Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri believes the seven matches before the mid-season break will define the club’s campaign.
The Serie A outfit have endured a difficult season, winning just three matches and collecting 13 points from 12 top-flight fixtures.
Milan’s winless run in the league extended to four matches before the international break following a 0-0 draw at Chievo, while progression from the UEFA Champions League group stages is still in the balance with the side second in Group H one point above Ajax.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s Genoa are next up for Milan on Saturday and Allegri has urged the side to find a winning formula.
“We need to take the three points because we are far behind in the standings,” said Allegri.
“It will require focus and concentration against a team with players of a high level and who are well organised thanks to Gasperini.
“There are seven games before the break, and we must pick ourselves up all the way in both the league and the Champions League.
“(The Genoa game) will be the most important one because it has been too long since we won in the league.”
Midfielder Kaka is a doubt after picking up a knock in training, but Allegri confirmed he could utilise the Brazilian in a deeper role if he does feature after experimenting with the idea in a 3-1 friendly victory over Young Boys last Saturday.
Allegri also confirmed he will decide whether to partner Robinho or Alessandro Matri in attack with Mario Balotelli.