AC Milan play their first game of 2024 tonight when they take on Cagliari at San Siro in the last 16 of the Coppa Italia, hoping to lift the trophy for the first time in over 20 years.
Interestingly, this will be the fourth knockout stage clash between the sides in the cup but the first in over 40 years. In the league, however, the teams have faced each other 89 times, with Milan winning 52 of these (28D, 9L). Below are the best stats ahead of the game…
➤ In the last eight matches against Cagliari, Milan have kept six clean sheets, conceding only two goals; on the previous 10 occasions the Rossoneri had conceded 10 goals and collected just one clean sheet.
➤ Milan have remained unbeaten in their last 19 home games against Cagliari (17W, 2D); the Rossoneri have the longest domestic unbeaten streak, considering all competitions, only against Hellas Verona (37).
➤ On the three occasions in which Milan and Cagliari faced each other in the Coppa Italia in a direct elimination phase, the Rossoneri advanced: in 1967 in a single match, in 1983 and 1992 in a home and away match.
➤ In four of the last five round of 16 matches played by Milan the match has been extended into extra time; in the period the Rossoneri have advanced to the round four times, being eliminated in the most recent round of 16, played against Torino on 11 January 2023.
➤ Cagliari have been eliminated on all the last nine occasions in which they have played in the round of 16 of the Cup Italy, with the last passage of this round dating back to 2004-05 against Lazio.
➤ Milan have lost their last two Coppa Italia matches (0-3 against Inter, 0-1 against Torino) and have not achieved three defeats in a row in the competition since the period between September 1980 and August 1981 (against Palermo, Inter and Hellas Verona).
➤ Milan have not scored in their last three Coppa Italia matches; the Rossoneri have never been without a goal for four games in a row in their history in the tournament.
➤ Cagliari has attempted 28 shots at the end of an offensive ball recovery (i.e. within a maximum of 40 meters from the opponent’s goal) in this championship, only fewer than Napoli (35).
➤ Olivier Giroud’s first goals with the AC Milan shirt in all competitions arrived on 29 August 2021, scoring a brace at home against Cagliari in Serie A (4-1); the French center forward has scored nine headed goals in official matches in 2023, in the major five European tournaments only Harry Kane (10) has done better among all competitions in the period.
➤ The only goal scored this season by Cagliari against Milan came with Zito Luvumbo, who scored on 27 September in the championship match; the Sardinian striker has earned 13 fouls in the final third of the pitch in this Serie A TIM, fewer only than Dan Ndoye (14) and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (15).