Fonseca’s start, six-pointers and Europe: Dissecting Milan’s 2024-25 Serie A fixtures

By Oliver Fisher -

One of the highlights of the preseason activity came today as the fixture list for the upcoming 2024-25 campaign was confirmed during a ceremony put on by Lega Serie A.

Of course it goes without saying that every team must play every other team twice and AC Milan knew their 19 opponents for the new season, but the order of said opponents can be quite important beyond just the run of games start and end.

In addition to that there is an extra factor for Milan to consider: there is a new head coach in charge. Paulo Fonseca knows the league from his couple of years with Roma, but will still look to hit the ground running.

An intriguing baptism

The first five games of the season could well be pace-setting for the Rossoneri once again, and they discovered today that they will begin with a home match against Torino at San Siro. They too will have a new man in charge, with Paolo Vanoli having left Venezia to join the Granata and replace Ivan Juric.

Games against Il Toro never seem to be easy for Milan and thus there could have been more straightforward starts for Fonseca, though in the second round they head to face newly-promoted Parma who were excellent last season and will be hoping for their momentum to continue.

The first big test though comes right at the end of August with a trip to the capital to face Lazio on the cards. Marco Baroni is now in charge there after the Biancocelesti had Maurizio Sarri and Igor Tudor last season, but the Olimpico is always a hostile venue and it will be a stern challenge.

A home game against another team that have come up from Serie B follows that as Venezia come to San Siro. It is their second recent foray into the top flight and they will hope to stay a bit longer this time, yet losing Vanoli to Torino hasn’t helped their plans.

Then we come to the big one in round five: the derby against Inter. More on that particular game to come, but the rest of the first 10 games are rounded off by fixtures against Lecce (H), Fiorentina (A), Udinese (H), Bologna (A) and Napoli (H). On paper, at least, there is a chance to accrue early points.

The run-in

After scanning the opening few games it is natural to look towards the end of the list to see what awaits on the home straight. Counting forwards from Matchday 30 onwards Milan have Napoli (A), Fiorentina (H), Udinese (A) and Atalanta at home before the final five games, so not too dissimilar from rounds 5-10.

Then, a trip to Venezia is followed by another away game against Genoa, with Bologna at home coming after that and Roma the final away game of the season. Monza at home concludes the campaign, meaning that the Diavolo will start and end the season in friendly confines, which is a rarity.

A lot of football has to be played before we know how that finale to the season will look and feel, yet it does feel as though Fonseca’s men have avoided any real juggernaut clashes which could derail a top four push or even a Scudetto battle.

However, it must also be pointed out that playing Napoli away under Antonio Conte will be tough, Fiorentina are always a resilient opposition, Atalanta the same, while Bologna and Roma inside the final three games is also a potentially daunting prospect.

Direct clashes

Milan’s record in the ‘six-pointer’ games last season left a lot to be desired, though it must be said they had a couple of tough runs in 2023-24.

Back-to-back matches against Roma and Inter in rounds 3 and 4 (both away) set the tone, then in October a home meeting with Juventus was followed by a trip to Napoli.

In the new year a home meeting with Atalanta at San Siro preceded a visit to the Olimpico to face Lazio, then in April the return derby came a week before Juve away.

There is a nicer spread this time around, with no consecutive games against sides that would be considered among the traditional ‘seven sisters’ of Serie A.

Round 3: Lazio vs. Milan
Round 5: Inter vs. Milan
Round 10: Milan vs. Napoli
Round 13: Milan vs. Juventus
Round 15: Atalanta vs. Milan
Round 18: Milan vs. Roma

Round 21: Juventus vs. Milan
Round 23: Milan vs. Inter
Round 27: Milan vs. Lazio
Round 30: Napoli vs. Milan
Round 33: Milan vs Atalanta
Round 37: Roma vs. Milan

As the list above shows, there is at least a game between all of the head-to-head clashes and in most cases several. That is something that could make a difference when it comes to rotating effectively and balancing commitments.

European nights 

The new format for European competitions comes into play in 2024-25 and we explained the changes in a longer article, but below are the dates for the ‘league phase’ of the Champions League.

Matchday 1: 17–19 September 2024
Matchday 2: 1/2 October 2024
Matchday 3: 22/23 October 2024
Matchday 4: 5/6 November 2024
Matchday 5: 26/27 November 2024
Matchday 6: 10/11 December 2024
Matchday 7: 21/22 January 2025
Matchday 8: 29 January 2025

Lega Serie A announced at the ceremony that UCL teams will not be able to face other Italian sides that are in the Europa League or Conference League in the following rounds: 5, 6, 22, 25, 28, 32 and 35.

So, who do Milan have either side of their European commitments? Matchday one falls between the Venezia home and Inter ‘away’ games, matchday two is after Lecce at home and before Fiorentina away, matchday three is between Udinese at home and Bologna away, while Matchday four intersperses away trips to Monza and Calgiari.

Moving into the second half of the new UCL group phase, the fifth game falls between home matches against Juventus and Empoli, the sixth is after an away game against Atalanta and before the visit of Genoa, the penultimate fixture is after Juve away and before Empoli at home, and the eighth and final European fixture comes between home meetings with Parma and Inter.

The derbies

Perhaps the first thing that Milanisti and Interisti look for is the derbies, and there is yet another early meeting between the two sides that could end up being a big early indicator.

Last season Inter won the first derby 5-1 in their ‘home’ games and that was in round four, while in the return game towards the end of the season they triumphed 2-1 to seal the Scudetto and the second star.

The season before that, however, it was the red side of the city celebrating after the first Derby della Madonnina as the then-Scudetto-holders won a thriller 3-2 on matchday five. In 2024-25, they will face each other in the fifth game again.

One of Fonseca’s big missions as Milan boss will be to improve on the derby record that Stefano Pioli had an to snap the run of six defeats in a row across all competitions. A statement result in late September would be a good way to endear himself to some perhaps more sceptical fans.

The reverse derby is on matchday 23 (1/2 February 2025) and that will be Milan’s designated ‘home’ game. It comes between games against Parma and Empoli for the Rossoneri which could be worse, but as aforementioned there is a European game just before too.

Tags AC Milan


Add a Comment
  1. [TRIGGER WARNING: this comment may contain material sensitive to panicking snowflakes’ ears. If that’s you, it might be safer to not read.]

    Torino’s a tricky opener and Lazio can be unpredictable. Inter merde in round #5…. can’t go any worse than the last five times but overall I think we’re going to surprise a few people next season. Especially if Mike and Theo can get knocked out of the Euros sooner rather than later so they don’t come back completed shattered like last season.

    1. We gotta keep Mike & Theo for that… which we probably will but theos comments sounds like he’s open to a move. As for surprising people, a surprise can be good or bad!

      Still a while til season opener, will reserve judgement til then

      Forza Milan

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