Preview: AC Milan vs Benevento
Sports Mole presents Saturday’s Serie A game between AC Milan and Benevento, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
After hanging on to second place for several months, a disastrous drop in shape sees AC Milan risking to miss a return to Europe, as they prepare to meet relegation fighters Benevento the Saturday.
The rapidly declining Rossoneri have now lost back-to-back games, while their visitors have racked up just two wins in 18 outings this calendar year.
After Milan escaped Champions League spots for the first time this season, following their disastrous 3-0 loss to Lazio last time around, they need to bounce back immediately if they are to stop a once stellar campaign that goes badly at the end of the season. its peak.
Their second Serie A loss in a matter of days marked a new low in a troubling time for Stefano Piolifrayed side of, coming after another setback at San Siro – against fit Sassuolo. The latest failure means Milan have collected just 11 points at home in 2021 – a tally that places them 15th in the Serie A ‘home’ standings for the calendar year.
Although Milan’s exceptional away form was unaffected by their fall in fortunes – the Rossoneri missed the opportunity to become the first team to win 14 of their first 16 Serie A road games – a rare loss outside Milan saw they not only lose second place to Atalanta, but are also eliminated by Napoli and Juventus.
Their lingering problems in the final third have seen Milan fade badly since the start of the year, as a total of 60 league goals represents the worst offensive outing of the top five teams. With talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic often absent due to injuries – although he remains the club’s top scorer, ahead of the penalty midfielder Franck Kessie – the elusive talents of their younger strikers were deemed insufficient when the going got tough.
A former Milan striker who rarely hid his responsibilities in the opposing penalty area, Pippo Inzaghi, will take his place in the shelter of the opposition this weekend, as he brings Bénévent to the scene of his former glory, desperately lacking the points to survive.
Last Sunday at lunchtime they had more chances and more ball against Udinese, but eventually fell to a 4-2 loss – just a week after coming out of a useless 5-goal match. 3 against Lazio.
After falling in the last three – in part due to the recent remarkable recovery of struggling compatriots Cagliari and Turin – last year’s Serie B champions are now in serious danger of falling straight back to second place. Tied at 31 points with these two rapidly improving teams, Benevento have collected just two points in their last five outings and are set to face Milan and Atalanta in the meeting.
Aside from the freak victory over Juventus, the Streghe have proven particularly porous in defense in a rotten run that has seen them concede 18 times in their last seven matches, in a two-half campaign for the modest campanian outfit.
Benevento’s points-per-game ratio has halved from the first part of the season (a good 1.2) to the second (currently 0.6), so that the upcoming matches with their direct rivals Cagliari (at home) and Torino (away) could prove crucial to their cause.
Inzaghi’s men have effectively dropped 16 points from the winning positions so far this season and cannot afford to continue that trend in the last five games. Despite being aware of Milan’s weaknesses at San Siro, the Giallorossi must overcome these shortcomings to add another unlikely win to their record this weekend.
AC Milan Serie A form:
Benevento Serie A form:
The article continues after the announcement
After recent false starts, Milan’s top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to return on Saturday night – although he has only found the target once in his last six games. The veteran of Target, who recently signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club beyond his 40th birthday, will replace him Mario mandzukic as the sole leader of the Rossoneri.
In fact, only young people Daniel Maldini expected to be absent from Stefano Pioli’s squad due to injury, so center-back has recently returned Alessio romagnoli may be ready for a start after Lazio loss: on loan Fikayo tomori would be the man most likely to miss.
But Ismael Bennacer – another recent returnee – came out in this match, he should start over in the guest engine room, with Sandro Tonali and Soualiho Meite while waiting for their chance on the bench.
In contrast, Benevento coach Pippo Inzaghi has a number of missing men, with Marco Sau, Daam Foulon, Gaetano Letizia, Alessandro tuia and Gabriele Moncini all ready to be sidelined.
January signature Adolfo Gaich and Gianluca Lapadula – who has scored eight times in 27 appearances for Milan – have had an impact on the visitors’ offensive exit lately, so they should start together atop Inzaghi’s preferred setup 3-5-2.
Meanwhile, creative midfielder Nicolas Viola has scored twice in his last two starts, so you have to keep the assertions of the experienced Pasquale Schiattarella again at a distance – with Benevento needing an attacking momentum to keep their hopes of survival alive.
Possible starting line-up from AC Milan:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic
Possible starting line Benevento:
Montipo; Caldirola, Glik, Barba; Depaoli, Hetemaj, Viola, Ionita, Improta; Lapadula, Gaich
We say: AC Milan 2-1 Benevento
As both teams approach desperation in their current situation at either end of the Serie A table, this may not be a game for the purists as the home side can overcome their San Siro issues to win the maximum points.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s long-awaited return should galvanize a Milan side that is returning to full strength in terms of personnel – if not in confidence and fluidity – and take a step to save a fine season from ruin.