Serie A preview: Fiorentina vs. AC Milan – Team news, opposition insight, stats and more

By Ben Dixon -

AC Milan will be looking to earn their sixth consecutive victory in all competitions on Saturday night as they travel to the Stadio Artemio Franchi to face Fiorentina. 

Milan are delivering the goods at the business end of the season and have gone from strength to strength in recent weeks, and they will look to continue their great form by collecting three points in Florence.

The game is expected to be an emotional one. Before La Viola’s game against Atalanta, Fiorentina’s General Manager Joe Barone fell ill and sadly passed on March 19, and he will be commemorated before the game.

In Stefano Pioli’s pre-match press conference, he stated that it will be a very difficult game for Milan. La Viola will give their everything and Theo Hernandez’s suspension is not exactly helpful.

Game date: Saturday, March 30
Kick-off time: 20:45 (CET)
Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi
Referee: Fabio Maresca (VAR: Di Paolo)

Team news

Milan have escaped the international break relatively unscathed, with only two players returning with problems. The first is Simon Kjaer, who will not travel to Florence for the clash due to a thigh problem.

Additionally, there were worries about Ismael Bennacer after he returned from international duty earlier than expected. He worked with the group in training this week and will be available for selection on Saturday.

Theo Hernandez will serve his suspension on Saturday, which will likely see Alessandro Florenzi return to the starting eleven in Serie A for the first time since March 1. However, he has proven on several occasions to be able to play well in this role, but opposing Nicolas Gonzalez may be a different test to what he has faced before.

According to what is being reported by Gazzetta dello Sport, Theo will be replaced by Florenzi who will shift over to the opposite flank. Fikayo Tomori, Malick Thiaw (or Matteo Gabbia) and Davide Calabria complete the back four in front of Mike Maignan.

In the midfield it should be the duo of Tijjani Rejnders – fresh from his first goal for the Netherlands – and Bennacer, who as said has recovered from his minor discomfort.

Up front, behind Olivier Giroud, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Rafael Leao will certainly start from the start, while Christian Pulisic and Samuel Chukwueze are battling for the other starting shirt (the American was one of the last to return to Milanello after commitments with his national team).

Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Florenzi; Bennacer, Reijnders; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Leao; Giroud.

The opponents

Emotions will be high on Saturday as Fiorentina will reflect on the life of their General Manager, Joe Barone, who passed before the international break. This will be the first time La Viola have played since, and especially considering they are at home, emotions will be high.

As per Fiorentina’s statement, the 57-year-old had a major impact on the club but will be remembered most for his personality, often bringing joy at times of struggle and giving his heart and soul to the club.

Whilst the hosts are 11 points away from the Champions League spaces, they are only four points away from Atalanta, who currently occupy the 6th spot in Serie A, and they will hope to make up ground this weekend with a vital three points.

The past six games have seen La Viola remain unbeaten, but they have only won twice, once against Lazio and the other against Maccadbi Haifa in the European Conference League. However, they did not have an easy time in that fixture, conceding three times.

It is difficult to call Fiorentina’s lineup, given Vincenzo Italiano’s reluctance to stick with the same starting eleven, and with some of his key players travelling back from the International break from other continents, this could create further issues for Pioli when planning how he may try to counter La Viola’s threats.

According to the latest reports that are circulating, Pietro Terracciano (no relation to Filippo) will be in goal for La Viola with Kayode at right-back, Ranieri and Milenkovic the centre-backs and Biraghi at left-back.

Arthur and Mandragora should be in midfield, with Gonzalez, Beltran and Kouame forming the attacking trident behind Belotti.

Probable Fiorentina XI (4-2-3-1): Terracciano; Kayode, Ranieri, Milenkovic, Biraghi; Arthur, Mandragora; Gonzalez, Beltran, Kouame; Belotti.

Head to head

Milan have faced against Fiorentina 180 times in their history, making the hosts the 7th most-played-against team in the club’s history. The first fixture between the two sides occurred in Serie A in 1931, when the sides drew 1-1.

The first 10 fixtures between the two sides saw La Viola win five times, and the sides drew three games as well. However, since then, Milan have often come out on top, and the record between the two stands at 80 Rossoneri wins, 48 draws and 52 wins for the Viola.

