AC Milan will be looking to end a run of three straight defeats when they head to the Stadio Luigis Ferraris to face a struggling Genoa side.
The Rossoneri head into Saturday’s game having lost four of their first six Serie A fixtures to start the campaign for only the third time in the club’s history, and the first time in over 80 years.
There is no doubt that pressure is building on Marco Giampaolo despite it being so early in his tenure, and the game against the Grifone could prove to be decisive for his future, especially if another defeat occurs.
|Game date||Saturday 5 October|
|Kick off time||20:45 (CEST)|
|Venue||Stadio Luigi Ferraris|
|TV Channel||ESPN+, Premier Sports|
Giampaolo will be forced into making at least one change from the 3-1 defeat to Fiorentina as Mateo Musacchio was shown a straight red card and as such was given a one-match ban.
Summer signing Leo Duarte is expected to come in and take his spot as the left-sided centre-back, while the rest of the back four will likely remain unchanged.
Given the recent struggles though changes are expected, and Sky Italia claimed on Thursday that Samu Castillejo, Ricardo Rodriguez, Lucas Biglia and Fabio Borini are all in with a chance of starting.
Meanwhile, La Gazzetta dello Sport expect Ismael Bennacer to be dropped after giving away two penalties at the weekend, with Lucas Paqueta also coming into the midfield.
There were some doubts over whether the struggling Krzysztof Piatek would start, but it appears he will get the nod against his former club.
PREDICTED MILAN XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria, Duarte, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Biglia, Paqueta; Suso, Piatek, Leao.
Genoa are arguably in as big a crisis as Milan at present, as they sit inside the bottom three with one win, two draws and three defeats to start the season.
They are however only one point below the Rossoneri, but the pressure is also on their head coach Aurelio Andreazzoli to turn things around quickly.
The Grifone have actually been linked with a potential swoop for ex-Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso to take over, though Andreazzoli looks set to be given one more game to turn things around.
In terms of injuries, Antonio Barreca was subbed off in last week’s thrashing at Lazio due to a bruised calf and is considered questionable, but there are no other injuries or suspensions.
PREDICTED GENOA XI (3-5-2): Radu; Romero, Zapata, Criscito; Ghiglione, Schone, Radovanovic, Leragar, Pajac; Kouame, Pinamonti.
HEAD TO HEAD
Milan won both fixtures between the two sides last season, prevailing 2-1 at San Siro in the rescheduled round one fixture thanks to a last minute winner from Alessio Romagnoli.
The Diavolo won 2-0 at the Marassi in the return game with Fabio Borini and Suso each scoring inside the last 20 minutes to seal what was at the time a huge three points.
Milan have dominated this fixtures in recent years, winning 14 of the last 24 league meetings, losing six and drawing four.
Despite this, the Rossoblu did have a stretch from 2014 to 2016 where they beat Milan in three straight home games, the most severe being a 3-0 scoreline back in October 2016.
Match facts (via WhoScored)
- Genoa have seen under 2.5 goals in 9 of their last 11 home matches against Milan in all competitions.
- Genoa have failed to win 15 of their last 16 league matches
- Milan have won their last 3 matches against Genoa in all competitions.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Genoa‘s last 6 games (Serie A).
- Milan have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches (Serie A).
ONES TO WATCH
Two out-of-form Milan stars will be coming up against their former club on Saturday night in Suso and Piatek.
At this stage last season, the latter had racked up eight goals for Genoa before he of course made the €35million move to join the Rossoneri.
Suso meanwhile has just one assist so far this season and has been off the boil, so a performance is needed from him to show how important he can be.
Genoa carry a couple of threats which Giampaolo’s side will have to be very wary of – in particular the pace and dynamism of Christian Kouame up front, a player linked with Milan over the summer.
Lasse Schone – who arrived from Ajax – provides quality from set pieces, while former Milan man Cristian Zapata will be looking to get on the end of them and hurt his former club.
There is nothing about this current crisis-stricken Milan side that suggests a heavy win is incoming against anyone, but the fact they are playing a team in as much trouble should offer some comfort.
Given the circumstances, anything less than three points is unacceptable, but expecting an easy ride would be foolish.
Prediction: Genoa 1-2 Milan
LATEST PODCAST: Episode 68 – Diavolo in Crisis