Serie A preview: Torino vs. AC Milan – Team news, opposition insight, stats and more

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan are looking to bounce back from the disappointing 0-0 draw against Bologna last time out, taking on Torino away from home on Sunday evening. 

Milan headed into the last round with a spring in their step as Napoli and Inter were taking on Atalanta and Juventus respectively. Unfortunately, the Rossoneri came out as the losers of that round as their lead was reduced to one point.

Stefano Pioli reiterated in his pre-match press conference that tomorrow is a different game, but also admitted that his players will have to be a bit better in the attacking pase. Especially in the final third.

Game date: Sunday, 10 April
Kick-off time: 20:45 (CEST)
Venue: Grande Torino stadium
Referee: Doveri (VAR: Irrati)

Team news

As with all the other games in this season finale, Pioli has a pretty clear idea of what the starting XI will look like. Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu, to give an example, are more or less untouchable as things stand.

However, given the disappointing draw vs. Bologna, there are a few things he must tweak to make better use of the squad. The latest reports suggest that there will be two changes to the XI, with both of them being in the attack.

Junior Messias was extremely poor last time out and will be dropped for tomorrow’s game. Alexis Saelemaekers is currently in pole position to start on the right but he also really needs to prove himself, having failed to make an impact lately.

The second change will be Franck Kessie in place of Brahim Diaz, who tried very hard against Bologna but ultimately ended up creating few chances. The Ivorian will add more physical strength to the attacking trio as well, which could be useful for this game.

Olivier Giroud will lead the line once again with his experience, hoping to find the back of the net just like he did in the reverse fixture (it was the winner). Zlatan Ibrahimovic will most likely make an appearance off the bench, regardless of the result.

Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Bennacer, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Kessie, Leao; Giroud.

The opponents

It has been a very average season for Torino, currently on 10 wins, 8 draws and 12 losses. The most recent win against Salernitana was very important as it ended an 8-game run of no wins for Il Toro, which says a lot.

Ivan Juric was often praised for his work at Hellas Verona and more was perhaps expected from him this season. Torino are currently in 11th place with 38 points and although it’s better than recent seasons, it has (as said) been an average campaign.

That’s not to say, however, that they can’t cause Milan any problems. The win in the reverse fixture was far from easy and the Rossoneri were saved by an early goal from a corner, courtesy of Giroud. Torino also put Inter in great difficulty recently in a game they would have won, had it not been for the poor refereeing.

Rolando Mandragora will miss out on the game tomorrow, as was confirmed by Juric earlier today, and that means Samuele Ricci or Tommaso Pobega (the Milan loanee) will start in that position. There are no surprises besides that, though.

Probable Torino XI (3-4-2-1): Berisha; Izzo, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Lukic, Ricci (Pobega), Vojvoda; Pobega, Brekalo; Belotti.

Head to head

Milan’s head-to-head record against Torino is quite encouraging as they have won the last four games against them. It’s been a while since they managed to beat them in five consecutive games, which you can read more about below.

The reverse fixture, as already mentioned, ended 1-0 as the Rossoneri managed to take the lead early through Giroud. The Frenchman was assisted by Krunic on a corner and only had to steer it into the back of the net.

Milan didn’t create that many dangerous chances afterwards and instead, it was Torino that came close to scoring. Tatarusanu was forced to a big save on Sanabria and in the dying seconds, Kjaer made a crucial clearance just in front of goal. It was, in short, a hard-fought win.

Match facts…

➤ AC Milan have won each of their last four Serie A games against Torino, by an aggregate scoreline of 11-0 – only once have the Rossoneri registered five league wins in a row against Torino in the competition, between 1950 and 1952.

➤ AC Milan could win five Serie A games in a row without conceding against a single opponent for the second time, also doing so against Bari between 1964 and 1985.

➤ AC Milan won 7-0 in their last Serie A meeting against Torino at Olimpico Grande Torino; Rossoneri could win two Serie A games in a row at Torino for the first time since 2008 (under Carlo Ancelotti).

➤ In their 1-0 win against Salernitana, Torino ended an eight-game winless streak in Serie A – the Granata last kept back-to-back clean sheets in the competition last September.

➤ Torino have lost each of their last six Serie A games against sides starting the matchday at the top of the table – the last time Torino avoided defeat to such an opponent was in May 2019 (1-1 vs Juventus).

➤ Following their draw against Bologna in their last Serie A game, AC Milan could remain goalless for two consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since February 2021: two losses against Spezia and Inter on that occasion.

➤ Since Bennacer’s goal against Cagliari, AC Milan have attempted 43 shots without scoring, their longest streak in Serie A since that of 66 shots between December 2019 and January 2020, interrupted by Rafael Leão against Cagliari.

➤ Andrea Belotti has scored each of Torino’s last two goals in Serie A against AC Milan (brace in September 2019) – with another goal, Belotti would equal Paolo Pulici, Romeo Menti e Guglielmo Gabetto (six) as Torino’s highest goalscorer against Rossoneri in the competition.

➤ Zlatan Ibrahimovic (40y and 189d – on the day of the game) could become the second oldest scorer in Serie A history, overtaking Silvio Piola in 1954 (40y, 131d) – the Swede is goalless in six league games, his longest drought in the competition since April 2006 (a run of 9 with Juventus).

➤ Each of Ante Rebic’s last six Serie A goals have come away from, five of them in Turin (two vs Juventus): Torino are his favourite opponent in the competition (five goals) and the only side against which he has scored a hat-trick (May 12, 2021, in a 7-0 win for AC Milan).

Ones to watch

Given that the outing against Bologna was so poor offensively, it will be up to all of the attackers to prove a point tomorrow. We are usually quick to criticise someone like Giroud because he’s ultimately responsible for scoring the goals, but it’s hard for him to do that without any service.

Therefore, granted that Kessie will be a more defensive solution, Saelemaekers and Leao will have to step up their game on the flanks tomorrow. We all know what happens when Giroud gets into a good position and thus the key will be to pick him out.

For the away side, Belotti is the obvious danger man and he managed to find the back of the net last time out. He’s a player that works extremely hard on the pitch and he will certainly be a handful for Tomori and Kalulu.

It will also be very interesting to see Pobega, should he start in the more advanced role as predicted. He did well in that position against Inter and his physique could pose some problems for the Rossoneri defence tomorrow.


Milan are the favourites heading into this one, there is no doubt about it, but the same was said ahead of the game against Bologna. The outcome of the game will ultimately depend on the skill of the Rossoneri, because we know they can create chances. They just need to convert them.

Prediction: Torino 0-2 Milan

Tags AC Milan Serie A Torino
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