The most recent meeting of the two came on Matchday 13 when the Diavolo earned a 1-0 victory at the San Siro through a penalty from Theo Hernandez in the 45th minute. It will also go down in the history books as Francesco Camarda made his senior debut late in the game, as he became the youngest player to feature in a Serie A game.

In their past two visits to the Stadio Artemio Franchi, the Rossoneri have lost twice, both by a goal deficit, and this will be something that Stefano Pioli will be ensuring his side change when they have the chance to do so this weekend.

Match facts…

➤ Only one of the last 12 matches between Fiorentina (4 wins) and AC Milan (7 wins) in Serie A have ended in a draw: 1-1 on 22 February 2020 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Fiorentina have won their last two league matches at the Stadio Artemio Franchi against AC Milan and could achieve three home wins in a row against I Rossoneri in Serie A for the first time since doing so between 1972 and 1974.

➤ Fiorentina have drawn three of their last four league games (W1), including both of their most recent two – La Viola could draw three consecutive matches in Serie A for the first time since doing so between February and June 2020.

➤ No team has gained more points (15) or scored more goals (15) than AC Milan away from home in Serie A in 2024 (6 games).

➤ Milan have scored more goals via substitutes than any other team in the Big-5 European leagues this season with their 14 such goals a club record in a single Serie A campaign in the three points for a win era.

➤ Overall only Napoli (16 in 2022-23), Fiorentina (17 in 2022-23) and Atalanta (20 in 2019-20 and 21 in 2020-21) have scored more goals from substitutes in a single campaign since 1994/95.

➤ Fiorentina have scored the most headed goals (12) in Serie A this season though AC Milan have conceded fewer headed goals (1) than any other team in the Big-5 European leagues in 2023-24.

➤ Fiorentina’s last 10 goals in Serie A have been scored by 10 different players: Belotti, Ikoné, Martínez Quarta, Nico González, Barák, Beltrán, Kayode, Bonaventura, Ranieri and Mandragora.

➤ Nicolás González has already equalled his best goal return in a league campaign in Europe, netting seven goals this season as he also did in the 2021-22 season with Fiorentina. The Argentinian has however scored just once in his last 10 Serie A appearances after netting six goals across the first 11 games of the campaign.

➤ Christian Pulisic has already equalled his best season in terms of league goals (9 goals – also in 2019- 20 with Chelsea) and could score 10+ goals in a single season for the first time in the Big-5 European leagues.

➤ Meanwhile after scoring against both of Empoli and Hellas Verona, Pulisic could score in three league matches in a row for the second time in his career after doing so in the Premier League between October and November 2019 for Chelsea.

➤ Milan have won 64% of their matches with Théo Hernández – who is suspended for this game – playing in the last two Serie A seasons (37/58), averaging 2.1 points and 1.9 goals per game; without the French full-back however, the Rossoneri’s win-rate drops to 22% (2/9), averaging just 1.0 points and 0.8 goals per game.

Ones to watch

With Ismael Bennacer a doubt for this clash, it will be interesting to see how Yacine Adli performs if he is selected to replace the Algerian. Adli has struggled for game time in recent weeks after becoming a key player for Pioli during the injury struggles, and will look to prove why he should keep his place when Bennacer returns.

With Theo Hernandez suspended, Rafael Leao will have to ensure that the side does not feel his loss on the left-hand side. The Portuguese winger and French full-back’s connection has been decisive so often for the side this season, and Leao will need to show that he can lead the left when needed in terms of attacking and leading the team.


Milan must contain Nicolas Gonzales on Saturday evening, and the Argentine will fancy his chances against Alessandro Florenzi, considering he will not play on his favoured side. However, having played in Argentina on Wednesday evening, it is yet to be seen if he will have recovered in time for this clash.

Another player that the Rossoneri must be aware of is Andrea Belotti. He has faced Milan the most of any side in his career, but he has six goals to show for it and will be looking to add to his record to assist his side’s chances of a European place at the end of the season.


This fixture is a difficult one to predict for several reasons. Milan’s recent record at the Stadio Artemio Franchi has to be taken into account, as does La Viola’s defensive struggles, which has seen them concede seven goals in their past five fixtures. Partner this with Milan’s 12 goals in their past five games, and there should be plenty of goals for the Rossoneri to enjoy.

Fiorentina 1-3 Milan

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