AC Milan will be eager to continue their winning run in Serie A when they will travel to play second-last Brescia at the Stadio Rigamonti on Friday evening.
AC Milan will aim to continue their four-match unbeaten streak across all competitions when they face relegation battlers Brescia away from home this week in the 2019-20 Serie A.
After their 3-0 win over Lecce, Brescia have gone five matches without a win and in this time period they have been sloppy defensively, having conceded five against Sampdoria earlier this month. With four wins and three draws from 20 Serie A fixtures, Eugenio Corini’s men are currently second last in the points table. And Brescia need to pull up their socks and get some results going their way and only then they can get out of the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan side has found some form with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s inclusion upfront. The Rossoneri are coming to this game on the back of two wins against Udinese and Cagliari, which puts them in the eighth spot in the league table, while they also won their Coppa Italia match against SPAL in between.
Ahead of this exciting matchup on Friday at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti, we at The Hard Tackle will take a closer look at both teams.
Tactics and Team News
Eugenio Corini does not have any fresh injury concerns, but he will be missing Mario Balotelli who was sent off against Cagliari in their last Serie A encounter where the match ended in a 2-2 stalemate.
Other than Balotelli, Alessandro Matri, who is on loan from Sassuolo, is highly unlikely to play against his former side. Midfielder Luca Tremolada is also sidelined with injury and is unlikely to feature in this match.
Corini may opt for a 4-3-1-2 formation with Finnish custodian Jesse Joronen being the mainstay between the sticks. In defence youngster Andrea Cistana is likely to partner Venezuelan defender Jhon Chancellor at the heart of the Brescia backline. The Italian duo of Stefano Sabelli and Massimiliano Mangraviti are likely to slot in the full-back positions.
In midfield highly-rated Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali will look to control the tempo of the game for the hosts and spread the ball forward towards his attackers. Partnering him there will be the experienced Rômulo Souza and Albanian midfielder Emanuele Ndoj. Slovakian attacking midfielder Nikolas Špalek is likely to feature at the tip of the midfield just behind the attacking duo.
Upfront Ernesto Torregrossa, who scored twice in their last match against Cagliari, will again look to add to his tally against AC Milan while partnering him will be Alfredo Donnarumma who also has been amongst goals as well.
Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2) Joronen; Sabelli, Cistana, Chancellor, Mangraviti; Romulo, Tonali, Ndoj; Spalek; Torregrossa, Donnarumma
Pioli has some good news as Ricardo Rodriguez and Hakan Calhanoglu have returned from injury and have made it to the team list travelling for the match against Brescia.
The Italian manager is likely to stick with his 4-4-2 formation with Gianluigi Donnarumma ever-present in goal for the Rossoneri. In defence Andrea Conti and Theo Hernandez will slot in as the full-backs with the later strengthening his case with a goal in his last game. Mateo Musacchio and Alessio Romagnoli will lead the backline from the centre.
In midfield Franck Kessie and Algerian youngster Ismaël Bennacer will provide stability and power to dominate the tempo of the game and earn bragging rights. With Samu Castillejo and Giacomo Bonaventura on the flanks, the duo will add more width and creativity to the whole unit. Hakan Calhanoglu is just coming from an injury and may start from the bench in this fixture.
Upfront Zlatan Ibrahimovic will lead the line and be the target man along with Portuguese sensation Rafael Leão in support. Pioli will also have the options of using Suso or Krzysztof Piatek upfront.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Donnarumma; Conti, Romagnoli, Musacchio, Hernandez; Castillejo, Kessie, Bennacer, Bonaventura; Ibrahimovic, Leao
- AC Milan have won their last three Serie A matches against Brescia with an aggregate scoreline of 5-0 but the Rossoneri have not won four games in a row against the Rondinelle.
- Brescia have lost seven home games in this season, more than any team in the Serie A. ( W1 D2)
- The hosts have won only once in their last 19 Serie A matches against AC Milan (D9 L9). The 1-0 win came way back in May 2003 where they won courtesy of a goal from Stephen Appiah.
- Only Ismael Bennacer (AC Milan) with 86% boasts a better dribble success rate of the 59 players to attempt at least 30 in Serie A than Sandro Tonali (Brescia) this season (83.9%)
Player to Watch
The Italian midfielder is hailed as the next Andrea Pirlo for his hairstyle which is very similar to the midfield maestro and also for his exquisite passing ability. Still only 19, Tonali had been a metronome in Serie B for Brescia last season and has continued that form in the Italian top division with a goal to his name along with four assists.
While we may draw comparisons with Pirlo mainly because of his expertise with the ball but the young Italian is even excellent without it. He also possesses great dribbling stats and has been a revelation for Brescia even in their slumber. Clubs from all over Europe are enquiring and sending scouts to keep and eye on him and therefore against AC Milan he can be the game-changer in midfield for the hosts.
Brescia 1-2 AC Milan
Both teams are coming to this game with contrasting forms in Serie A. While Brescia will be eager to get going in the current campaign and pull themselves out of the relegation zone, AC Milan will also look to grab all three points and push for a top-four spot.
With Ibrahimovic’s inclusion the Rossoneri have been very solid upfront and overall have been in good run of form in the last few matches in all competitions. So, considering the difference in quality between the two sides and also the current form, we at The Hard Tackle predict a close win for the visitors as they consolidate their position in the top half of the table and prepare for a top-four push.