After making it to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2011-12, Milan will aim to get back to winning ways in the Serie A when they face lowly Salernitana today at the San Siro.
The Rossoneri have experienced an inconsistent season so far and although they could restore some of their form in February by winning three consecutive matches for only the second time this campaign, Stefano Pioli’s men have a favourable table as of now and they could cement their top four today by grabbing the three points.
In their last league outing, Milan couldn’t continue their dominance as was evident in the Atalanta game, they fell short to Fiorentina who capitalised on the lack of intensity from the Rossoneri and scored twice in normal time. Though the visitors retaliated late that day through an added-time goal from left-back Theo Hernandez, there wasn’t enough time to muster a comeback.
The Champions League game against Tottenham recomposed some belief in the Milan side. They were compact enough to hold onto their lead from the first leg and thus sealed secure passage to the quarter-finals of the much-coveted trophy. The Rossoneri can leapfrog Lazio in the table and could hold third place if they grab the win today.
Meanwhile, the visitors today, Salernitana will aim to stretch their unbeaten run to three games in a row. Six points differ them from the current relegation spot dwellers and with their draw against survival-threatened Sampdoria, the Granata increased their chances of continuing another season in Italy’s top flight.
February was a tough month for the Salerno-based side as a run of three consecutive defeats was ended by a 3-0 win over 10-men Monza at the Stadio Arechi. Lassana Coulibaly, Grigoris Kastanos and veteran Antonio Candreva were on the scoresheet that day which brought Salernitana back to winning ways.
Paulo Sousa and his men will hope to replicate the performance in their last match against the Blucerchiati and get atleast a point from the match.
Results from their last five matches in all competitions
D L W W W
D W L L L
As for Milan. Junior Messias is likely to be sidelined with a thigh injury sustained during the Tottenham game. Davide Calabria is set to replace him.
French striker Olivier Giroud is expected to be rested following a thick run of games. Veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic could have his first start of the season and if not, Divock Origi will have his chance.
The visitors will miss defender William Troost- Ekong with a leg injury sustained during mid-February.
Pasquale Mazzocchi is fully recovered from his injury and could return to the starting eleven today. Former Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek is expected to feature against his old side.
Milan (3-4-2-1): Maignan; Kalulu, Kjaer, Thiaw; Calabria, Bennacer, Tonali, Hernandez; De Ketelaere, Leao; Ibrahimovic
Salernitana (3-4-2-1): Ochoa; Daniliuc, Gyomber, Pirola; Mazzocchi, Crnigoj, Coulibaly, Bradaric; Kastanos, Candreva; Piatek
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN