Preview: Serie A Round 29 – AC Milan vs. Chievo

By Claudio Perfetto -

After being eliminated from the Europa League to the hands of Arsenal, AC Milan will be looking to get back on track in Serie A against Chievo as a top-four finish has become even more vital.

The Rossoneri’s Europa League adventure came to an end with a 3-1 loss away to Arsenal, and while the result is misleading, Milan gave a decent performance and showed a lot of fight in the match. They will want to translate that back to Serie A where they have a 9-game unbeaten run.

Milan will also be looking to build on last week’s last-minute win against Genoa. In that game, Andre Silva scored a goal in the last seconds of stoppage time to help Milan win the match 1-0.

THE TEAM

Gattuso made some changes to what has become his “regular” lineup against Arsenal. Riccardo Montolivo was preferred to Lucas Biglia, while Fabio Borini started for the injured Davide Calabria. Giacomo Bonaventura was also sat in favour of Andre Silva as Gattuso used a 4-4-2 formation.

In this match, Gattuso is likely to revert back to the 4-3-3 formation that has been very successful in Serie A. With Calabria and Alessio Romagnoli out for this match due to injuries, the back four will likely consist of Borini, Leonardo Bonucci, Cristian Zapata and Ricardo Rodriguez. There was also good news for Milan as Andrea Conti was called up for the first time since August, however, he is not likely to start due to a lack of match fitness.

The midfield three will likely go back to the most used combination this season: Kessie, Biglia and Bonaventura. Gattuso will also recall his attacking trident of Suso, Patrick Cutrone and Hakan Calhanoglu. The only questions there are Cutrone or Andre Silva as Nikola Kalinic has also not been called up for this game. Cutrone is the more likely to play at the moment over the Portuguese youngster.

Likely AC Milan XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Borini, Bonucci, Zapata, Rodriguez; Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Cutrone, Calhanoglu.

THE OPPONENTS

Chievo is not having a good moment, as they have lost six of their last seven matches. This includes last weekend where they lost 1-0 to their bitter rivals, Hellas Verona, and were fully dragged back into the relegation race.

They currently have 25 points, which is one point more than SPAL in 18th place (SPAL have a game in hand) and three points above Hellas in 19th place. Chievo will be fired up and desperate for a result in order to not fall back into those last three positions.

LAST TIME OUT

As mentioned earlier, Milan lost to Arsenal 3-1 on Thursday, crashing out of the Europa League. The Rossoneri put up a strong fight in the match. Calhanoglu scored first with a magnificent goal to get Milan back in the tie, but the referee made a controversial penalty decision just a few minutes later that pretty much ended the tie.

Their last result in Serie A, however, was much more positive as we recapped earlier, a 1-0 win against Genoa in the dying seconds.

Chievo, on the other hand, is coming off of that 1-0 loss to Hellas Verona which leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the players and fans.

KEY PLAYERS

For Milan, it will be Suso. The Spaniard had a great game against Chievo last time the two teams met, scoring and assisting in a 4-1 victory. He has not been at his best lately, but he seems to be coming out of it as he assisted Andre Silva’s last minute goal against Genoa with a beautiful cross. He also showed flashes of brilliance against Arsenal. Milan will need him to replicate his last appearance against the “Flying Donkeys” in order to find the breakthrough.

 

For Chievo, Emmanuele Giaccherini had a great match against Cagliari in Chievo’s last win, scoring and assisting, but then missed the Fiorentina match due to injury. He was only fit enough to come on as a sub last week against Verona, but looks like he will retake his spot in the starting eleven tomorrow. He will want to prove that the Cagliari match was not a fluke and he is back at his best.

PREDICTION

Milan should win this match comfortably. They will be motivated after crashing out of the Europa League and are looking to keep the pressure on Inter and Lazio who sit above them in the table. Chievo, meanwhile, is in a run of poor form and are facing the Rossoneri at the wrong time.

Milan 2-0 Chievo

Tags AC Milan Gattuso Italy Milan Notification Rossoneri Serie A