AC Milan will switch their attention towards league matters, aiming to close the gap to the top four as Lecce visits.

Stefano Pioli hopes to bring the Champions League form to their league campaign when AC Milan host Lecce on Sunday. The Rossoneri have been struggling in Serie A, which has seen them achieve less success domestically since February. They managed only one victory in that period, which came against leaders Napoli.

Pioli has maintained their good form against Napoli, which saw them eliminate Luciano Spalletti’s men from the Champions League. Olivier Giroud redeemed himself for a penalty miss earlier in the game to open the scoring just before half-time. Khivcha Kvaratskhelia also missed his spot kick, which proved crucial for Milan as a late Victor Osimhen striker could not hurt them.

Back in Serie A, Pioli will want his side to show character in the late-season run-in as a top-four place is still within grasp. They trail Roma by three points but remain firmly in the chase to finish fourth. The Milan manager would want his team to play in the Champions League and will hope for an upturn in form.

Visitors Lecce are at the opposite end of the table, aiming to steer clear of the bottom three. Only two points separate them from 18th-placed Spezia. And a few good results would help them breathe a sigh of relief. But their overall form in recent times suggests the task will prove difficult.

After a losing streak of six games, Lecce drew against Sampdoria last weekend. Their away record remains abysmal. And at San Siro, they have all but one victory in their history, dating back to October 1997. Hence it is not easy to see Marco Baroni’s side get anything out of this encounter with the Champions League semifinalists.

Team News & Tactics

AC Milan

Stefano Pioli will unlikely make any major changes to the starting eleven that started away at Naples in midweek. Despite the need for load management, the current setup is the personnel in good form, and the manager would want continuity in momentum.

Davide Calabria could be the only change, as the full-back remains suspended for this fixture. Pierre Kalulu could come in his place at right back, while Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori will retain their places in central defence.

Rade Krunic and Sandro Tonali will keep their midfield berths intact, while Ismael Bennacer will continue in the advanced role again. Brahim Diaz and Rafael Leao will complete the attacking setup, with veteran striker Olivier Giroud leading the line for Milan.

Pioli will have some good options off the bench, as most of his first team members are currently available. There are no major injury issues, meaning the manager can rotate during the game sufficiently if needed.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Kalulu, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Krunic, Tonali; Diaz, Bennacer, Leao; Giroud


After breaking their losing streak of six games, Marco Baroni will be encouraged to name an unchanged side that got the point against Sampdoria. Marin Pongracic remains the only visible absentee in this Lecce side through injury.

If Baroni does decide to make a minor change, it could come in the centre-forward position. Lorenzo Colombo has been competing hard for a place on the side, although the manager could continue deploying Assan Ceesay to lead the line.

Beyond that nothing more to change with this starting eleven, with Baroni likely to stick with a back four. As full-backs, Valentin Gendrey and Antonino Gallo will support Federico Baschirotto and Samuel Umtiti in central defence.

Morten Hjulmand will sit at the base of midfield with Alexis Blin and Joan Gonzalez on either side. With Ceesay leading the line, Gabriel Strefezza and Federico Di Francesco will complete the front three for Lecce against Milan.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Falcone; Gendrey, Baschirotto, Umtiti, Gallo; Blin, Hjulmand, Gonzalez; Strefezza, Ceesay, Di Francesco

Key Stats

  • AC Milan have scored at least two goals in their last 10 home matches against Lecce in all competitions.
  • AC Milan are undefeated in their last ten home matches against Lecce in all competitions.
  • AC Milan have seen over 2.5 goals in eight of their last ten home matches against Lecce in all competitions.
  • Lecce have only one victory away to Milan, which came in October 1997.
  • Lecce have kept the fewest clean sheets in Serie A this season.

Player to Watch

Rafael Leao

The Portuguese winger has hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks and certainly at a time when Pioli would have wanted. Leao will prove a key factor in finishing in the top four or outside of it for Milan in the coming weeks.

He has to show that consistency is part of his game and put in a masterful performance against strugglers Lecce. While his future remains in considerable doubt beyond this summer amid links with several top clubs, it is time for the Portuguese star to show what he is capable of.


AC Milan 2-0 Lecce

AC Milan might have picked only one win between February end and now in Serie A, but they have hit a good vein of form at the right time. Beating Napoli in the league and eliminating them from Europe may have lifted the confidence in Pioli’s men. But they will want to showcase that in the league.

For Milan’s sake, strugglers Lecce may come to San Siro at the right time, as Pioli’s men could pick up momentum in the late-season run-in. As for Baroni’s men, they may not be able to take anything from this clash, although they will hope those teams below them will struggle as well this weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.