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The Elimination Game: Roma v Milan

am-milan-ultrasThis weekend’s meeting between Roma and Milan in the Eternal City is being called “The Elimination Game” because the losing manager will probably be fired.

AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic and Roma counterpart Rudi Garcia are under huge pressure after disappointing results on Wednesday when Serie A resumed after the winter break.

Milan lost at home 1-0 to Bologna on Wednesday, a result that dropped the Rossoneri to seventh place, 10 points below the Champions League spots.

Roma is also full of problems following a 3-3 draw at Chievo Verona in which it squandered a two-goal lead. Having begun the season as a title contender, the Giallorossi are now fifth and still struggling to overcome the psychological blow of a 6-1 rout by Barcelona in the Champions League.

Neither Mihajlovic nor Garcia is giving in, however.

“I’m not going to put a bandage on my head before breaking it,” Mihajlovic said. “I’m focusing on Roma and then we’ll see what happens in the future.”

Mihajlovic pointed out that Milan has been playing without key forwards Jeremy Menez and Mario Balotelli, who have each been out injured.

Balotelli, who has been out since September, is expected back from pelvis surgery next week.

“We’re not scoring enough goals — that’s the problem,” Mihajlovic added, referring to the squad’s 24 goals scored and 22 conceded.

You know a manager is grasping for straws when he is hoping that Super Mario is the answer to his goalscoring problems!

Roma’s problem is at the other end of the pitch as they have have conceded too many goals. The 21 conceded so far this season is 10 more than leaders Inter have let in.

“It’s OK,” Garcia said of the three goals conceded to Chievo. “We were coming off four matches where we didn’t concede a goal and we rediscovered our offensive verve. … But clearly these were two points lost and that burns. We need to use this as motivation against Milan.”