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Lazio vs AC Milan: Predictions
After starting the campaign like a house on fire AC Milan have just surrendered their position atop the Serie A table since the turn of the year, allowing eternal rivals Inter to steal a march in the title race, and now Antonio Conte’s men look destined to seal the highly-coveted scudetto, usurping perennial champions Juventus.
For Stefano Pioli, the immediate focus is now ensuring the season doesn’t capitulate and fall apart like a house of cards, but his side’s position is far from watertight in second, with the Milan giants just three points above Napoli in fifth, while Lazio are not too far behind in sixth.
A win for the capital club would reduce the difference to just five points between these two sides, threatening to unravel the good work Pioli produced in autumn and over the festive period. Simone Inzaghi masterminded a fourth-place finish last term, and he will be desperate to replicate that feat.
Both these clubs suffered set backs last time out, with Lazio enduring a 5-2 reversal away to Napoli, while Milan were stunned 2-1 by Sassuolo. Will either side bounce back with a win here? Or will it be honours even as we enter a very tense, tight and exciting Serie A home straight?
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Lazio vs AC Milan: Match Stats
This is a contest that has all the ingredients of a classic. Lazio, for their part, are not the most controlled of teams, having collected more yellow cards than any other side in Serie A this season (83). Both clubs also boast an impressive attacking armoury, with the hosts counting Ciro Immobile among their ranks, and Milan sampling a ferocious catalogue of veteran marksmen, including Mario Mandzukic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the latter of whom returns from suspension.
Immobile has previous in this fixture and has proven a potent weapon when on his game (which, it must be said, is often); he has netted six goals in 12 matches against Milan in Serie A, including two goals in the two most recent games, while also bagging a hat-trick at the Olimpico stadium in September 2017.
December’s meeting was a frantic five-goal thriller in which Milan triumphed on the day. The San Siro club raced into a 2-0 lead through Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu but goals from Immobile and Luis Alberto restored parity, with the contest heading towards a draw until late drama. As the seconds ticked down, Theo Hernandez struck in the 92nd minute and snatched a winner at the death, and Pioli could do with a similar result here to consolidate their top-four grip.