AC Milan plays host to Genoa on Friday night in a pivotal fixture for the Serie A title. Less than two weeks ago, odds were in Milan’s favour when it came to raising the Scudetto next month.
Recent results have left a sour taste in the Rossoneri’s mouth, however, and now title chances are in jeopardy. Further dropped points can result in dropping out of the race, so this match is absolutely crucial for Milan.
AC Milan vs. Genoa Preview
Past Results and the Serie A Table
Milan’s last two matches came versus Bologna and Torino: both ended in 0-0 draws. The matches were very winnable, especially with the team Milan has and the momentum they were riding.
The defence did its job as the centre-back duo of Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu proved impenetrable. The midfield, no matter who was playing, also looked solid overall.
Issues arose from attacking and finishing, however. Rafael Leao, who’s been a star all season long, is in the midst of a funk.
Brahim Diaz has been poor throughout 2022, and constantly gets beaten on the ball. Not much comes from the right-wing, whether it be Alexis Saelemaekers or Junior Messias. Finally, Olivier Giroud cannot finish because he’s not being fed proper opportunities.
Frustration is rising in Milan as the team plays well as a whole, but the attack cannot create chances.
Genoa’s last two matches were defeats. They lost 1-4 to Lazio and 0-1 to Hellas Verona. This team is clearly beatable for a team like Milan.
The Rossoneri are still first in the Serie A table, holding 68 points in 32 matches. They failed to earn a bigger lead over Napoli (third) after they lost this past weekend. Now Inter Milan, the reigning champions, sit just a point below Milan but have a match in hand. Milan’s lead at first is anything but safe.
AC Milan Expected XI for Serie A Title Must-Win Game
The defence will be full of familiar faces as the unit continues to play well. Mike Maignan has been phenomenal in goal, saving points for the Rossoneri left and right. The fullbacks will be Davide Calabria and Theo Hernandez. Hernandez needs to have a big match, as his attacking capabilities are excellent. He will likely be asked to contribute all around the pitch. Finally, Tomori and Kalulu round out the middle of the defence.
Sandro Tonali and likely Rade Krunic will round out the midfield. Ismael Bennacer, who missed the last match, was spotted in training this week, however. Expect a bench appearance.
The attack will feature Leao, Franck Kessie, Saelemaekers, and Giroud. Leao is in desperate need of a bounce-back match. Diaz, who had a performance to forget versus Torino, will likely be replace by an out-of-position Kessie. That’s not ideal, but shows how poor Diaz has been.
Giroud absolutely needs to find the back of the net. If anyone on the team is going to score a winner, odds are it will be the experienced Frenchman. The pressure is certainly high for him, as Milan needs goals and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ruled out for the near future.