After the win away at Parma, which was anything but easy, Milan will be looking to add another three points to their tally this afternoon. While they will take on Genoa at San Siro, some of their rivals in the Champions League race will face each other and this means a leap could be made point-wise.
Stefano Pioli’s men have managed to pick themselves up after what was a tough start to the year, struggling with several key absences. Having said that, their record at home is still very disappointing and this needs changing, seeing as they haven’t registered a single win in the last four league games at San Siro.
Away from home, on the other hand, they are the best team in the league and they will have to embrace some of that attitude to succeed today. It won’t be easy, though, against a side that put them in real difficulty in the reverse fixture as Pierre Kalulu salvaged a point late on.
As mentioned, Milan don’t have many injuries anymore and that is indeed a big boost for Pioli, especially in this crucial period of the season. Davide Calabria and Daniel Maldini are working hard to recover from their respective injury and they could be back pretty soon, which is good news.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off against Parma and although it became clear referee Fabio Maresca made a mistake, the sporting judge handed the Swede a one-game ban. At least he didn’t get two, which is what you normally get for a straight red card. It’s not ideal to be without the striker, but there are some options for the manager.
Alessio Romagnoli, the captain of the team, is back in the squad and will be looking to earn himself a starting spot once again. However, it won’t be easy for him as Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori have more or less cemented their spots at the back, and centre-back is a position you don’t want to change too often.
According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Pioli will make two changes to the XI that took the field against Parma. At the back, after an impressive showing off the bench, Diogo Dalot will most likely get the chance to the right. The battle with Pierre Kalulu is still very much open, though, and we will have to wait for the official XI.
The second change, of course, will take place in attack as Rafael Leao will replace Ibrahimovic, faced with a very big task this afternoon. He did get on the scoresheet on Parma and perhaps that will give him the confidence, but he’s a very different player compared to the No.11 so it will be interesting to see his movements.
Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Dalot (Kalulu), Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Leao.
Probable Genoa XI (3-5-2): Perin; Goldaniga, Zapata, Masiello; Ghiglione, Behrami, Melegoni, Strootman, Czyborra; Destro, Scamacca.
- AC Milan have won four of their last six league matches against Genoa (D1 L1), drawing the most recent game 2-2; the last time the Grifone avoided defeat in both Serie A matches in a season against the Rossoneri was back in 2014-15 under Gian Piero Gasperini.
- Genoa are one of only two sides against which Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan haven’t yet won in Serie A (D1 L1) — level with Atalanta.
- AC Milan have scored the most goals (six) in injury time in Serie A this season – on the other hand, Genoa have conceded only one goal after the 90th minute, more than only Fiorentina and the Rossoneri (both zero).
- Theo Hernandez has been directly involved in nine goals in the current league season (four goals, five assists), equalling the previous campaign – he could become the first AC Milan defender to be involved in 10 goals in a single Serie A campaign since Opta collected assists for the competition (2004-05 onwards).
- Goran Pandev’s next game will mark his 150th Serie A appearance with Genoa: since his debut with the club in August 2015, he is the player with the most appearances for the club in the top-flight (followed by Mattia Perin at 125).
Milan are in good spirits after the win last time out but with the poor home record haunting them, it won’t be an easy game. We can expect to see a lot of determination from the team to change the negative trend, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough when it comes to creating and converting chances.
Genoa have hit a bit of a roadblock after what was an impressive start with their new manager Davide Ballardini, but they aren’t a bad team. They have several players that can threaten the Rossoneri and thus concentration will be needed from start to finish from Pioli’s men.
Milan 2-1 Genoa