Milan seemed to be back on the right track after the wins against Roma and Hellas Verona, excluding the mid-week draw against Udinese, but then they suffered a tough defeat to Napoli. And on Thursday evening, they were knocked out of the Europa League. In other words, they need to bounce back tomorrow.
The Rossoneri will face Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi, hoping to build on their impressive away form and the 2-0 win in the reverse fixture. Despite what the results might show, Milan actually haven’t been that bad in the last few games, but they have been truly terrible in the final thirdTons of chances have been created, but without a real striker on the pitch, they haven’t been able to convert them. With the big man back up front tomorrow, they will be looking to break the negative goalscoring trend and also regain some confidence ahead of the season finale.
Milan are still struggling with injuries, don’t get any other ideas, but the situation is looking okay for the most part. Davide Calabria, Alessio Romagnoli, Daniel Maldini, Rafael Leao, Ante Rebic and Mario Manduzkic will all miss out on the action tomorrow, with some of them expected back after the international break.
Stefano Pioli is expected to make four changes to the line-up that took the pitch against Man Utd, as per the latest reports. Diogo Dalot will replace Pierre Kalulu on the right-hand side, as the Frenchman failed to put a mark on the game against Man Utd. The rest of the defence will remain unchanged, though.
Sandro Tonali was rested last time out and will be back from start alongside Franck Kessie. Soualiho Meite will thus start on the bench once again, but his chances of coming on during the game are quite high. The third change will take place in the attacking trio, as Brahim Diaz will replace Rade Krunic to the left.
Alexis Saelemaekers and Hakan Calhanoglu will both keep their spots, with the latter under extra pressure to show his qualities tomorrow. Up front, we won’t get to see Samu Castillejo in a false-nine role again but rather Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who at least will be able to play a good chunk of the game.
Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Dalot, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Diaz; Ibrahimovic.
Probable Fiorentina XI (3-5-2): Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Quarta; Caceres, Bonaventura, Pulgar, Castrovilli, Venuti; Vlahovic, Ribery.
- Fiorentina last beat Milan in the second encounter of a Serie A season back in March 2015 (2-1 thanks to goals by Gonzalo Rodriguez and Joaquin for the Viola, Destro for the Rossoneri).
- AC Milan have won five of their last 10 matches against Fiorentina in Serie A (D3 L2).
- After scoring in 38 consecutive league games, AC Milan have failed to score in four of their last nine, losing each of the four matches in which they did not score.
- Excluding San Siro, Artemio Franchi is the stadium where AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu has scored the most goals in Serie A – two goals in his three games played away against Fiorentina.
- Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic is only one goal away from becoming the best Serbian scorer in a single Serie A campaign: he has scored 12 goals so far, as many as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored in 2017-18.
It won’t be an easy game for Milan, as already mentioned, but the feeling is that the players are eager to prove themselves tomorrow. A good performance is needed to clinch all three points and it would certainly send a signal to the rest of the teams in the top-four race.
With Ibrahimovic back up front, the Rossoneri will hopefully be a bit more confident when going forward and above all, they need to convert their chances. We all know what the Swede can do when he gets a good opportunity, but we also know that he can create something out of nothing.
Fiorentina 1-2 AC Milan