AC Milan vs Cagliari: Preview and Prediction

AC Milan have yet to secure second place as their dismal form in the league could allow Cagliari to ensure safety.

Stefano Pioli continues to struggle to get relevant results out of this talented AC Milan squad, who are on a six-game winless run heading into the final few fixtures of the season, the first of which will be against Cagliari on Saturday. The Rossoneri are sitting pretty on 71 points, and despite their abysmal form, Juventus have failed to capitalise due to their shortcomings.

The recent draw with the Bianconeri helped Milan maintain their five-point gap over the Turin giants, with the latter also managing a draw with AS Roma last weekend. The Rossoneri came close to ending their winless drought the previous weekend when they were 3-2 up against Genoa, only for a late Malick Thiaw’s own goal to let the visitors steal a point.

Pioli has come under immense pressure of late, with multiple sources claiming it will be his last few games in the San Siro dugout. Nevertheless, the Italian manager will want to end the season on a high note and end their winless run against a struggling Cagliari side at home on Saturday.

Claudio Ranieri will not rest on his laurels and will want his players to show plenty of spirit to get out of their current position on the table. Despite being in 15th place, Cagliari are only three points ahead of 18th-placed Udinese, meaning a loss here at the weekend could put them in a problematic spot ahead of the final two games of the campaign.

Ranieri will rely on his team’s recent good form against the bigger sides, as they managed to win over Atalanta and then draw with Inter Milan and Juventus. Those results helped them surge up the standings. But since then, they have taken only a point in the next two games, managing a draw against Lecce the last time out. A Yerry Mina goal let them collect a precious point against Lecce.

A win for Ranieiri’s men would help them into an excellent position to achieve safety, although a loss or more dropped points would rag them back into the multi-team relegation battle ahead of the last two games of the campaign.

Team News & Tactics

AC Milan

Despite some significant defensive injuries to deal with ahead of the last three games of the campaign, Stefano Pioli would welcome Davide Calabria to the side. The right-back is available for selection after a two-game ban following his red card against Inter Milan a few matchdays ago.

Similarly, Yunus Musah is also back in contention following a suspension, but at least five players are missing through injury. Simon Kjaer, Pierre Kalulu, Antonio Mirante, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are missing, while Mike Maignan will also be absent from this contest at the San Siro.

fikayo Tomori and Matteo Gabbia will comfortably start at the heart of the defence, with Calabria likely to replace Alessandro Florenzi at right-back. Ismael Bennacer and Tijjani Reijnders are the current first-choice central midfielders, while there will be no changes to the final third selections.

Christian Pulisic will be in that role vacated by Loftus-Cheek’s absence, with Samuel Chukwueze and Rafael Leao supporting Olivier Giroud in the front three for Milan.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sportiello; Calabria, Gabbia, Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer, Reijnders; Chukwueze, Pulisic, Leao; Giroud


Claudio Ranieri has many injury issues to contend with ahead of this visit to San Siro, with at least one of his players missing due to injury issues while two others are suspended.

Tommaso Augello and Gianluca Gaetano are missing through bans, while Marko Rog, Jakub Jankto, Nicolas Viola, and Antoine Makoumbou are all out through injury-related issues. Marco Mancosu is also absent with a problem, although he may not have started had he returned fit for this clash.

Ranieri will go with his 4-2-3-1 shape, with former AS Roma striker Eldor Shomurodov leading the line. At the back, Alberto Dossena and Mina are primed for the central defensive places, while Babriele Zappa and Paulo Azzi will feature in the full-back roles.

Alessandro Deiola and Ibrahim Sulemana are the preferred midfielders for the Cagliari boss, with Nahitan Nandez, Gaetano Oristanio, and Zito Luvumbo playing behind Shomurodov in the attacking third.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Scuffet, Zappa, Mina, Dossena, Azzi; Deiola, Sulemana; Nandez, Oristanio, Luvumbo; Shomurodov

Key Stats

  • AC Milan have won 17 of their last 18 home matches against Cagliari in all competitions.
  • AC Milan have scored at least two goals in 11 of their last 13 home matches against Cagliari in all competitions.
  • AC Milan are on a six-game winless run ahead of the Cagliari clash.
  • Cagliari are unbeaten in five of their last six Serie A games.
  • Cagliari last secured a win over AC Milan in June 1997.

Player to Watch

Rafael Leao

Embed from Getty Images

The Portuguese star has had a prolific season, but the performances have been inconsistent at best. After scoring in three consecutive games, Leao has failed to find the back of the net or provide something in the three games after and will want to put in a good performance.

The pressure is always on the top players when the team does not perform well, and in this particular period, AC Milan need a big performance from the likes of Leao. With a big summer move looming, the Portuguese star can be at his best, although the main priority will be to help Milan end their six-game winless run.


AC Milan 3-1 Cagliari

Claudio Ranieri’s side have shown their capabilities against some of the big sides this season and even managed to take something out of those games. Cagliari will come to San Siro with the same hope, although they will likely find a Milan side desperate to get out of their rut and get a win on board.

AC Milan are expected to put in a reactionary performance than for something they are chasing. Hence, Pioli will have that six-game winless run at the forefront of his thoughts and will want his players to be on their toes. Milan are expected to continue their stellar undefeated run against Cagliari and get three points to potentially even seal second place in the standings.

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