Stadio Alberto Braglia, Modena
Sunday 6th Dec, 2015, 20:45 GMT
AC Milan had a stuttering start to their campaign under new manager Sinisa Mihajlovic but recent form has improved and with a favourable run of games until Christmas, the Rossoneri will be confident of moving in the top 3 by the winter break. They travel to face the newcomers Carpi for the first time this season looking for three points and barring any major upset, Mihajlovica s men should come away with a win.
Milan have struggled for any sort of consistency this year with seven wins and five defeats in their first 14 games but have lost only one in their last seven. They put on an impressive display last week against Sampdoria recording a thumping 4-1 win but had to work hard to see off Serie B outfit Crotone midweek in the Coppa Italia. Mihajlovic has been looking to address this issue of inconsistency throughout the season but his immediate task will be to get the three points which will allow them to close in on the coveted third spot. Milan currently lie in seventh but with so many teams jostling for places in the upper half of the table a positive run of victories might help Milan break away from the chasing pack.
Carpi have struggled since gaining promotion in the top flight. The step up to Serie A has not been kind and they currently lie in 19th position having picked only 9 points from 14 games. However they have been buoyed by only their second win of the season last week against Genoa with ex-Milan player Zaccardo getting the winner. Carpi have the worst defensive record in Serie A and with Bonaventura, Niang and Bacca in top form, Fabrizio Castori will be fearing the worst ahead of their clash tonight. Milan players had to play extra half hour midweek so there might be some tiredness issues for Carpi to exploit. Carpi progressed to the round of 16 in the cup thanks to their win over Vicenza.
Team news and tactical brief
The home side will probably opt for a pragmatic 4-4-1-1 formation with Ryder Matos playing behind the frontman. The Brazilian, on loan from Fiorentina, has impressed at times this season and will be a threat for the Milan defence. Another Brazilian on-loan from Udinese, Gabriel Silva, will be another potential threat for Mihajlovica s men. The left-backa s occasional overlapping runs from wingback position will be a constant source of threat for Milan.
Former Milan players Cristian Zaccardo and Simone Romgnoli will line up in defence while Marco Boriello will be up front looking to continue his goalscoring form. All the three players will be motivated to prove a point against their former employers.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-4-1-1): Belec (Gk); Zaccardo, Romagnoli, Gagliolo, Silva; Pasciuti, Cofie, Lollo, Martinho; Matos; Borriello.
Milan travel to Carpi without first-choice left back Luca Antonelli who is out injured. Mattia De Sciglio will be given another opportunity to impress yet again. The Italian international has been error-prone of late and his status as a future star looks in serious doubt at this moment. Still Carpi should not pose a big test for De Sciglio but Antonellia s consistent performances will be missed. Mihajlovic will be going into the game in the 4-4-2 system which has looked really effective although it is a very rare formation used in Serie A these days. Against Sampdoria, this system was free flowing and Milan fans will be hoping for more of the same against Carpi as well.
Mario Balotelli is edging closer to a return but he will not be a part of the team for tomorrowa s game. So Carlos Bacca and Niang are expected to continue upfront. The pair caused havoc against Sampdoria last week with Niang getting a brace. Based on current form it will be difficult for Balotelli to break into the starting eleven.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-4-2): Donnarumma (Gk); Abate, Alex, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Cerci, Kucka, Montolivo, Bonaventura; Bacca, Niang.
- Carpi and Milan have never met in Serie A or in Serie B.
- In the last game against Genoa, Carpi won after they had gained only one point in six games (0-0 against Verona).
- Milan have scored four goals against Sampdoria after they hadna t scored in the previous two games: moreover Milan have not conceded more than one goal since the game against Napoli on 4th October.
Players to Watch Out For
Marco Borriello (Carpi)
Marco Borriello will have to play a key role if Carpi have any chance of survival in their debut season. Despite his goal at Palermo the former Italian international has failed to find consistency and got himself sent off against relegation rivals Frosinone. However he has returned with two goals in as many games while setting up the winner for Zaccardo last week.
M’Baye Niang (AC Milan)
Despite so many expensive attacking players coming in the summer, it has been the overlooked man Ma Baye Niang who has made the difference in recent weeks for Milan. Used as a striker for the first time in his career in Milan after having a positive impact in Genoa, Niang has fitted seamlessly in Mihajlovica s system. He has linked very well with Bonaventura and Cerci notching three goals and two assists in four games since his return.
Carpi 1a 4 Milan
Carpi showed character to come back from a goal down away at Genoa to claim their second win this season. They followed it up with a win over Vicenza in the Coppa Italia midweek. Milan quickly recovered from their loss to Juventus with a win over Sampdoria where M’Baye Niang was the protagonist. The visitors are in fairly good spirits despite their struggling win in midweek over second division side Crotone. This should be a routine win for Milan although Mihajlovic will be reminding his players not to underestimate Carpi.
Blast From the Past
Carpi and AC Milan have never met in Serie A or in Serie B.