With yet another International break over, AC Milan will once again return to action this Sunday, as Chievo Verona away from home is up next.
Coming off an insane comeback against Sassuolo, AC Milan will head into their next match knowing what they’re capable of, as coach Montella finally has been able to get what he wants from the players; will and passion.
However, Chievo are by no means a team that should be underestimated, and especially not this season. The Gialloblu have managed to grab 13 points in 7 games played, which actually puts them ahead of Milan in the standings, but only thanks to the goal difference.
Both teams have got a good start to their respective seasons and it will definitely be interesting to see how tomorrow’s clash will pan out. Let’s take a look at some of the facts and stats from these teams’ previous fights.
Chievo have won only two of their previous 28 Serie A meetings against Milan – six draws and 20 defeats. In addition to that, Milan are unbeaten in their last 19 league meetings against Chievo and have won 16 of these games. Indeed, Chievo’s last win vs Milan was back in December 2005.
In Chievo’s advantage (if they’re happy to get away with one point), Milan and Chievo have drawn nil-nil in the last three Serie A meetings at the Bentegodi.
Moreover, tomorrow’s encounter looks set to be between the youngest and the oldest team; The average age of Milan’s starting XI is the youngest in Serie A this season (25 years and 293 days), while Chievo’s is the oldest (31 years and 91 days).
AC Milan are expected to start without their top goalscorer Carlos Bacca, as the Colombian recently returned to the Milanello from International duty. Montella has therefore decided he needs some rest and Lapadula is expected to start in his place.
Abate is expected to start yet another game, as Calabria is out due to injury. In the midfield, Locatelli will start as the Regista due to the skipper Riccardo Montolivo’s long-term injury.
AC Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Paletta, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Kucka, Locatelli, Bonaventura; Suso, Lapadula, Niang.
Injuries: Antonelli, Bertolacci, Calabria, Honda, Mati Fernandez, Montolivo and Zapata (back in training but still not fit enough).
Chievo will head into the game without their defensive star Bostjan Cesar, who injured himself during international duty. Hetemaj is also out for the game.
Chievo (4-3-1-2): Sorrentino; Cacciatore, Gamberini, Dainelli, Gobbi; Castro, Radovanovic, Rigoni; Birsa; Inglese, Meggiorini.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
In the San Siro side, everyone should definitely keep an extra eye on Manuel Locatelli, who is expected to start ahead of Jose Sosa. The 18-year-old came to the rescue with a stunning strike against Sassuolo, which helped Milan win the game as Paletta then scored the goal that completed the comeback.
The youngster’s performance tomorrow will be decisive to if Montella should start him or Sosa, now that Montolivo is out injured. Therefore, it’ll be very interesting to see if he can cope with the pressure, being so young and relatively inexperienced.
In the home team, AC Milan should be very careful with letting their former teammate Valter Birsa, into dangerous positions, as his left foot is lethal when it comes to finding the back of the net.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Last time these two sides met, the game ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw, with Milan hitting the woodwork twice in the second-half. We will have to hope for a more exciting game this time out, although it will be hard to recreate the amazing game against Sassuolo.