AC Milan will be aiming to return to winning ways when they face off against relegation battlers Frosinone on Wednesday afternoon.
AC Milan will be out to end a four-game winless streak in all competitions, when they go head to head against a struggling Frosinone outfit in the Serie A on the Boxing Day.
The Rossoneri have failed to pick up maximum points for four games in a row now, with their last win coming against Parma in the first week of December. Since then, Milan have been held to goalless draws by Torino and Bologna in the Serie A and were beaten 1-0 by Fiorentina this past weekend, while they were also thrashed 3-1 by Olympiacos in Europe.
Having slipped down to the fifth spot in the Serie A standings, Gennaro Gattuso’s men will be hoping to claim all three points at the Stadio Benite Stirpe on Wednesday and close down the gap to local rivals Inter Milan, who sit third on the table.
Frosinone, on the other hand, are second from bottom in the standings, having picked up just nine points from their 17 Serie A games thus far. The newly promoted side’s only league win of the season came against SPAL back in October, following which they have drawn four matches and lost three more.
Having received beatings at the hands of Napoli, Inter, AS Roma, Juventus and Sampdoria this season, Marco Baroni’s men will be keen on avoiding a similar outcome against Milan on Wednesday and come away with at least a solitary point.
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Luca Paganini, Federico Dionisi and Emil Hallfredsson are all long-term absentees for the home team. Marco Capuano missed out of the 1-1 draw against Udinese this past weekend with an illness and is likely to return to the squad against AC Milan.
Baroni has preferred set his team up with a three-man backline throughout the course of the season and that is unlikely to change when the Rossoneri come visiting.
On-loan goalkeeper Marco Sportiello is expected to continue between the sticks on Wednesday night, with a back three comprising of Luka Krajnc, Lorenzo Ariaudo and Edoardo Goldaniga offering him protection against the AC Milan attack.
Francesco Zampano and Andrea Beghetto will assume duties as the wing-backs on the right and left sides respectively. 25-year-old Raman Chibsah will take over the defensive duties in the middle of the park for Frosinone. He will be ably supported by Raffaele Maiello and on-loan youngster Francesco Cassata.
Leading goalscorer Camillo Ciano will pair up with captain Daniel Ciofani at the tip of the attack for the home side.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Sportiello; Goldaniga, Ariaudo, Krajnc; Zampano, Chibsah, Maiello, Cassata, Beghetto; Ciano, Ciofani
Milan continue to be without the services of Ivan Strinic, Mattia Caldara, Giacomo Bonaventura and Lucas Biglia. Andrea Bertolacci is a fresh casualty for Gattuso’s men and is unlikely to be involved on Wednesday afternoon. Franck Kessie and Tiemoue Bakayoko are available for selection after serving out their suspensions and should return to action.
The Rossoneri are likely to revert to a 4-4-2 formation when they visit the Stadio Benite Stirpe this week. Gianluigi Donnarumma is a guaranteed starer under the woodwork for the away side.
Davide Calabria will start at right-back, having started in the midfield last time out, with Ricardo Rodriguez expected to continue on the left. Mateo Musacchio is likely to replace Cristian Zapata, alongside club captain Alessio Romagnoli at the heart of the defence.
Both Kessie and Bakayoko should walk right back into the starting XI in the middle of the park for Milan, with Jose Mauri dropping out. The duo will be flanked by the dangerous Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu, who hasn’t been at his best this season.
Gonzalo Higuain is going through a bit of a rough patch and will be hoping to end it against the minnows this weekend. He will be partnered by the prodigiously talented Patrick Cutrone in attack.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Suso, Kessie, Bakayoko, Calhanoglu; Higuain, Cutrone
- There have been six goals scored in each of the last two Serie A meetings between Frosinone and Milan; the Rossoneri are unbeaten against the Ciociari in the competition (W1 D1).
- Milan have won only one of their last seven Serie A away games against newly promoted teams (D4 L2): 4-0 against SPAL in February.
- Frosinone last won a home Serie A game back in March 2016 against Udinese: five draws and seven defeats since.
- The Rossoneri have failed to score in three consecutive Serie A games for the first time since November 2001 – the last time they reached four was in 1984.
- Milan have won just two of their opening eight away Serie A games of this season: since 1986/87, the Rossoneri have only won fewer away games at this stage of a season only in 2013/14 (one win).
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The former Real Madrid superstar is going through a dry spell in front of goal. Higuain has failed to find the back of the net in his last eight appearances across all competitions, which has coincided with a poor run of results for the Rossoneri.
However, the Argentine international boasts an impressive record against Frosinone, having scored five goals in two Serie A matches, that includes a hat-trick during his time with Napoli back in 2016. Amid rumours linking him with a January switch to Chelsea, the 31-year-old will be keen on getting back to goalscoring ways.
Frosinone 0-1 AC Milan
AC Milan’s form has been nothing to write home about in recent weeks. Gattuso’s men are struggling to get results and have gone three matches on a trot without scoring a goal. And the match against Frosinone provides them with the perfect opportunity to arrest the downslide.
The home team are sitting 19th in the table, with just one win this term and boast the worst defensive record in the Serie A, having let in 36 goals already. They showed fight to come back from a goal down and take a point against Udinese at the weekend, but the Rossoneri should have enough to see out a narrow victory on Boxing Day.