In what will be the first leg of an alluring tie in the Serie B promotion play-off, Monza host Pisa Sporting Club at Brianteo Stadium.
With Cremonese enjoying a two-point lead in the second position, both Monza and Pisa missed out on automatic promotion to Serie A, having finished the regular season with 67 points. Beating Brescia in the earlier round, Monza qualified for the grand finale, where they will be facing Luca D’Angelo’s men, who beat Benevento to make their way into the promotion play-off.
In the pre-match press conference, D’Angelo has already acknowledged that their team is as strong as Monza, who finished below the Nerazzurri despite having a better goal difference in the league table. In terms of recent results, both Italian clubs have lost two of their last five games.
The recent form (in the last five matches in Serie B)
The hosts are dealing with a long list of absentees. Pedro Pereira, who is nursing his ankle injury, has not been included in the squad for the first leg of the playoff final. He will be sidelined along with Mattia Valoti, Gastón Ramírez, Andrea Favilli, and Antonis Siatounis. Christian Gytkjær and Dany Mota, a superstar for the Serie B club with 11 goals this season, are fit to start on Thursday.
The visitors will be without the services of club captain Antonio Caracciolo, who is sidelined with a season-ending ACL injury. Going into the game, four players, including Ádám Nagy, Idrissa Touré, Ernesto Torregrossa, and Gaetano Masucci, will be at the risk of suspension, with each of them having picked up four yellow cards.
Monza (3-5-2): Di Gregorio; Caldirola, Marrone, Pirola; Molina, Ciurria, Barberis, Mazzitelli, Augusto; Mota, Gytkjaer
Pisa (4-3-1-2): Nicolas; Birindelli, Leverbe, Hermannsson, Beruatto; Mastinu, Nagy, Marin; Benali; Puscas, Torregrossa
Considering that it will be the first leg of the play-off, both teams could start the game in a conservative manner. When Monza last welcomed Pisa, the home team tasted a narrow 2-1 defeat.