AC Milan are maintaining hope of catching up to the league leaders as they will aim at bagging another win when they face AC Monza.

Raffaele Palladino will have a big task on his hands as AC Monza gear up to face AC Milan in Serie A. Monza have not managed to take a single point from their clashes with the Rossoneri and Atalanta since gaining promotion two years ago, something the manager would like to change now.

Mopnza are sitting in a decent mid-table position with 30 points on board, some 11 points away from the relegation zone. Hence, they are only under big pressure to get results if they have actual ambitions to make it into Europe next season.

Considering how they have fared in the last two years, their current position on the table will be seen as massive progress on the club’s part. Hence, for now, Monza and Palladino will aim to maintain their good run and keep their position on the table intact, as surviving another season will be firmly at the top of their objectives.

AC Milan have put some of their abysmal form behind them and have been unbeaten in nine Serie A games since losing to Atalanta at the start of December. With Inter Milan leading the way in the league, Milan are still considerably behind their local rivals in the race. But they have managed to close the gap on Juventus in the last few weeks to just a single point.

Moreover, Milan made a statement win in the Europa League in midweek with goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Rafael Leao, ensuring they take a healthy lead to France next week. Overall, Stefano Pioli’s men are in a good run of form and will have to keep up the momentum if they are to hold any hope of catching Inter Milan on the table.

Pioli will certainly bank on the superior record against Monza in the league and will target another win to keep the pressure on Juventus. There is plenty for Milan to achieve this season, although as things stand, their primary objectives will be to challenge Juventus for second place and go deep in the Europa League.

Team News & Tactics

AC Monza

Monza will be without Samuele Vignato and long-term absentee Gianluca Caprari, with the duo the only players missing through injuries. Papu Gomez must serve a suspension and will subsequently stay out of the AC Milan clash on Sunday.

Raffaele Palladino will only want to tweak his system a little, irrespective of who the opposition is. Hence, he might retain the back three and midfield four styles, with Danilo D’Ambrosio, Pablo Mari, and Luca Caldirola marshalling the backline for the home side.

Samuele Birindelli and Alessio Zerbin are primed to keep hold of their wing-back roles, with Roberto Gagliardini and Matteo Pessina the key candidates to play in central midfield for Monza.

On loan Milan attacker Lorenzo Colombo has yet to score since November and may see the presence of new arrival Milan Djuric threaten his spirit in the team. The latter might start this game with the support of Andrea Colpani in the attack, with the midfielder, their current top scorer, having seven strikes.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Gregorio; D’Ambrosio, Mari, Caldirola; Birindelli, Gagliardini, Pessina, Zerbin; Mota, Colpani; Djuric

AC Milan

Stefano Pioli has started to have some of his key players back from injury. But AC Milan have lost Davide Calabria to an abductor problem recently. Alessandro Florenzi is best placed to replace the skipper at right-back, while the manager will also decide on whether to start the recently returned Malick Thiaw.

Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori are still missing from action, and the manager will not risk Thiaw so soon. Hence, the chances of Matteo Gabbia and Simon Kjaer starting in central defence remains a possibility, with Theo Hernandez completing the backline.

Loftus-Cheek, fresh from his brace in midweek, will want to assert more on this side, as he will continue playing in the attacking midfield role. Ismael Bennaccer has also recently reclaimed his midfield spot after a significant period out with an injury, as he will play alongside Tijjani Reijnders, who returns to the squad following a suspension.

Rafael Leao remains one of Milan’s potent attackers, and he will take part in a front three also comprising Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic. Pioli will also have Samuel Chukwueze back in action following his AFCON journey with Nigeria, although the winger might only see himself on the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi, Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez; Bennacer, Reijnders; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Leao; Giroud

Key Stats

  • Monza have never taken a point against AC Milan since their promotion to Serie A two years ago.
  • No midfielder has scored more times at home across Europe’s top five leagues this season than Andrea Colpani.
  • AC Milan have won six of their last seven matches against Monza in all competitions.
  • AC Milan have won six of their last seven matches in Serie A.
  • AC Milan have been winning at both half-time and full-time in five of their last six matches against Monza in all competitions.

Player To Watch

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Embed from Getty Images

There is a growing feeling within the AC Milan fanbase that Loftus-Cheek could actually become a top star at the club. The English midfielder has had a fantastic start to 2024, as he has scored six of his seven goals this season since the turn of the year.

In midweek, he scored the brace against Rennes to help Milan assert themselves in the Europa League tie, and he will want to continue his good form heading to Monza. While Rafael Leao and others take the plaudits for their attacking displays,


AC Monza 1-3 AC Milan

AC Milan are just too strong for AC Monza to have any slim hopes of getting something out of this game. Had it been in a period where the Rossoneri were faltering, the home side might have had some hope. But after Inter Milan, Stefano Pioli’s side is probably the most in-form team in the division.

Monza are not coming into this clash under any particular pressure, although the big picture will tell them the need to churn out points against the top teams. Milan, for their part, are far superior in their quality and will take home the three points with ease.

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