After a disappointing loss in the Europa League to Arsenal, Milan will be looking to get back on the winning track as Genoa host them on Sunday evening.
The Rossoneri’s 13-game unbeaten run came to an end on Thursday, conceding two goals against Arsenal. However, Milan still have an 8-game unbeaten run in the league to defend, as they’ll face Genoa away from home.
This will be the 100th Serie A meeting between the two sides. Milan have won 47 games, while 33 of them have ended in draws. In fact, Genoa have recorded more draws in the top-flight against Milan than against any side.
Gattuso fielded his best eleven against Arsenal and by the looks of it, we will see at least two changes in the lineup against Genoa.
The back-four, however, could remain intact with Calabria, Bonucci, Romagnoli and Rodriguez starting. The only real question mark is Calabria, who received several knocks against Arsenal. Therefore, Borini was tested in the right-back position during Saturday’s training session.
Kessie and Bonaventura will most likely keep their spots in the starting eleven, making up the midfield along with Montolivo or Biglia. The latter is reportedly suffering from fatigue, hence why Montolivo could replace him for this game.
At first, reports suggested that Borini would replace either Suso or Calhanoglu in the attacking trio. However, given Calabria’s condition, it’s possible that both of them will start as usual, with Borini occupying the right-back position.
Youngster Cutrone also played against Arsenal on Thursday evening and could be replaced by Kalinic, who’s currently leading the race for a spot in the starting eleven.
Likely AC Milan XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria (Borini), Bonucci, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Montolivo (Biglia), Bonaventura; Suso, Kalinic, Calhanoglu (Borini).
Unfortunately for Milan, Genoa have really found their feet under new manager Davide Ballardini. In fact, the hosts have won three of their last four league games at the Marassi, after having earned only two points in the previous eight home matches.
Furthermore, Genoa have won each of their last three league matches against AC Milan without conceding any goals at the Marassi.
Genoa currently sit in 13th place with 30 points, nine points off the relegation zone. Therefore, we will most likely see a home side that will do everything in their power to collect three points. Miguel Veloso and Armando Izzo are both injured and will miss the game.
LAST TIME OUT
As mentioned earlier, Milan lost their last game, after a catastrophic first-half performance against Arsenal in the Europa League. The second half, on the other hand, was much better but the Rossoneri failed to close the two-goal gap to Arsenal. In the league, however, Milan won their last game beating Roma away from home by two goals to nil.
Genoa lost their last game, as they conceded two goals to Genoa away from home. Former Milan man Mattia Destro managed to get himself in the scoresheet in that game, scoring early in the second half.
For Milan, it’ll arguably be Hakan Calhanoglu, who’s thrived under Gattuso. The winger will have to use his creativity against a side that normally defends very well. Without shining recently, the Turk has had a major hand in Milan’s comeback with some good link-up play with the likes of Cutrone and Suso.
For the hosts, veteran striker Goran Pandev will be one to watch out for, as he can create problems for Bonucci and Romagnoli. Despite lacking pace, Pandev uses his awareness to be in the right place at the right time. If Milan can lock him down, then they’ll succeed on Sunday evening.
Despite recent games at the Marassi between these two sides, we believe that Milan will get away with the three points. The team really looks confident under Gattuso and changing the trend away to Genoa would really be a sign of strength.
Genoa 1-2 AC Milan