AC Milan will be looking to reinforce their position as Champions League challengers as they face the trip to Florence to face Empoli.
The Rossoneri will no doubt still have fresh memories from their last match against city rivals Inter, who scored in added time through Ivan Perisic to steal a point at the San Siro.
Nonetheless, the team has lost just one of their last 10 Serie A matches in somewhat of a resurgence under new coach Vincenzo Montella, allowing them to sit in joint-second place alongside Roma.
Employee meanwhile are battling at the wrong end of the table. They sit just three points above the drop zone, having won just one of their last six, and coming off the back of a 4-0 loss in their own derby against Fiorentina.
Head coach Giovanni Martusciello may be on the hotseat even so early in the season, and him admitting that they can ‘not compete’ with Fiorentina may have raised a few eyebrows.
“Fiorentina have a group of players who are too superior to us,” said Martusciello. “We will go again and we will take the first half out of it (as a positive)”.
Alessio Romagnoli missed the Derby last weekend due to an injury sustained on international duty, and it’s still unknown whether he’ll start against Empoli or not.
Should Romagnoli start on the bench, then Gustavo Gomez is likely to take his place in the starting eleven.
Carlos Bacca will be dropped as the starting striker in place of Gianluca Lapadula, as the Colombian is struggling with a muscular injury.
AC Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Gomez/Romagnoli, Paletta, Antonelli; Pasalic, Locatelli, Mati Fernandez; Suso, Lapadula, Bonaventura.
Empoli (4-3-1-2): Skorupski; Veseli, Bellusci, Costa, Pasqual; Krunic, Diousse, Croce; Saponara; Maccarone, Pucciarelli.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Eyes will be cast upon Gianluca Lapadula for AC Milan, the man who has the task of leading the front line for the Rossoneri in Empoli.
Lapadula has become somewhat of a cult hero after his back-heel goal snatched three points late on against Palermo, so he will be looking to add to his Milan tally.
For the home side, Milanisti will be keeping close tabs on Riccardo Saponara. The 24-year-old was at Milan between 2013 and 2015, but failed to make an impact, and has since flourished with Empoli.
Montella’s defence will also have to be alert to stop Massimo Maccarone, the only player who has scored more than once for Giovanni Martusciello’s side this campaign.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Maccarone was on the scoresheet last time the two teams met, as Empoli and Milan played out a 2-2 draw at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.
Bacca’s goal in the eighth minute was cancelled out by Piotr Zielinski before half-time, and Giacomo Bonaventura’s goal three minutes after the break was not enough as Macaroni restored parity just after the hour mark.