Bologna 2-3 AC Milan: Tops and flops for the Rossoneri

AC Milan claimed all three points away at Bologna on Sunday evening, building on the important win against Parma. For the Rossoneri, it was only the second time this season that they have won two consecutive games, which certainly says a lot about their season so far. 

Finally, Stefano Pioli’s men converted their chances, showing great improvement from the clash against Parma. However, there was still a bit of drama as Bologna somehow managed to score two goals, both of which were very silly from Milan’s point of view. As many would agree, the scoreline didn’t do the Rossoneri’s performance justice. Continue reading

Bologna 2-3 AC Milan: Another three points in the bag after strong Rossoneri performance

Following the win against Parma last weekend, AC Milan continued on the same path this evening as they managed to beat Bologna away from home. Despite the scoreline, the San Siro side had control over the game, looking more confident than ever. 

The Rossoneri didn’t do much in the first ten minutes of the game, allowing Bologna to own most of the possession. Pioli’s men defended well and gradually saw more and more of the ball, although it seemed neither side managed to cement their play in the early stages of the game. Continue reading

Bologna vs. AC Milan: Team news, stats and prediction

Following the confident, albeit narrow, win against Parma, AC Milan are gearing up to take on Bologna away from home on Sunday evening. For the Rossoneri, three points is more or less a must, considering where they currently sit in the league standings. 

Stefano Pioli’s men did very well last time out, dominating the game from start to finish. However, they lacked composure in the final third and as a result of this, they won by just 1-0. Hopefully, they have practised their shooting, heading into the 15th round of Serie A action.

TEAM NEWS

Don’t fix what isn’t broken. This seems to be the thought in Pioli’s head, as he won’t make any changes to the starting eleven, at least according to the latest reports. Given how well they performed against Parma, you can certainly understand the manager, as consistency also is important for the players.

Milan conceded an impressive zero shots on target against the Gialloblu, which the defence deserves praise for. Hopefully, they can build on the strong display, preventing the opponents from finding the back of the net once again. Theo Hernandez will start on the left, of course, having scored the winner last time out.

Despite rumours of Rade Krunic replacing Franck Kessie in the midfield, the latter will keep his spot in the starting eleven. After a slow start with the red and black shirt, Bennacer has certainly picked himself out, cementing his spot in the holding midfield role. Italian veteran Bonaventura will complete the trio.

In attack, Kris Piatek will get yet another chance to break his goal drought. Of course, this decision hasn’t been received too well among the Rossoneri faithful, who would like to see Rafael Leao instead. However, Pioli defended the Polish international during today’s press conference, which indicates that he will start.

Likely Milan XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Conti, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer, Bonaventura; Suso, Piatek, Calhanoglu.

STATS

As you would expect, Milan are the favourites in this fixture. In fact, the Rossoneri have been very successful against the Renato Dall’Ara side in recent history. Take a look at the top five facts and stats down below.

  • AC Milan have only lost one of their last 19 Serie A meetings against Bologna (W13 D5), a 0-1 defeat in January 2016 under Sinisa Mihajlovic (with Roberto Donadoni in charge of the Rossoblu).
  • Bologna’s last Serie A victory against AC Milan was back in March 2002; since then, nine wins for the Rossoneri and four draws.
  • AC Milan, who won their last league game against Parma, are looking to win back-to-back Serie A games for only the second time this season (between August and September against Brescia and Verona)
  • AC Milan have gained just 17 points this term, no side has ended the season in the top-4 of the table with 17 points or less at this stage of the Italian top-flight (three points for a win era).
  • Bologna have lost the highest points from leading situations in Serie A this season (10) – indeed, they only lost 13 such points through the whole of the 2018/19 campaign.

 

PREDICTION

Milan seem to be on the up. In recent weeks, they have performed well, showing all the right signs. Against Parma, they finally got paid for all of their hard work. Therefore, their confidence will be pretty good ahead of this game, which should be relatively easy for Pioli’s men. Even if it turns out to be very tough, they should manage to grab the three points.

Bologna 0-2 AC Milan 

Parma 0-1 AC Milan: Hernandez rewards the Rossoneri in the dying minutes

AC Milan managed to get back to winning ways as Hernandez came up big for the Rossoneri, scoring his third goal of the season. However, it certainly wasn’t easy for Pioli’s men, as their lack of composure in the final third was painful to watch this afternoon. 

The Rossoneri started the first half really well, looking like a much better team than what we have seen in the last few weeks. After just two minutes, they created their first chance as Piatek did well to find Calhanoglu in the box. The Turkish international struck it well, but the goalkeeper didn’t have to intervene as it went wide. Continue reading

Parma vs. AC Milan: Team news, stats and prediction

After an impressive 1-1 draw against Napoli, AC Milan will be looking to build on that display as they take on Parma in the 14th round. However, even though the performance was good last weekend, it still didn’t give the Rossoneri what they so desperately need: three points. 

