After an impressive win against Atalanta, AC Milan will try to keep their good form going against Empoli as the race for a top-four finish continues.
The next few weeks could be crucial as Gattuso’s men will be facing more suitable opponents to distance themselves from Roma and Lazio in the race for Champions League qualification, before facing Inter in the anticipated Derby Della Madonnina.
Facing Empoli this Friday, however, will not be easy as the Rossoneri have proven many times in the past how hard it can be for them to beat weaker opponents.
With six goals in five games, Krzysztof Piątek will most likely try to capitalize on his impressive form and score once again this weekend. Therefore, he is expected to start again ahead of Patrick Cutrone.
Samu Castillejo may be the only change made in the starting eleven, replacing Suso on the right wing as the Spanish winger serves his suspension. However, MilanNews reports that Conti could get the nod ahead of Calabria, which many fans have been asking for.
Likely AC Milan XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Conti (Calabria), Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Bakayoko, Paqueta; Castillejo, Piatek, Calhanoglu.
Empoli are not doing too well this season, currently sitting on the 17th position in the league with no sign of improvement. They have only managed to win one of their last five games (Sassuolo), drawing against Cagliari and Chievo, while losing against Lazio and Genoa.
However, their win against Sassuolo last weekend was somewhat impressive and could signal a turning point in their season as they fight against relegation. In other words, they could end up being a very dangerous opponent.
Likely Empoli XI (3-5-2): Provedel; Veseli, Silvestre, Dell’Orco; Di Lorenzo, Acquah, Bennacer, Krunic, Pasqual; Farias, Caputo.
LAST TIME OUT
The last time the two teams met was back in September of last year, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. The Rossoneri scored first through Biglia and Caputo equalized from the penalty spot, which was caused by a huge mistake from Romagnoli.
However, things are not quite the same for the Italian giants as the team has changed for the better, while Empoli have pretty much stayed the same. Last time they met, Milan were coming from two draws in a row while this time, Gattuso and his men are enjoying a run of good results.
In games like this, being composed in front of the goal will be crucial, which means that the Rossoneri will probably have to rely heavily on Krzysztof Piątek once again. His equalizer against Atalanta is the perfect example of how his goals can change the games for the better.
Looking at Empoli’s squad, there are a few dangerous players to keep an eye on. Midfielder Krunic scored a great goal last weekend after a splendid solo run, while their top goalscorer Caputo is lethal in front of goal, with eleven goals to his name.
Considering how well Milan did against Empoli with a worse squad and in poor form, it is clear that they are favourite to bring home all three points with their recent attitude on and off the field.
AC Milan 2-0 Empoli