Milan have lost points for draws on two consecutive occasions and will look to bounce back away against Empoli on Thursday night in Serie A.
The Rossoneri‘s last two matches ended in draws, despite Gennaro Gattuso’s men having numerical superiority in terms of possession as well as attempts on goal. But the team proved to be not cynical enough on the opponent’s half, which cost them 4 points.
Coach Gattuso is set to make two defensive changes and one forced offensive one in the starting lineup. Gianluigi Donnarumma will start again in goal, with Musacchio and Romagnoli once again being the centre-back partnership.
However, the fullbacks expected to start are Ignazio Abate and Diego Laxalt instead of Davide Calabria and Ricardo Rodriguez.
In the midfield and attack, instead, only one change is expected. Kessie will start alongside Biglia and Bonaventura. While in the offensive trio, Borini will likely replace the injured Higuain and will be accompanied by Suso and Calhanoglu.
Also, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport this morning, there could be a surprise in the place of Calhangolu. The Milan-based paper writes that Samu Castillejo could play from the first minute instead of the Turk.
Likely AC Milan XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Laxalt; Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Borini, Calhanoglu (Castillejo).
Empoli have so far had a mixed start to their campaign, after earning back promotion to the Serie A last season. After beating Cagliari 2-0 in round 1, they have only collected one point for a draw against Chievo. The Azzurri will also miss one of their best players Miha Zajc, who was sent off in the team’s last match against Sassuolo away.
Likely Empoli XI (4-3-1-2): Terracciano; Di Lorenzo, Silvestre, Maietta, Veseli; Bennacer, Capezzi, Krunic; Traore; La Gumina, Caputo.
LAST TIME OUT
Milan’s last match was at the San Siro against Atalanta. The Rossoneri were looking to win their second match of the Serie A campaign and it all looked well, but in the 91st minute, Rigoni equalized for Atalanta to make the final score 2-2.
Empoli’s last match was, as mentioned, away against Sassuolo. The team led by Aurelio Andreazzoli lost 1-3 and extended their winless streak to 4 matches.
With Higuain’s injury, which is quite a setback for Milan considering his good form, Suso will be the man to watch for the Rossoneri. In the last match against Atalanta, the Spaniard created both goals and will look to build on this away against the Tuscan club.
Meanwhile, Empoli will rely on the experience of 34-year-old Matias Silvestre. The former Inter, Milan and Sampdoria defender will have to step up against Milan’s dangerous attacking trio.
Milan absolutely needs to win against Empoli. Anything else would put Gattuso’s position in jeopardy. The best possible response to criticism would be a convincing win against an opponent that should definitely be beatable. Gattuso understands the importance of this and I expect a dominant side in Empoli.
Empoli vs. Milan: 0-3