking their lucky stars that they have him still under contract for two more years beyond this season. Speaking of Ajax they won today! That one young player for them

  • Scotty

    Huntelaar scored two goals for them in two minutes! Pretty impressive! Glad to see Ajax are doing better. I’d like to see Ajax one day get back to that kind of soccer they had with the Cryuff era. They were a great team then.

  • soccer dr nyc

    iwish there was some way we could all show the soccer skills we have . i know what i can do ,anyway that why i know this game.
    roma 2 manu 1. huntelaar to barce very soon
    remember the ajax tenkate was at barce he is coming for sure huntelaar to barce

  • Scotty

    I show my skills every week as I play for SF Earth Quakes in he PDL in California. Don’t be too shocked if Huntelaar end’s up at United & as for United. Best not to write them off just yet. It’s going to be a hard fought match & I’m sure United is not going there to just lay down. If anything I’m sure Fergie has a good game plan & a few tricks up his sleave.

  • the kopper

    ok ok ok scotty. we get it. you play in the PDL…the only thing is…I think you’d get the team’s name right if you played for them. They are the ‘SFV Quakes’ not the ‘SF Earth Quakes’…just sayin

    As for the ManU/Roma. I can’t wait, it should be good. United is playing so well right now though. I expect a low scoring first leg…maybe a 0-0 or 1-0. But the real team are the REDS not the red devils. POOL are bringing their CL magic back from two years ago. Sorry PSV, your next!@

  • Scotty

    San Fernando is the vally! Callit what you like but we refer to ourselves as SF Earth Quakes. The United/Roma game should be a battle. United are missing at least two key backs so it will be interesting to see what Sir Alex comes up with on that back line. As far as scoring goes two thirds of United’s team scores goals. This past weekend 4 goals were scored by 4 different players’ so that’s a good thing for United. Roma as Totti though & if he’s given an inch of space anywhere near the goal it’s bad news for the team he’s playing against. This game is a toss up if you ask me. Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes will come out the better of the two. By the way kopper …I actually d play for the Quakes & I play up front. The youngest player in the squad.

  • For Scotty…

    Just wondering who you are? I WORK for the San Fernando Valley Quakes… and we don’t call ourselves the Earth Quakes, and we don’t have – and never have had – a player with the first name Scott.

  • the kopper

    whoa! I knew it. I knew he was lying! but wait he already disappeared…wait, no he didn’t, he just changed your name and story. what a coward..

  • giova * * * *

    Scotty, you suck, sorry.