Thanks to the point, Pioli’s men went from 14th to 13th place in the standings, but there is still a long way to go. As the winter break is just four games away, it would be good to finish off the first half of the season strong. In Milan’s case, it might be better to replace good with necessary in that sentence.

TEAM NEWS

Compared to the game against Napoli, Pioli will have a few more players at his disposal. In addition to Bennacer and Calhanoglu, who are back from suspension, the likes of Borini, Castillejo and Suso have recovered from their respective injury struggles.

Given that they did perform well against Napoli, the manager will be looking to make as few changes as possible, and this shows in the probable line-ups that have been reported in the media as of late. In fact, there won’t be any changes in the defence, as Conte remains ahead of Calabria in the pecking order.

In the middle, on the other hand, we will see some rotation, mostly because Bennacer and Calhanoglu are back. According to Sky Italia, Paqueta isn’t fully fit and could miss out on the game, likely to be replaced by the Turkish international (who usually plays on the wing). Krunic or Kessie will complete the trio.

As a result of this, Bonaventura looks set to keep his spot on the left-wing, which really shouldn’t even have been a question given how crucial he was for the Rossoneri against Napoli. Once again, Piatek will get another chance to redeem himself from a very poor start, hoping to get the right service from the Italian and Suso.

Likely AC Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Conti, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Calhanoglu, Bennacer, Krunic (Kessie); Suso, Piatek, Bonaventura.

STATS

As you can imagine, Milan are clear favourites to win this game, at least based on the stats. Then again, their start to the season has been far from good, which makes it hard to justify their position with numbers that are based on previous season (during which they have done well, most of the time). Down below are the top five facts and stats.

  • Milan have found the net in each of their last 12 Serie A meetings against Parma: the Rossoneri have won eight of those matches (D2 L2).
  • Parma have won four of their seven league games at Tardini Stadium this season (L3) – in the 21st century only twice have they won more games at this stage of the season at home in Serie A.
  • Milan have picked up only one point in their last three games, they could go four league games without a win for the first time this season.
  • Milan have lost the most points (six) with goals conceded in the last 20 minutes of play in Serie A this season. Parma are yet to lose a point during this period of play.
  • Giacomo Bonaventura has been directly involved in three goals in his last three Serie A games against Parma (two goals, one assist).

 

PREDICTION

Even though I got last week’s prediction right (1-1 against Napoli), it’s very tough to get things right with Milan this season. Under Giampaolo, it was more or less impossible to understand the team’s form, but I must admit that Pioli has managed to shake things up. With that in mind, although tomorrow’s game will be tough, the Rossoneri should be able to grab the win.

Parma 1-2 AC Milan

AC Milan 1-1 Napoli: Bonaventura rescues the Rossoneri from all-time low

After two consecutive defeats, AC Milan at least managed to avoid a third as they claimed one point in the game against Napoli at the San Siro. However, it wasn’t the result that Pioli so badly needed, as the Rossoneri are still struggling in the bottom half of the standings. 

On the other hand, it was a good result against a side that Milan historically have had problems with. Then again, that doesn’t mean much as they desperately need to turn the situation around, although this result will surely give the players some sort of confidence boost ahead of Parma next week. Continue reading

AC Milan vs. Napoli: Team news, stats and prediction

The international break has come to an end (finally) and AC Milan are gearing up to take on Napoli at the San Siro on Saturday evening. After a positive display against Juventus which, however, resulted in a loss, the Rossoneri will be looking to grab the three points this time out. 

Pioli’s side are currently sitting in 14th place in the standings, having claimed just 13 points in the first 12 games of the season. Of course, the manager didn’t start the campaign with the club, but there hasn’t been a significant improvement since he arrived either.

Therefore, the game against Napoli will be very important, as now is the time to exit the crisis and make sense of the season. In short, they certainly need to bounce back even without the necessary reinforcements, as it might be too late after the January transfer window.

TEAM NEWS

For Pioli, it might be tough to replicate the performance against Juventus, as three of the players who played from start will miss this game. Bennacer, Borini, Calhanoglu, Castillejo, Duarte and Rodriguez are all excluded from the squad the list. On the other hand, Kessie and Musacchio are back after missing out on the game in Turin.

According to today’s edition of Gazzetta Dello Sport, Pioli has opted to just make the necessary changes, which you can understand given that three changes are already a lot. Coming off what might have been their best display of the season, it would be foolish to try and tweak too much.

Musacchio will slot in at the back alongside Romagnoli, having just returned from the injury that paved the way for Duarte in the first place. Other than that, the defence will remain intact, with Conti and Hernandez occupying the flanks. It will be interesting to see how they can cope with Napoli’s speed on the counter-attacks.

Per the newspaper, Biglia will play in the holding midfield role, as he is the natural replacement for the suspended Bennacer. Just like against Juventus, Paqueta and Krunic will offer support to the regista on each side. The two performed very well at the Allianz Stadium and further cemented their respective spot in the starting eleven.

Tonight’s clash will be a big chance for Piatek to prove the management wrong, as there have been rumours of a potential loan exit in January. Hopefully, he can build on his goal for Poland during the international break. Suso and Bonaventura will offer support on the flanks, with the latter replacing the suspended Calhanoglu.

AC Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Conti, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Paquetà, Biglia, Krunic; Suso, Piatek, Bonaventura.

STATS

In recent years, the Rossoneri have struggled against Napoli. Therefore, fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too much, although they have beaten the Partenopei under worse circumstances. Down below are the top five facts and stats for the game, provided by Opta.

  • Milan have won none of the last four matches at Meazza against Napoli in Serie A (D2 L2): their longest winless streak on home soil against Napoli since the ‘80s.
  • Napoli have lost just one of their last 16 matches against Milan in Serie A (W9 D6): a 0-2 defeat in December 2014, whilst Milan were managed by Filippo Inzaghi.
  • Milan have lost seven of their opening 12 matches in a Serie A season, for the first time since 1941/42: Milan have never lost eight of their first 13 matches in the league.
  • Napoli striker Lorenzo Insigne has scored six goals against Milan in Serie A, against no side has he scored more.
  • Napoli (9 pts fewer) and Milan (8 pts fewer) both have fewer points than at this stage last season.

 

PREDICTION

Milan, and Napoli as well to some extent, can’t afford to lose tonight’s encounter. Therefore, it should be an exciting clash, which hopefully can result in three points for Pioli’s men. The game against Juventus certainly sparked some hope, although they will need to be very focused to replicate that performance. Given that both sides are struggling, I would say that a draw is a fair prediction.

AC Milan 1-1 Napoli

AC Milan should bring back Ibrahimovic – Three reasons why

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about a potential return to Serie A for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Just a few days ago, the Swede confirmed that he won’t renew his contract with LA Galaxy, which of course fueled the rumours in question.

Multiple Serie A clubs have shown their interest in the player, from his former side Milan to the underdogs Bologna. Recently, though, it seems the Rossoneri have overtaken the competitors in the race.

For many, it’s a no-brainer, but should the Rossoneri bring back the big man ahead of the second half of the season? In my opinion, the management has a great opportunity on the table, and down below are three reasons why they should sign the 38-year-old.

1. Goals, goals, goals…

At the start of the season, Milan have struggled to find the back of the net, bagging just 11 goals in 12 games. Many have blamed this on their style of play, but the problem has remained even after Pioli replaced Giampaolo. Therefore, it’s clear that they need some new energy.

Even though he’s older than he was during his last spell at the club, Ibrahimovic still knows how to score. And yes, MLS clearly isn’t as good as Serie A, but the Swede scored some spectacular goals with LA Galaxy to prove that he’s still got it.

The bottom line is that he will guarantee goals (hopefully) for the Rossoneri, who are in desperate need of it to turn the negative situation around. Furthermore, he should be able to raise the overall quality of Milan’s attack.

2. His experience is vital

Ibrahimovic has played on the highest level for a very long time now, and his experience would arguably be very useful for Milan. It also helps that he’s been at Milan before, as he knows the environment and what the club expects from the players.

It’s been said before, but the Rossoneri’s squad is simply too young for the time being. They need some experienced figures, and bringing in Zlatan will get them a long way. Above all, he will certainly raise the bar in the team, pushing the players to the max.

You can ask any of his former teammates, but they will all say the same. Ibrahimovic is just as important off the pitch as he is on it, constantly letting the players know about the demands in place.

3. It would be no holiday for ‘Ibra’

Should the deal go through, then it’s safe to say that it won’t be a holiday for the big Swede. He knows this, and after spending some time in the MLS, he will want to show his best side to the European crowd as well. Challenges drive the striker, which is perfect in this situation.

No doubt, he will be eager to prove that he can still do well at the top. Turning Milan around would certainly be a great testament to this. Therefore, the Rossoneri should sign him before it’s too late.

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Pioli should change the formation; AC Milan’s ideal XI against Napoli

Even though AC Milan lost against Juventus, falling further down the standings, there is still some light at the end of the tunnel. The Rossoneri put up a good fight against the Bianconeri, who had to rely on a piece of individual brilliance from Dybala off the bench to win the game in the end. 

Of course, in Milan’s situation, a good performance simply isn’t enough to turn their situation around, let alone climb up the standings. However, as the team was able to put arguably the best Italian side in so much trouble, surely they are at least on the right path.  Continue reading

Juventus 1-0 AC Milan: Tops and flops for the Rossoneri

Despite a very positive performance, after a period of disappointment, AC Milan failed to keep a clean sheet away at Juventus on Sunday evening. The Bianconeri managed to clinch all three points in the end, as Dybala came to their rescue.

Pioli’s men put up a good fight despite their recent struggles, which perhaps caught the home side by surprise, who were predicted to win the game with ease. However, after just ten minutes, it was clear that this wasn’t going to be the case. Then again, Juve snatched all points, which is what matters. Continue reading