After managing to get by, the injuries finally took their toll on Milan as they have lost their last two games, albeit against tough opponents. 0-3 against Atalanta in the league and the 1-2 against Inter in the Coppa Italia, although the Rossoneri did well in the latter up until Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off.
Either way, they will have to pick themselves up and bounce back with what would be a morale-boosting win tomorrow evening, taking on Bologna away from home. With 23 points separating the two sides, it’s clear that Milan are the favourites to win and they need to do it convincingly, as well.
The injuries have put Stefano Pioli and his team in difficulty this season and while they managed to grind out the wins anyway a couple of months ago, this hasn’t been the case lately. Fortunately, they are still in first place – with two points to spare – and it’s time to start winning again.
Milan have received both good and bad news ahead of this season, with a few returning but also others forced to be sidelined. Simon Kjaer is one of the latter and he was taken off with an injury against Inter, replaced by the new signing Fikayo Tomori – who will start tomorrow. Brahim Diaz also took up a knock against Inter and will sit out.
On the other hand, Ismael Bennacer returned to training this week and after recovering from his muscle injury, which has kept him out for almost two months. Sandro Tonali and Mario Mandzukic both missed the derby mid-week but are fit for fight ahead of tomorrow’s clash, with the former set to play from start.
Hakan Calhanoglu tested negative for COVID-19 today and also carried out some medical tests to assess his condition, but he seems he won’t be added late to the squad. Therefore, as Diaz is also out, Pioli will most likely field Rafael Leao in the trequartista position behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The alternative, of course, is Daniel Maldini but the youngster is still very inexperienced and it will be interesting to see Leao in that position. With Alexis Saelemaekers and Ante Rebic on the flanks, they could cause the Bologna defence some problems, which could be the key for Milan tomorrow.
Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Calabria, Tomori, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Rafael Leao, Rebic; Ibrahimovic.
Probable Bologna XI (3-5-2): Skorupski; De Silvestri, Danilo, Tomiyasu, Dijks; Dominguez, Schouten; Orsolini, Soriano, Barrow; Palacio.
- Bologna have only won one of their last 22 Serie A meetings against AC Milan (D5 L16), 1-0 win at San Siro in January 2016 thanks to an Emanuele Giaccherini goal – they have failed to score 10 times in the process.
- AC Milan are unbeaten in their last 14 Serie A away games against Bologna (W10 D4): only Juventus have avoided defeat in more successive Serie A games on the road against the Rossoblu in the competition (17 and counting)
- AC Milan could score in 20 successive Serie A away matches for the first time in their history, overtaking the run of 19 between March 1992 and April 1993.
- Roberto Soriano could play his 200th Serie A game: he has scored the joint-most Serie A home goals this season amongst midfielders (five, alongside Jordan Veretout).
- Alexis Saelemaekers scored his first goal for AC Milan in July 2020 against Bologna: in the three points for a win era, he has played the most Serie A games without a single defeat (27).
As mentioned, Milan are clear favourites to win this game despite the two consecutive defeats. The defeat against Atalanta wasn’t encouraging at all, but the reaction displayed in the encounter with Inter was at least somewhat positive. Tomorrow’s game will, therefore, be decisive to understand where the Rossoneri are.
Ibrahimovic will start the game and he will surely energise his teammates, as he has been all season. We can only hope that he won’t get a red card this time out, because with eleven men Milan should have no problems beating Bologna fairly easily, perhaps with a decent amount of goals scored as well.
Bologna 0-3 AC Milan
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re for it play fantasyseriea.com