Following the defeat to Fiorentina last time out, Marco Giampaolo’s position at AC Milan is hanging by a thread as a crucial clash with Genoa awaits this evening. In fact, it is rumoured to be the Italian’s last chance to save his job.
The Rossoneri have failed to impress at the start of the season, winning just two of the first six games. Inevitably, therefore, Giampaolo has had to withstand some heavy criticism from the media and fans, which the management seemed to have picked up on now.
According to the latest reports, tonight’s clash will be the last chance for the former Sampdoria boss, as Milan simply can’t afford to lose any more points if they want to stay within reach of the top four. In other words, three points are needed against Genoa this evening.
At the back, per Gazzetta Dello Sport, one change will be made. Musacchio will serve a one-game ban following the red card against Fiorentina, thus paving the way for Duarte to make his first start with the red and black shirt. Other than that, the back four remains intact, as Hernandez once again wins the race over Rodriguez.
After the first games of the season, fans were begging Giampaolo to opt for Bennacer rather than Biglia, which materialized in the last two games. However, last time out, the Algerian had a nightmare as he caused two penalties, lacked awareness and misplaced several passes. Therefore, he will sit on the bench this evening.
In addition to him, for the first time this season, Calhanoglu will start on the bench. The Turk played a big role at the beginning of the season, but has since failed to impress the fans. As a result, Paqueta will take his spot to the left in the midfield, having recovered from the minor injury he sustained before the Torino clash.
Earlier this week, rumours suggested that Piatek could be dropped in favour of Rafael Leao. However, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Polish striker will lead the line up front while the Portuguese youngster will play on the left flank. Therefore, we will have to wait for Rebic’s first start with the club.
Likely AC Milan XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria, Duarte, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessiè, Biglia, Paqueta; Suso, Piatek, Leao.
Likely Genoa XI (3-5-2): Radu; Romero, Zapata, Criscito; Ghiglione, Schone, Radovanovic, Lerager, Pajac; Pinamonti, Kouamé.
Normally, Milan would be the favourite in this fixture. However, given their recent form, you simply can’t rule out another loss for Giampaolo’s men. Furthermore, the stats suggest that the Rossoneri have struggled against Genoa in the past, even though recent times have seen a great improvement in this aspect.
In fact, the Rossoneri have won four of their last five encounters with the Rossoblu, while they had lost four of their previous five games against them before the current run. Then again, Giampaolo’s men have started the season far from good, and yet another loss would go down even deeper in history.
Only once in their Serie A history have Milan lost five of their first seven games in a single season (in the 1938/39 under József Bánás). Therefore, a lot is at stake this evening, and the team will have to get the goalscoring going after bagging only two goals from open play thus far.
So far in my predictions, I have been pretty optimistic. However, being an AC Milan fans, it’s getting hard. Therefore, I don’t expect Giampaolo’s side to make any wonders this evening, though the Rossoneri will have to bounce back at some point. For the sake of it, I think it will end in a scoreless draw.
Genoa 0-0 AC Milan