Verdict: Draw – yes
Best Odds: 9/4
Considering the Serie A title race is all but locked up, it seems most of the emotions lies to see which sides will end up reaching the UEFA Champions League qualification spots. And with that in mind, AC Milan will host Lazio this Saturday at San Siro. Both sides have their European ambitions very much alive, and a good result in this game could put either side one step closer towards their objective.
At one point of the season, Milan were one of the hottest teams in the Serie A. However, their recent results do not back that up. Their five-game form reads W1, D1, L3, and they’re currently riding a four-game winless run. To make things even more complicated, they’re coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss against soon-to-be-champions Juventus, perhaps showing they’re still one or two pieces away from competing for the league throne. While the Rossoneri side know they have no chance to win the title, their main focus is to clinch a Champions League spot ahead of the 2019-20 season. Right now, Milan sit in fourth place of the standings with 52 points, but they’re tied with Atalanta and have just one and two points of advantage over Roma and Lazio, respectively. In short, they can’t become complacent because if they don’t end their negative run, they could find themselves out of the Top 4 sooner than later. Can they end that run in a home game against another European contender?
Giacomo Bonaventura will miss this game due to a knee problem.
Lucas Paquetá (ankle), Gianluigi Donnarumma (muscle) and Andrea Conti (thigh) have also been ruled out.
If Milan are cooling off right down the stretch, then it would be fair to say the opposite regarding Lazio. The Rome-based side has only one defeat in their previous six league matches (W3, D2, L1) but not everything is positive for them. They haven’t been able to win in their past two matches against noticeably inferior opponents such as Spal (0-1 loss) and Sassuolo (2-2 draw), but their most recent two wins came over Inter Milan and Parma. This goes to show that Lazio have the ability to step it up against top sides, and that should bode well for their chances in this game against Milan. But things are quite simple for them here. Lazio need to do everything they can to secure the three points. With Atalanta and Roma ahead of them on the race to enter the Top 4, Lazio must gain all the points they can, and wait for their rivals to leave some points behind them. Can they end their two-game winless run and deliver an impressive win at San Siro?
Milan Badelj has been suspended for this match, while Jordan Lukaku is dealing with a knee injury.
Midfielder Valon Berisha is doubtful due to a calf problem. His inclusion will be decided closer to kick-off time.
Key Factors to Consider
- Four of Milan’s last five matches have seen both sides scoring. The same thing has happened in three of Lazio’s last five.
- The last four H2H meetings between these two sides have ended in a draw. None of those matches had over 2.5 goals scored.
- Despite their poor recent record, Milan have lost just once in their past five home SA games (W3, D1, L1).
- On the other hand, Lazio have won just two of their last five SA away contests (W2, D1, L2).
- Milan have gone undefeated in their last four H2H meetings against Lazio (W2, D2).
Lazio are coming on a strong run of form over the past few weeks, while Milan have been struggling at the worst possible time. But the recent H2H record between those sides shows a lot of parity, and that’s not going to change here. I expect both sides to play out to another stalemate.
Verdict: Draw – yes
Best Odds: 9/4
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