AC Milan will aim for a win vs Salernitana at San Siro as Stefano Pioli eyes a firm challenge for a top-four spot.

AC Milan, whose next match is vs Salernitana, will have seen some confidence restored in the side amid a difficult season. While there is no chance of a title defence, with Napoli racing away at the top of the Serie A standings, there is still plenty of hope for a top-four finish.

Below Napoli, at least five teams are contesting for the other top four spots. Meanwhile, earlier this week, Pioli’s men held their ground and the slender lead from the first leg clash against Tottenham to move into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

The result was not something Pioli would have envisaged, considering he tends to demand goals from his side. However, it will do his side’s confidence plenty of good. Milan are eager to return to winning ways after a defeat to Fiorentina last time in the league, as the manager eyes a concerted effort to finish in a top-four place.

Paulo Sousa’s Salernitana are teetering on the periphery of the relegation zone. The Portuguese manager would want to extend their current lead of seven points over 18th-placed Hellas Verona. Last weekend, they suffered a disappointing draw against Sampdoria, but Sousa will look for positives.

Despite the healthy gap from the relegation zone, there is still cause for concern with Salernitana’s away record. An array of bad results could put them back on the brink of a drop to the second tier, something Sousa will hope never happens. Salernitana have a big game vs AC Milan on the horizon and will aim to get something out of that clash.

Team News & Tactics

AC Milan

After enduring a chunk of the season with a long list of injured first-team stars, Stefano Pioli will have happily looked at all his players on the training ground. Junior Messias remains the only player sidelined, with the manager having the privilege of choosing from a vast list of players.

Milan will also have Rafael Leao available for the clash after missing the Fiorentina game through a suspension. There could also be starts for Ismael Bennacer and Davide Calabria, as Pioli could rest a few stars after their midweek excursions.

Simon Kjaer could join the backline alongside Pierre Kalulu and Malick Thiaw. Sandro Tonali remains in midfield, while Leao could form a two-prone attacking setup with Divock Origi. Olivier Giroud could return to the bench.

Charles De Ketelaere could play behind the two strikers in the no.10 role, while Theo Hernandez and Calabria could take wing-back roles. Pioli will have plenty of firepower on the bench, including Ante Rebic, Giroud and Brahim Diaz.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Maignan; Kalulu, Kjaer, Thiaw; Calabria, Tonali, Bennacer, Hernandez; De Ketelaere; Leao, Origi


Paulo Sousa will also have a depleted injury list, meaning he could call upon a whole set of players for this difficult away trip. William Troost-Ekong remains the only absentee for Salernitana ahead of the game vs AC Milan.

There could be a first start for Pasquale Mazzocchi since his return from knee surgery, having made two recent appearances off the bench. He could replace Junior Sambia at right wing-back. Domagoj Bradaric will take up a similar position on the left flank.

Former AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek will likely lead the line for Salernitana against his old side. Guillermo Ochoa will also start in goal for Sousa’s side. The manager will keep the shape and deploy a back three of Norbert Gyomber, Flavius Daniliuc and Lorenzo Pirola ahead of the Mexican keeper.

Probable lineup (3-4-3): Ochoa; Gyomber, Daniliuc, Pirola; Mazzocchi, Crnigoj, Coulibaly, Bradaric; Candreva, Piatek, Kastanos

Key Stats

  • AC Milan have scored at least two goals in their last three matches against Salernitana in all competitions.
  • AC Milan have won their last two home games without conceding a goal.
  • AC Milan have won three of their last five games in Serie A.
  • Salernitana have failed to score in five of their last seven matches in Serie A
  • Salernitana have lost six of their last nine away games in Serie A since October.

Player to Watch

Rafael Leao

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The Portuguese international has yet to hit a consistent patch this season. He has failed to replicate the MVP-winning form from the last campaign. Leao will return to the lineup after missing the Fiorentina clash through a suspension, and Stefano Pioli will hope to see the best of his star.

Leao remains a vital part of AC Milan this season. While contractual troubles and speculation over the player’s future are in the background, Pioli will hope he re-discovers his best self. He could help the club push for a top-four finish with a solid performance in this late run-in.


AC Milan 2-0 Salernitana

AC Milan come into this clash with momentum and optimism following their UEFA Champions League success. Stefano Pioli will have a full squad and want to see plenty of goals from his attackers. The Rossoneri are clear favourites against Salernitana and will take three points.

Salernitana are currently struggling. Yet, their healthy seven-point gap to the relegation scrap will ease the pressure on Paulo Sousa’s men. While they might play freely, AC Milan could trump them with their superior quality on the pitch.

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