AC Milan will be eying a comfortable victory over bottom-placed Salernitana as Stefano Pioli eyes back-to-back wins in Serie A.
The Serie A title race is turning out to be exciting with increased competition and pressure at the top of the table. After starting the season stunningly, AC Milan succumbed to their first loss to Sassuolo, although Napoli’s subsequent defeat kept things tight at the top.
Stefano Pioli’s team recovered well with a good victory over Genoa in the following matchday, and the manager will look to keep the momentum going. The Rossoneri will be gunning to secure all three points when they host Salernitana, who are struggling and are at the very bottom of the table.
With a victory, AC Milan can momentarily go on top of the league, with Napoli not playing until Sunday when they take on fourth-placed Atalanta. Even Inter Milan face Roma in a tough clash, and if results are to go Milan’s way, they could remain at the top until the next matchday.
Visitors Salernitana have had a tough time in the top-flight. They have lost six of their eight home matches this season, managing just two victories overall this season. The newly-promoted side have also lost four of their last five games in the division ahead of their trip to the San Siro.
Salernitana lost their previous game to Juventus after goals from strike duo Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala condemned them to yet another defeat, leaving them pinned to the bottom. They might find it hard to get any meaningful results in the next few games as they face Fiorentina and Inter Milan after this one.
Team News & Tactics
Pioli will have to make do without a number of his key players for the weekend’s game. Ante Rebic, Simon Kjaer, Olivier Giroud, Davide Calabria and Samu Castillejo are all out with injury problems. However, he will have Allessio Romagnoli back from suspension.
Unfortunately for Kjaer, he has been ruled out for the rest of the season, which is a big blow for Milan and their hopes to win the league title. Pioli will have to rely on Matteo Gabbia or Romagnoli to replace the Dane this season while also hoping to have Fikayo Tomiri fit for the long run.
Midfielder Ismael Bennacer is also a fitness doubt for the clash and will be assessed late. Pioli is unlikely to take risks with the player for a game they are favourites to win. Tiemoue Bakayoko is in the frame to start the clash, and partner Sandro Tonali in central midfield. If needed, Frank Kessie is also an option, or he could remain on the bench.
Pierre Kalulu might continue to deputise for Calabria in his absence at right-back, while Theo Hernandez should slot in on the opposite side. Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, and current in-form star Junior Messias could form the attacking trio behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The latter will lead the line in the absence of both Giroud and Rebic.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Kalulu, Tomori, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Tonali, Bakayoko; Messias, Diaz, Leao; Ibrahimovic
Much like Milan, Salernitana have many players missing the game through injury troubles. Lika Bogdan, Matteo Ruggeri, Stefan Strandberg, Mamadou Coulibaly and Cedric Gondo are all out of the clash with fitness problems.
Stefano Colantuono will set his team up in a 4-4-2 formation to help maintain balance defensively and in attack. He will have to tinker with his squad after striker Gondo’s injury last week. Simy or Milan Djuric are in the frame to replace the forward and start alongside Federico Bonazzoli upfront.
Veteran winger Franck Ribery is continuing on his road to recovery and could be named among the substitutes. Colantuono could look to play Wajdi Kechrida and Luca Ranieri on the wings, and squeezed between those two will be central midfielders Lassana Coulibaly and Francesco Di Tacchio.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Belec; Zortea, Gyomber, Gagliolo, Veseli; Kechrida, Coulibaly, Tacchio, Ranieri; Djuric, Bonazzoli
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 8 of AC Milan’s last ten Serie A games.
- AC Milan have conceded 16 goals in their last 9 Serie A games.
- Salernitana are winless in their last five Serie A matches.
- Salernitana are conceding over two goals per game in Serie A this season.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Salernitana’s last three Serie A Games.
Player To Watch
The big Swede will come into the focus once more after Milan’s striking options depleted even further. With Ante Rebic struggling with injuries all season, Olivier Giroud and Ibrahimovic have shared time leading the line. However, with what Frenchman’s injury, the veteran Ibrahimovic will have to hold the fort for a considerable period.
There’s no doubting his pedigree or experience in leading the line; there are, however, question marks over his fitness levels to play multiple games for the whole 90 minutes. Pioli will surely look internally for solutions that may ease the burden on the Swede. Still, Ibrahimovic will need to find form and remain consistent in what could be a difficult period for the club without some of their other forwards.
AC Milan 3-0 Salernitana
Winless in the last five games, Salernitana might not have a chance to get a positive result against a Milan side who are looking for back-to-back wins. The Rossoneri will be hoping to keep the pressure on leaders Napoli in the title race and put some gap between themselves and third-placed Inter Milan. Pioli knows the importance of the game, as a win could take them temporarily at the top, and a defeat could let Inter Milan overtake them on the table. We are expecting a comfortable victory for the home side at the San Siro.