AC Milan will be aiming to go to the top of the 2021/22 Serie A standings when they lock horns with Torino at San Siro on Tuesday night.
AC Milan will be hoping to keep their unbeaten run in the 2021/22 Serie A intact and displace Napoli as the league leaders when they play hosts to Torino in the midweek round of fixtures.
Milan are currently joint-top with Napoli, level on 25 points from nine games, but behind on goal difference. However, with the Partenopei not scheduled to play until Thursday night, Stefano Pioli & co. will have a great chance to take the top spot for themselves and build some pressure on their rivals.
Milan head into the game on the back of an impressive 4-2 win over Bologna which will have somewhat eased the pain of their UEFA Champions League defeat to FC Porto. The Rossoneri are yet to lose in league football this season and will be raring to extend that run against a Torino outfit that has not been performing all too well.
Indeed, Torino find themselves in the twelfth spot in the table, with just 11 points from nine matches. After a run of four games without a win, they eked out a narrow 3-2 victory over Genoa last week which allowed them to pull away from the relegation zone. Manager Ivan Juric will be looking to put further distance between the team and the bottom three with another win on Tuesday night.
Team News & Tactics
🎙️ "We'll have to battle hard against Torino"
Coach Pioli's pre-match thoughts ahead of tomorrow's game
— AC Milan (@acmilan) October 25, 2021
Ahead of the game, AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli has received a positive update on the fitness front as key midfielder Franck Kessie is fit and available for selection. Theo Hernandez is also back in training after testing negative for coronavirus but is unlikely to be involved from the start when Torino come visiting. Pietro Pellegri has also returned to training handing a further boost for the hosts.
Ante Rebic, however, remains a major doubt for the contest while summer signing Mike Maignan is definitively ruled out. In addition, Junior Messias, Alessandro Florenzi and Samu Castillejo are also set to miss out. Ciprian Tatarusanu is in line for another start between the sticks for the Rossoneri.
Fikayo Tomori ought to start at centre-back, but Simon Kjaer might be given a breather given the slew of important games coming up. As a result, Alessio Romagnoli could be set for a starting berth against Torino. Davide Calabria and Fode Ballo-Toure are expected to continue as the full-backs for the hosts with Theo Hernandez unlikely to be risked.
The returning Kessie should get the nod over Ismael Bennacer in the centre of the park. He will be partnered by Sandro Tonali, who will operate as a deep-lying playmaker for Milan. With Brahim Diaz still unavailable, Rade Krunic is expected to slot in as the No. 10, although Daniel Maldini is also an option.
Alexis Saelemaekers ought to start out on the right flank while the dangerous Rafael Leao ought to slot in on the left. The centre-forward slot will be a toss-up between Olivier Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the latter might just edge out the Frenchman for a starting role on Tuedsay.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Calabria, Tomori, Romagnoli, Ballo-Toure; Kessie, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Krunic, Leao; Ibrahimovic
Simone Edera, Marko Pjaca, Simone Verdi, Rolando Mandragora and Cristian Ansaldi are the five absentees for Torino for their trip to Milan this midweek. Manager Ivan Juric is likely to set his team up in a 3-4-2-1 formation with the visitors likely to defend deep and look to exploit any counter-attacking opportunities.
Vanja Milinkovic-Savic will be manning the goal for the visiting side on the night while the three-man defensive unit ought to comprise Gleison Bremer, Koffi Djidji and Alessandro Buongiorno. Megrim Vojvoda ought to come in at right wing-back and will have the onus of providing attacking width while Ola Aina is expected to slot in on the left flank.
Moving into the middle of the park, Tomasso Pobega, who is on loan from AC Milan and scored in the win against Genoa, ought to feature from the start against his parent club. Partnering him ought to be Sasa Lukic, with the duo tasked with shielding the three-man backline against the forays of Franck Kessie and Rade Krunic.
The creative onus will largely be riding on the shoulders of the two attacking midfielders who should be Josip Brekalo and Dennis Praet. While the latter will largely operate through the centre, the former will have the freedom to drift across the final third in search of openings. Antonio Sanabria will be the man spearheading the attack for Torino ahead of Andrea Belotti, who is a transfer target for AC Milan.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Milinkovic-Savic; Bremer, Djidji, Buongiorno; Vojvoda, Pobega, Lukic, Aina; Praet, Brekalo; Sanabria
- AC Milan have won each of their last three Serie A matches against Torino by an aggregate score of 10-0.
- Torino have only won three of their last 48 Serie A matches against AC Milan (D24 L21).
- AC Milan have kept a clean sheet in 52% of their Serie A home games against Torino (39/75).
- Torino striker Andrea Belotti has scored five goals at San Siro in Serie A, although four of these have been against Inter Milan.
- Should he score on Tuesday, AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud would become only the second player to score in each of his first three Serie A home appearances for the Rossoneri after Mario Balotelli in 2013.
Player to Watch
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 23, 2021
The 40-year-old has had a difficult start to the season due to injuries but made his comeback earlier this month against Hellas Verona. And, having started in the weekend clash against Bologna, the veteran striker came up with the goods for Milan, scoring and assisting a goal each in the 4-2 victory.
Should he find the back of the net on Tuesday night, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will reach two major milestones – 150 goals in Serie A and 400 goals in domestic leagues in his career. However, his recent form against Torino has not been all that impressive, as after netting in his first three league appearances against the Granata he has failed to do so in his last three such games.
AC Milan 2-0 Torino
AC Milan have been one of the in-form teams in Serie A this term despite their missteps in Europe. The Rossoneri are yet to lose in the league competition this season while their record against Torino, especially at home, makes for impressive reading. Considering that the Granata have been struggling to get going, anything other than a home win would be a shock result on Tuesday night.