Atalanta vs. AC Milan: Serie A Round 38 – Team news, stats and prediction

The final round of the season is upon us and for Milan, an extremely important encounter with Atalanta awaits at Gewiss Stadium. After getting just one point against Cagliari last time out, the Rossoneri most likely need to win in order to secure Champions League qualification for next season. 

It’s a task that won’t be easy for Stefano Pioli and his men but they are more than capable of getting the job done, as evidenced by the 3-0 win at Juventus. Atalanta have already secured their spot in the top four but will be playing for prize money, as there is about a €5m difference between finishing second and fourth.  Continue reading

Parma 1-3 AC Milan: Top three performers as Rossoneri secure three crucial points

Milan were heading towards a comfortable win earlier this evening, with a 2-0 lead in the bag, but then Zlatan Ibrahimovic got sent off and Parma pulled one back. In the end, after what was a very nervy period, the Rossoneri secured the win thanks to a goal from Rafael Leao in stoppage time. 

Stefano Pioli’s men looked a lot better than the performance against Sampdoria and had a 2-0 lead already in half-time. Ante Rebic opened the scoring with a great effort and Franck Kessie doubled the lead just before the break, scoring his 10th league goal of the season. It looked very comfortable, in other words.  Continue reading

Parma vs. AC Milan: Serie A Round 30 – Team news, stats and prediction

Milan didn’t get the best of starts to their season finally as they got just one point from the clash against Sampdoria last weekend. Therefore, it will be very important for them to bounce back with a win against Parma tomorrow, which really is a must if you look at the season the respective sides have had. 

Stefano Pioli’s men looked very lacklustre last time out and were saved by Jens Petter Hauge, who came off the bench and beautifully scored the equaliser. Based on the majority of the game, in fact, the Rossoneri barely deserved one point and it’s interesting to think they were just about denied the win by the woodwork.  Continue reading

AC Milan 1-1 Sampdoria: Rossoneri rightfully disappointed after just about clinching one point

Milan were hoping to secure another three points and put some pressure on their city rivals Inter this afternoon. However, they failed to do so and only just about got away with one point against Sampdoria, who were the better side for most of the game. A big disappointment, therefore, for the Rossoneri. 

After the win against Fiorentina, you would have expected a bit more grit to Milan’s performance this afternoon but that wasn’t the case at all. Sampdoria started the game very well and put the home side under tremendous pressure for several minutes, though failing to find the back of the net.  Continue reading

Milan lacklustre yet again as they just about advance from two-legged tie vs. Red Star

Milan just about clinched their spot in the last 16 of the Europa League this evening, advancing from their tie against Red Star Belgrade on away goals. After 2-2 in Serbia, the Rossoneri were hoping for a convincing win with a half-decent XI, but that ended up not being the case for them. 

It started well as Franck Kessie converted a penalty after just nine minutes, but from there on Stefano Pioli’s men struggle to assert themselves in the game. Despite the early goal, Red Star showed great mentality as they kept plugging on and eventually got paid for the efforts.  Continue reading

AC Milan 0-3 Inter: Three things we learned as Rossoneri suffer heavy derby defeat

Milan were hoping to reclaim first place with a derby win earlier this afternoon but instead, they suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat against the city rivals. Admittedly, Inter were on another level and although the Rossoneri came close to scoring, their defence just wasn’t good enough. Down below are three things we learned. 

1. Is it time to change the formation?

The 4-2-3-1 has been the standard choice for Stefano Pioli all season and it has worked well, for the most part that is. In recent games, though, the players have really struggled to reach the level they had in the first half of the season. It might not be entirely down to the formation, but changing it might be beneficial.

It would spice things up a bit and could perhaps fuel the players, who as mentioned are struggling big time at the moment. 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 are two options that the Rossoneri could adjust to quite easily. Pioli was asked about the matter in the post-match conference and he certainly didn’t rule it out.

“We’ll see, everything is possible. From tomorrow we will make our assessments thinking about the best for the team,” he stated.

2. Romagnoli’s starting spot is in doubt

The captain certainly wasn’t at his best this afternoon and already in recent weeks, fans had questioned his cemented spot in the starting eleven. With Fikayo Tomori on the bench, a plyer that has really impressed in recent weeks, it’s getting harder and harder for Pioli to justify starting Romagnoli.

Given that he’s the captain of the team, there could be ‘political’ reasons behind keeping him in but at the same time, benching him would send a strong signal to the rest of the team. No one is safe, whoever doesn’t perform simply won’t get the chance if they don’t improve.

3. Milan must now focus on top four

It was fun while it lasted, but many have probably realised now that Milan were never meant to fight for the Scudetto. They greatly exceeded the expectations and although it hurts a bit now, given that we had been in first for a very long time, it will only help to focus on top four and not get too hung up on the Scudetto.

