Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Prediction: Torino vs AC Milan

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 11/5

Bookmaker: ZetBet

After securing a second-place ending to their Serie A campaign by thrashing Cagliari last week, AC Milan will travel to Turin to face Torino at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on Saturday evening.

Torino, meanwhile, have strengthened their position in the middle of the table by winning away to Verona in their previous fixture, and remain within theoretic possibility to qualify for Europe.

Torino

Torino have been one of the most resilient sides at home this season, losing only twice on their own turf throughout 2023/24. Since the turn of the year, they’ve conceded only two goals in nine home matches, a record which tops all other teams in the Italian top flight, but they’ve struggled at the other end of the pitch, not scoring a single goal in four games preceding the Verona trip.

Torino went behind at the Marcantonio Bentegodi, with Karol Swiderski putting Verona ahead in the 67th minute. However, Ivan Juric’s men bounced back through a Zanos Savva equalizer 10 minutes later, and in the 83rd, Pietro Pellegri struck what eventually proved to have been the winning goal for the Toro.

With two games left to be played, Torino sit 10th in the Serie A rankings, a point behind Napoli. Their chances of European qualification hinge on moving ahead of the fallen champions of last season, and even then they will need both Atalanta and Fiorentina to win the Europa League and the Europa Conference League finals, respectively.

Team News

Striker Duvan Zapata and defender Alessandro Buongiorno should overcome their respective injury issues to a level sufficient for both to start against Milan.

On the other hand, midfielders Nikola Vlasic (thigh) and Gvidas Gineitis (knee) as well as defenders Koffi Djidji (muscle) and Per Schuurs (ACL), remain unavailable for selection.

AC Milan

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli, whose future at the club is reportedly in serious doubt, made some unexpected alterations for the game against Cagliari, most notably leaving the likes of Rafel Leao and Theo Hernandez on the bench. His choices, however, obviously proved to have been the right ones, with both of them coming off the bench to make an impact. Leao joined Ismael Bennacer, Christian Pulisic (2) and Tijjani Reijnders on the scoresheet, while Nahitan Nandez provided a bit of consolation for the visitors from Sardinia as the game ended 5-1.

Though the Rossoneri have dropped too many points to challenge city rivals Inter in the Scudetto race – with two games remaining, they trail their the newly crowned champions by 18 points – scoring goals has not been an issue in 2024.

Since the beginning of the year, Milan have scored at least three goals in half of their 18 league matches; only Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal have done so more frequently across Europe’s top five leagues.

Already assured of Champions League qualification, Milan have little left to play for, and speculation about Pioli’s potential successor continues to grow.

Just two years after narrowly beating Inter to the title, Milan’s championship-winning coach is expected to depart this summer, and the San Siro match against bottom side Salernitana next week is likely to be his last in charge of the team.

Team News

Having suffered an injury against Cagliari, Samu Chukwueze is set to miss the remaining two matches in this campaign. The involvement of midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is under a question mark, but first-choice goalkeeper Mike Maignan should return to push Marco Sportiello back to the bench.

Defender Matteo Gabbia is suspended, but Pioli still has a choice to make in the heart of defence, with Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori and Malick Thiaw all vying for the two centre-back spots.

Conclusion

In different circumstances, Milan would arguably be big favourites to beat Torino even in Turin, but with practically nothing to play for at the end of a long and tiring season, their motivation to push for a win is perhaps doubtful. Further more, Torino’s impressive home record is likely to play its part too.

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 11/5

Bookmaker: ZetBet

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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