AC Milan will be aiming to move up the Serie A standings, when they go head to head against Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Monday afternoon.

AC Milan will be looking to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana, when they lock horns with Cesare Prandelli’s Genoa in matchweek 20 of the 2018-19 Serie A on Monday.

The Rossoneri’s last league assignment ended in a 2-1 win over SPAL, following which they defeated Sampdoria 2-0 in the Coppa Italia, before their defeat at the hands of Juventus earlier this week.

Gennaro Gattuso’s men currently find themselves in the sixth place in the Serie A standings, having accrued 31 points from 19 matches (W8, D7, L4). A victory on Monday would see Milan move into the fourth place, provided fifth-placed Lazio fail to defeat Napoli at the San Paolo on Sunday night.

Genoa, on the other hand, are stationed in the 14th spot in the league table, having picked up just 20 points from their 19 matches so far this term (W5, D5, L9). The club appointed Cesare Prandelli as the manager last month, after sacking Ivan Juric. Since the former Italy national team boss took over, the Grifone have won just once in their five fixtures.

The last time Genoa were in action, which was in December last week, they managed to hold Fiorentina to a goalless draw at home and are unbeaten in their last four league fixtures at the Luigi Ferraris (W1, D3). And Prandelli will be hoping that his team put up a strong fight and come out with a positive result against Milan on Monday.

Team News & Tactics

Genoa

The home team will be without the services of star striker Krzysztof Piatek, who is suspended for the game. The Polish forward seems to have played his last game for Genoa as he is closing in a move to Milan, according to latest reports.

In goal, on-loan Inter Milan keeper Andrei Ionut Radu should feature from kick off for Genoa. He will be offered protection by a three-man backline that will comprise of Cristian Romero, Davide Biraschi and club captain and seasoned campaigner Domenico Criscito.

31-year-old Romulo will once again feature as the right-sided wing-back for the Grifone, while Serbian midfielder Darko Lazovic will slot in on the opposite flank. Portuguese midfielder Miguel Veloso will don the holding midfield role, with support coming from Oscar Hiljemark and Daniel Bessa in the centre of the park.

With Piatek ruled out of the tie, on-loan Juventus forward Andrea Favilli should get the nod in attack. He will be partnered upfront by fellow 21-year-old striker Christian Kouame who has scored three and set up four more goals in 19 league games this season.

Probable Lineup (3-1-4-2): Radu; Biraschi, Romero, Criscito; Veloso; Romulo, Hiljemark, Bessa, Lazovic; Kouame, Favilli;

AC Milan

Gattuso has a few selection headaches heading into Monday’s encounter as he will be unable to call upon the services of captain Alessio Romagnoli, fellow defender Davide Calabria, along with midfielder Franck Kessie, all of whom are suspended for the game.

The manager himself has been given a touchline ban after directing abusive comments towards the referee during the Supercoppa Italiana clash against Juventus and will have to watch from the stands. Mattia Caldara, Giacomo Bonaventura and Lucas Biglia remain sidelined with injuries.

The biggest news, however, is on-loan Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain has been left out of the matchday squad, as he inches towards sealing a switch to Premier League giants Chelsea.

Gianluigi Donnarumma will start in goal for Milan and will be guarded by a back four of Ignazio Abate, Mateo Musacchio, Cristian Zapata and Ricardo Rodriguez. New signing Lucas Paqueta should make his Serie A debut in the middle of the park, partnering with Tiemoue Bakayoko, while Hakan Calhanoglu could also be moved into a midfield role in Kessie’s absence.

Suso will provide the creative threat for the visitors from right flank, while Samu Castillejo will be tasked with doing the same from the left. Spearheading the attack for Milan in Higuain’s absence will be academy product Patrick Cutrone.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Musacchio, Zapata, Rodriguez; Paqueta, Bakayoko, Calhanoglu; Suso, Cutrone, Castillejo;

Key Stats

  • AC Milan have won four of their last six Serie A games against Genoa (D1 L1).
  • The Rossoneri have collected six more points and scored two goals more this season than they had at this stage last term, while Genoa are two points and 10 goals better off than at this stage in 2017-18.
  • Milan have drawn their last three away Serie A games, with the last two finishing 0-0 – only once have they have drawn 0-0 in three away games in a row in the competition (January 1972).
  • Genoa have dropped the most points from winning positions in Serie A this season (17), while no team have gained more points than AC Milan from losing positions (10).
  • Genoa have conceded more goals than any other Serie A side in the first half of games this season (21), while only Inter (2) have conceded fewer than AC Milan before the interval (5).

Player to Watch

Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan)

Milan will look up to Cutrone for goals (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Milan will look up to Cutrone for goals (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

The 21-year-old Cutrone is widely regarded as the future superstar of AC Milan since he made his debut back in 2017. The centre-forward is currently the club’s leading goalscorer with nine strikes against his name across all competitions. However, only three of those have come in the Serie A from 17 appearances.

With Higuain definitely on his way out now, Cutrone will need to step up in a big way for the Rossoneri moving forward in the season. And he will be hoping to make a significant impact against Genoa on Monday and fire his team to a crucial victory.

Prediction

Genoa 0-1 AC Milan

Genoa go into the game under pressure, having won just once in their last 13 Serie A fixtures. And the absence of their chief goalscoring threat in Krzysztof Piatek, who has scored 13 of their 25 league goals, will hurt their chances even further.

AC Milan too will be without star striker Gonzalo Higuain, but in the likes of Suso and Patrick Cutrone, they have quality options in their forward line to cause serious problems to the home side’s defence. Gennaro Gattuso’s side defeated the Grifone 2-1 the last time the two teams met and should once again clinch a narrow victory on Monday.

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