• Analysis

Match Preview: AC Milan vs Fiorentina

AC Milan, Fiorentina
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AC Milan welcomes Fiorentina to the San Siro Stadium in the derby game of the seventh round of top-flight Italian football.

Marco Giampaolo’s Milan hosts Fiorentina tonight at 20:45 (CET), looking to turn things around after two consecutive defeats in the past seven days.

The Rossoneri first lost last week’s Derby della Madonnina to the hands of their city rivals Inter, before suffering a 2-1 defeat at Torino through Andrea Belotti’s double.

Fiorentina, on the other hand, managed to finally put an end to their 18-game streak without a win in Serie A, by beating Sampdoria 2-1 at the Artemio Franchi Stadium.

La Viola climbed up to the 15th place on the table, while AC Milan sits in 12th only one point above their next opponents.

Team news

The hosts will miss Italian defender Mattia Caldara (out with a knee injury) and goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who is suspended after being sent off from the bench in the last outing.

Playmaker Lucas Paqueta is an injury doubt for Marco Giampaolo’s side, as the Brazilian star in the making missed the trip to Turin midweek.

Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella has an almost fully fit squad to chose from when he visits his former side this evening.

Danish defender Jacob Rasmussen is his only doubt, due to illness, with Franck Ribery and Federico Chiesa expected to lead Montella’s attacking line at the San Siro Stadium.

Talk to the press

AC Milan head coach Marco Giampaolo believes it is the mentality that makes the difference when you play in a tough league like the Italian Serie A.

“Every game is complicated, you always have to sweat. That’s the way it is in Serie A, you have to respect every opponent. It’s the mentality that makes the difference, we’ll need an attacking team which has the desire to win,” he said to the press.

“From my first day, the objective has been for AC Milan to play football, to manage and control matches, to have more possession than our opponents. In Turin, the team seemed to have conviction in their attitude, but then details can turn the tide.

“We hadn’t had many shots at goal before the Torino match, but we improved markedly in Turin: we created more chances, had more shots and also had more touches in the opposition half of the pitch. However, we were imprecise.

“We need to show that we’re capable of sending more men forward and covering the pitch better. Above all, we need to learn how to dig in until the end and show balance in the process. The team are feeling fine, the players have recovered and the data is positive.”

Stats

In the corresponding fixture last season, the two sides met three days before Christmas at San Siro and it was Fiorentina who secured the three points with a 1-0 victory.

However, it is La Viola’s only win over AC Milan in the past seven meetings with the rivals in top-flight Italian football.

The Rossoneri won four in the process, with their most recent one coming last May at the Artemio Franchi Stadium.

AC Milan has the second-worst attack in the league with only three goals in the opening five Serie A rounds.

Fiorentina’s 2-1 win over Sampdoria was their first one in top-tier Italian football since the 4-1 victory at SPAL back in February. The Violets registered eight draws and 10 defeats in the 18 games in between.

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