AC Milan will look to put back-to-back defeats behind them and get their Serie A title challenge back on track when they travel to Bologna on Saturday at 2pm (UK time).
Stefano Pioli’s side were comprehensively beaten by Atalanta at the weekend, with the Goddess running amok in a 3-0 win at the San Siro, and things didn’t get much better on Tuesday as Inter eliminated their bitter rivals from the Coppa Italia quarter-finals. Pioli will now look to recover against a Bologna side who have just one win in 10 games.
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Where to watch Bologna vs AC Milan on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Bologna 1-2 AC Milan
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Bologna vs AC Milan build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
A run of five successive draws between mid-December and early January has kept Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side six points clear of danger, but the Greyhounds have collected just one win since the end of November and suffered an opening-day defeat against Milan, in which a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace decided the Serie A curtain-raiser.
The Swede was sent off in midweek, breaking the deadlock in a Derby della Madonnina that reached flashpoint at half-time and culminated in Ibrahimovic picking up the first of two bookings after a coming together with former Manchester United teammate Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian ultimately restored parity from the spot after the break, before Christian Eriksen netted a sumptuous winning free-kick in the last few minutes. That defeat came off the back of a sobering loss to Atalanta on Saturday, but the Rossoneri remain at the summit by two points and hungry for a response.
- Bologna (vs Juventus): Skorupski; De Silvestri, Danilo, Tomiyasu, Dijks; Svanberg, Schouten, Orsolini, Soriano, Vignato; Barrow.
- AC Milan (vs Inter Milan): Tatarusanu; Dalot, Kjaer*, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Meite, Kessie, Saelemaekers, Diaz, Leao; Ibrahimovic.
Gary Medel has missed the last five games with a calf issue and is expected to remain on the sidelines. He is joined by Federico Santander, Ibrahima Mbaye and Federico Ravaglia as the host’s only other absentees.
For Milan they welcome back Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was suspended for the Coppa Italia clash, but Simon Kjaer is likely to miss out after coming off injured against Inter. Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori came on for his debut and is likely to make a first start this weekend.
In more positive news Pioli could welcome back Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer this weekend, while Mario Mandzukic is in line to make his debut. Hakan Calhanoglu, though, remains doubtful.
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Players to watch:
- Bologna: If the Greyhounds are to get back to winning ways and end their two-month wait for three points, then they will need to offer more of a threat than they did against Juventus last time out, firing a blank as the perennial champions sauntered to a routine 2-0 victory. That could mean handing Musa Barrow carte blanche to test Milan’s backline, in particular Tomori, who looks set to make his Serie A introduction with Kjaer expected to miss out. Although a competent centre-back and proven Premier League defender, Tomori may need time to acclimatise to the pace of a new division, which could allow Barrow to capitalise on the defender’s lack of playing time these past few months. Barrow, 22, is Bologna’s dribble kingpin with the tricky forward completed a club-best 24 take-ons, while his end product has returned solid figures, registering six direct contributions (three goals, three assists).
- AC Milan: Bologna are not alone in boasting their own attacking wunderkind. With Ibrahimovic nearly double his age, 21-year-old Rafael Leao has proven an excellent attacking teammate to the legendary Swede. With five goals and four assists in just 14 Serie A matches this term, the former Lille forward is exciting the red half of Milan with his close control, end product and understanding with Ibra. He plays with a maturity beyond his years, and could cause Bologna one or two problems this weekend if he is in the mood.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Bologna: LWLDD
- AC Milan: LWWLW
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