Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prediction: AC Monza vs AC Milan

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

After securing five victories in their last six matches across all competitions, AC Milan are determined to maintain the momentum and stay in contention with Serie A’s top two teams as they travel to face nearby Monza on Sunday, sitting third at the moment.

Monza, despite being yet to earn a point against their more renowned neighbors since their promotion to Italy’s top flight, currently occupy a comfortable mid-table position.

AC Monza

Monza have struggled against regional rivals Milan and Atalanta BC since their promotion to Serie A two years ago, the only two teams in the Italian top flight they haven’t been able to take a single point against. Furthermore, they have yet to defeat any opponent positioned in the top half of the standings this season, accruing just four points from 11 such matches.

Despite their offensive struggles, Monza has proven difficult to break down recently, keeping clean sheets in their last three games. Following a 1-0 victory over Sassuolo last month, they secured consecutive goalless draws against Udinese and Hellas Verona.

While their defensive solidity has kept them clear of relegation concerns, Monza faces an uphill battle in their pursuit of a European debut next season, currently sitting eight points adrift of sixth place in the standings. A mid-table finish appears to be on the cards for Raffaele Palladino’s team, providing they don’t suffer an unexpected dip in form at some point.

Team News

Monza will once again be missing Samuele Vignato and long-term absentee Gianluca Caprari, but they are expected to have a fully available squad otherwise.

Lorenzo Colombo, on loan from Milan, has struggled to find the net since November, so Milan Djuric may be tasked with leading the line upfront. They will be supported by seven-goal top scorer Andrea Colpani, who holds the distinction of being the midfielder with the most home goals across Europe’s top five leagues this season.

AC Milan

Continuing their impressive run of form since the start of the year, Milan delivered a commanding performance against Europa League playoff opponents Rennes in their latest outing. Ruben Loftus-Cheek netted twice with headers before Rafael Leao’s contribution, effectively securing their spot in the last 16.

Prior to this, the Rossoneri secured their fourth win in five league games by defeating struggling Scudetto holders Napoli at San Siro. Theo Hernandez’s decisive strike in that match moved the French full-back to within three goals of Paolo Maldini on the club’s all-time list for goalscoring defenders.

Milan’s recent successes have propelled them to within one point of second-place Juventus in the Serie A standings. However, city rivals Inter maintain a significant lead, and while hopes of claiming the Scudetto remain slim, Milan’s resurgence under coach Stefano Pioli has silenced many critics.

With 23 goals scored in nine matches this year, Milan have been in formidable attacking form. Their ability to net three goals in each of their last three away fixtures, against Empoli, Udinese, and Frosinone, has contributed to them earning the most points in Serie A since their exit from the Champions League’s ‘Group of Death’ in mid-December.

This remarkable streak began with a 3-0 victory at home against Monza, marking Milan’s third win from three top-flight encounters against Sunday’s opponents.

Team News

Given their current momentum, Milan are unlikely to make significant changes this weekend, especially with a comfortable three-goal advantage heading into next week’s Europa League playoff second leg in Rennes. Winning against Monza is now more important that a potential double over the Ligue 1 side.

Captain Davide Calabria’s absence in the recent win over Napoli due to an adductor injury adds to Milan’s defensive concerns, with Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori also sidelined. However, Malick Thiaw’s appearance from the bench against Rennes suggests he could earn his first start in over two months.

Samu Chukwueze’s return from Nigeria duty provides a boost to Milan’s squad depth, while Tijjani Reijnders is available after serving a domestic suspension last week.

Olivier Giroud, with 11 goals and eight assists this season, is poised to make Serie A history by becoming the first player in a decade to be involved in 20 goals after turning 36. However, Luka Jovic’s recent performances have provided valuable depth, making him a viable option should Stefano Pioli opt for rotation.

Team News

Milan’s victory over Rennes a couple of days ago has probably drained some of their energy, but there should be enough left in them to earn fresh three points. However, Monza’s defensive resilience is likely to limit the seven-time European champions to just a goal or two; no thrashing is forthcoming.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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