AC Milan will be aiming to get back to winning ways, when they face off against Bologna in matchweek 16 of the 2018-19 Serie A.

AC Milan will travel to the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on Tuesday night, as they gear up to take on relegation battlers Bologna.

The Rossoneri are currently stationed in the fourth spot in the Serie A standings, with 26 points from 15 matches. However, they are without a victory in their last two fixtures in all competitions, having been held to a goalless draw by Torino in the league a week ago, before being thrashed 3-1 by Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa League.

Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso will be hoping to bring an end to the recent winless run on Tuesday night and in the process, close the gap to bitter rivals Inter Milan, who are six points ahead in the third place.

Bologna, on the other hand, find themselves in the 18th position in the table, having accrued just 11 points from their 15 league matches. The Rossoblu are without a win in their last eight Serie A outings, with their latest fixture ending  in a 2-1 defeat to Empoli.

Manager Filippo Inzaghi, going up against the club where he made his name as a player, will be looking to cause an upset on Tuesday night and take his team out of the bottom three.

Team News & Tactics

Bologna

Eric Pulgar is sidelined for the home side with a calf problem. Arturo Calabresi will be back into selection after missing the last game due to suspension. Inzaghi is expected to set his team out in a 3-5-2 formation against the Rossoneri.

Lukasz Skorupski is expected to continue between the sticks for the Rossoblu. He will be shielded by a back three comprising of Filip Helander, Danilo and the returning Calabresi, with Giancarlo Gonzalez expected to make way.

Federico Mattiello is set to hold on to his place as the right-sided wing-back, but a change is likely on the opposite wing, with Mitchell Dijks coming in for Ladislav Krejci, who started in the defeat against Empoli. On-loan Juventus starlet Riccardo Orsolini is expected to feature in the middle of the park, along with Adam Nagy and Andrea Poli, who was on the scoresheet last time out.

Bologna’s attack against Milan will be led by seasoned campaigner Rodrigo Palacio, who will be partnered by summer signing Federico Santander.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Skorupski; Helander, Danilo, Calabresi; Mattiello, Orsolini, Nagi, Poli, Dijks; Palacio, Santander;

AC Milan

Having missed the last few games, first-choice defensive pairing of Mateo Musacchio and captain Alessio Romagnoli are fit again and have been included in the matchday squad. Mattia Caldara remains sidelined though, along with midfield duo of Giacomo Bonaventura and Lucas Biglia.

Gattuso will set his team up in a 4-4-2 formation once again, with Gianluigi Donnarumma set to return in goal, having missed the midweek game against Olympiacos. Davide Calabria and Ricardo Rodriguez are certain starters as the full-backs on the right and left sides respectively, with Musacchio and Romagnoli returning at the heart of the defence.

Spanish playmaker Suso did not start in the defeat against Olympiacos last week, but should return to the starting XI on the right flank, with Samu Castillejo making way. Hakan Calhanoglu will feature from the get go on the opposite side, with Tiemoue Bakayoko and Franck Kessie providing the forward thrust from the centre of the park.

Upfront, Patrick Cutrone and Gonzalo Higuain are set to take the pitch from kick off against Bologna.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Suso, Kessie, Bakayoko, Calhanoglu; Higuain, Cutrone;

Key Stats

  • Bologna have lost each of their last five Serie A meetings against AC Milan. They have never lost six in a row against the Rossoneri in the top-flight.
  • AC Milan have scored 219 goals in 140 Serie A games against Bologna (1.6 per game on average), more than any other team.
  • 11 points from 15 Serie A games marks Bologna’s worst start to a Serie A campaign since 2008/09.
  • No team has scored more goals from outside the box than AC Milan (eight) in the top five European leagues this season, whilst Bologna are the only Serie A side yet to find the net from outside the box.

Player to Watch

Gonzalo Higuain (AC Milan)

Will Higuain return to goalscoring ways? (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Will Higuain return to goalscoring ways? (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

The 31-year-old has netted seven times and set up three more in 16 matches across all competitions since joining AC Milan in the summer transfer window. However, the last time Higuain found the back of the net in the Serie A was back in October, in a 3-2 win over Sampdoria.

Higuain has a healthy goal-scoring record against Bologna though, having netted five goals in seven appearances with Juventus and Napoli, including three in four games at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. With his team under pressure to turn things around, Higuain will need to step up to the plate on Tuesday night against the Rossoblu.

Prediction

Bologna 0-1 AC Milan

The home team have failed to pick up a victory in their last eight league matches, which has left manager Inzaghi facing the axe. And a positive result this midweek would put a stay on the execution for the time being.

AC Milan, on the other hand, will be eager to bounce back after succumbing to a poor defeat against Olympiacos, which led to their elimination from the Europa League.

There are unlikely to be many goals in the game, given that both teams are relatively low on confidence. But Milan’s superior squad should give them an edge against the relegation threatened outfit. As a result, we at The Hard Tackle expect the Rossoneri to pick up a narrow win on Tuesday night.

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