After all, the race for those spots is very tight and if they lose to Roma next week, then the Rossoneri could slip further down the standings. This certainly wouldn’t be ideal, as it would damage an already compromised team confidence. Hopefully, they will bounce back as soon as possible, perhaps with a formation change.

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Spezia vs. AC Milan: Serie A Round 22 – Team news, stats and prediction

Milan didn’t just secure all three points against Crotone last weekend, they also won convincingly and settled some of the doubts that had emerged as of late. 21 games into the season, the story remains the same: this Rossoneri side will fight until the end, through good and bad times but always with the same goal in mind. 

Inter remain just two points behind Stefano Pioli’s men and there are no doubts about the pressure of being in first place. However, the players seem to have tackled this well and with one game left until the crucial derby, they will be looking to assert themselves once again, taking on Spezia away from home.  Continue reading

AC Milan 4-0 Crotone: Three things we learned as Rossoneri run riot in second half

After Inter managed to beat Fiorentina on Friday evening, Milan were temporarily knocked down to second place in the league standings. The added pressure didn’t seem to bother the Rossoneri, though, as they put four past Crotone after what was a relatively quiet first half. 

Just like against the Nerazzurri, the away side crumbled at San Siro and the three points were never really in danger for Stefano Pioli’s men. Once again, therefore, the pressure is back on their city rivals ahead of their clash with Lazio next weekend. Milan, meanwhile, will take on Spezia in the next round.  Continue reading

AC Milan vs. Crotone: Serie A Round 21 – Team news, stats and prediction

After the win against Bologna, Milan will be looking to add yet another three points to their tally, taking on Crotone at the San Siro tomorrow afternoon. As Inter came away with all three points against Fiorentina, the pressure is now on the Rossoneri to reclaim their spot at the top of the league standings. 

Stefano Pioli and his men have exceeded all expectations this season and even in difficult situations, they have managed to get good results to preserve their lead. A fantastic achievement, especially if you consider just how young this squad is. Having made it this far, they have no intention of stopping.   Continue reading

Milan return to winning ways ahead of crucial stretch

Milan entered its game against Bologna off the back of two consecutive defeats, most recently losing to fierce rivals Inter in the Coppa Italia. With the Nerazzurri breathing down their necks, Stefano Pioli’s men needed a result on Saturday – and did just that. The Italian giants emerged comfortable 2-1 winners over Bologna, maintaining their narrow lead atop the table for another weekend.

The win could not have come at a better time for the Rossoneri ahead of a crucial stretch in the season. With morale low after a humbling defeat against Atalanta, as well as a disappointing exit in the Coppa Italia, Milan was in dire need of a result this weekend. Stefano Pioli’s side has a favourable run of games coming up before their schedule gets difficult.

Up next for Milan are two relegation candidates in Spezia and Crotone. Much like it was the case in the first half of the season, the Rossoneri cannot afford anything less than six points from these two games – especially as Inter and Juventus have difficult schedules of their own coming up. Inter takes on Fiorentina and Lazio over the next two matchdays, while Juventus locks horns with Roma and Napoli. In many ways, the upcoming weeks can help Milan extend their lead at the top before the next instalment of the Derby della Madonnina set for February 21.

As of right now, Milan holds a two-point lead over Inter with 18 games to go. With yet another derby on the cards, the Rossoneri will be hoping to cut Inter’s momentum short with a crucial three points. Milan’s games against Spezia and Crotone are good opportunities to blend in the side’s new signings, as well as build up their own confidence.

Milan is also in action in the Europa League Round of 32 against Red Star Belgrade later this month, taking on the Serbian outfit on February 18.  Factor in the Rossoneri’s winnable league affairs, as well as this two-legged tie with Red Star, and they can enter the derby extremely high on confidence.

Fikayo Tomori has looked good in his first two appearances in black-and-red and will have ample opportunity to stake his claim for more regular minutes. The Englishman offers some much-needed depth at the back and could use the next run of games to adapt to Serie A. Fellow January arrival – Mario Mandzukic - has featured sparingly since making the move, but as an intriguing second half of the season approaches, expect the Croatian hitman to play a more significant role. Manduzkic has regularly proven to be up to the challenge in big games and makes for an interesting partner to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

They may have been reluctant to say it in the early goings of the season, but one thing has been made clear since the turn of the new year: Milan is a legit title contender. The Rossoneri have largely downplayed this type of talk in an effort to take the pressure off themselves but can simply no longer avoid the contender tag.

Inter and Juventus are in it with a shot themselves but have been nowhere near as consistent as Milan this season. Barring their defeats to Juventus and Atalanta, Milan has impressed and taken care of business against the league’s mid-table sides. Stefano Pioli’s men will need much of the same heading into February – which is undoubtedly the side’s most important run of games.

Milan’s clash with Inter can potentially define the title race and could just swing the momentum in their favour. Talk about winning a Scudetto has largely been silenced in Casa Milan, but with only 18 games remaining – Milan is in the driver’s seat heading into a crucial month.

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