AC Milan vs US Lecce: Preview and Prediction

Looking to further tighten their grasp on second place in Serie A, AC Milan play host to beleaguered Lecce at San Siro on Saturday afternoon.

Having hit last month’s international break approaching their best form of the season, AC Milan seamlessly resumed normal service on their return to action, with a resilient 2-1 success against Fiorentina at Stadio Franchi ahead of the home game against US Lecce.

Stefano Pioli’s men have caught fire this spring, with several players finding their form. They have won six successive games in all competitions and are unbeaten in their last nine home league matches (W7). Milan will look to keep their winning machine churning three points at the moment and are odds-on favourites to take care of business at San Siro to struggling Lecce on Saturday.

Lecce, who remain just four points above the relegation zone following a 0-0 draw against AS Roma last weekend, which followed a crucial 1-0 win over Salernitana, are trying to defend their way to survival, as they look for a third consecutive clean sheet here. The visitors have also scored the third-fewest goals in the division despite boasting the fifth-most shots, which paints a bleak picture for their misfiring attack.

Team News & Tactics

AC Milan

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli will be forced to make at least one change to his starting lineup this weekend, as Ruben Loftus-Cheek picked up a yellow card in last week’s win over Fiorentina that triggered a one-match ban for the in-form Englishman.

Loftus-Cheek has been one of the standout performers in Europe this calendar year. In 2024, the 28-year-old enforcer incredibly has already scored nine goals in all competitions for AC Milan. Deployed as an attacking central midfielder in Stefano Pioli’s 4-2-3-1 formation, Loftus-Cheek has been instrumental in Milan’s six-game winning streak.

As well as being a massive goal threat, Loftus-Cheek has impressed with his progressive ball-carrying, his ability to withstand physical challenges, and his link-up with teammates, especially Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao.

Tijjani Reijnders could be pushed into the hybrid central attacking midfield role usually occupied by the suspended Loftus-Cheek, with Yacine Adli coming in to sit alongside Ismael Bennacer in the middle of the park.

Although Pierre Kalulu is still out with an injury, veteran defender Simon Kjaer has been cleared to feature here. Pioli could stick with the centre-back pairing of Fikayo Tomori and Malick Thiaw in the meantime, though.

Olivier Giroud is expected to leave the Stadio Meazza at the end of his contract in June, having reached a principle agreement with MLS side LAFC, where he will join his compatriot Hugo Lloris.

The 2018 World Cup winner will be looking to leave the Rossoneri on a positive note with his clutch performances in the final stretch of the campaign.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Thiaw, Hernandez; Bennacer, Adli; Pulisic, Reijnders, Leao; Giroud


The visitors will be without the services of long-term absentees Kastriot Dermaku and Mohamed Kaba. But head coach Roberto D’Aversa has a nearly full-strength squad at his disposal otherwise. Nikola Krstovic and Roberto Piccoli were partnered together in an attack last time out.

They failed to trouble the scorers, so one of them is likely to be replaced against AC Milan at San Siro, with Lameck Banda, Remi Oudin, and Nicola Sansone all vying for a starting place up top.

Wladimiro Falcone will play a pivotal role if Lupi are to stun AC Milan, as the ever-present goalkeeper has outdone everyone in his position for saves (101). He will be protected by a back-four of Valentin Gendrey, Marin Pongracic, Federico Baschiroto, and Antonino Gallo.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Falcone; Gendrey, Pongracic, Baschiroto, Gallo; Almqvist, Ramadani, Blin, Dorgu; Banda, Krstovic

Key Stats

  • AC Milan have won six straight games and seven of their last nine Serie A home contests.
  • Lecce have lost four of their last seven in the league and failed to score in five.
  • Rafael Leao has netted six goals in his last 10 games for the club and country.
  • At home, Milan have won seven of their last nine league matches (D2).
  • Lecce have lost six of their last eight league matches on the road.

Player to Watch

Rafael Leao

Embed from Getty Images

Considering that the Portuguese star is widely regarded as one of the most talented wingers in world football, Rafael Leao has had a slow start to the season for the Rossoneri. However, he has returned to his electrifying best since scoring his first Serie A goal in over five months in the 1-1 draw against Atalanta back in late February, and has netted six goals in his last ten appearances for club and country, including one goal and an assist from four shots against Fiorentina last time out.

Leao’s flair and penetrating runs down the left wing could pose significant problems for Lecce’s frail defence here.


AC Milan 1-0 US Lecce

AC Milan have pulled away from the rest of the chasing pack and are now firmly set as Inter Milan’s closest contender. While the upcoming Europa League knockout game against AS Roma is a distraction+, Pioli will warn his side about the risk of losing to Lecce, as it would be a loss of momentum before a big game. Furthermore, Lecce have struggled for results and may find it tough to stop Milan’s attacking force.

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