AC Milan continue their quest for Europa League qualification with a trip to bottom-of-the-table SPAL on Wednesday at 8:45 PM.
The Rossoneri moved to within six points of fifth-placed Roma with an impressive 2-0 win over the Giallorossi on Sunday — the in-form Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu scored the all-important goals for Stefano Pioli’s men.
That made it two wins from two Serie A games since the resumption of play for Milan and although the Champions League place they covet so much is now almost beyond them, a return to the Europa League would be very much desirable.
SPAL are Milan’s latest opponents and although they gave Napoli a stern test on Sunday — losing 3-1 in the end — the fact remains that they’ve now lost seven of their last eight Serie A matches.
Luigi Di Biagio’s men are rooted to the bottom of the table on 18 points, eight adrift of 17th-placed Genoa. Although there is still 10 games remaining in which to save their skins, SPAL look in serious trouble and you get the feeling it’s now or never if they’re to make a fist of survival.
So, will AC Milan take another step toward Europa League qualification for next season, or will SPAL kick-start an unlikely great escape?
Where to watch SPAL vs AC Milan on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream SPAL vs AC Milan:
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SPAL & AC Milan’s previous line-ups:
- SPAL (vs Napoli): Letica; Cionek*, Vicari*, Felipe, Reca; Strefezza, Murgia, Missiroli, Fares; Cerri, Petagna.
- AC Milan (vs AS Roma): Donnarumma; Conti, Kjaer, Romagnoli*, Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Castillejo; Bonaventura, Calhanoglu; Rebic.
SPAL goalkeeper Etrit Berisha remains sidelined with a hand fracture, while Federico Di Francesco and Ervin Zukanovic have recently picked up thigh and ankle problems respectively, ruling them out of the clash with Milan. Thiago Cionek and Francesco Vicari are both one yellow card away from a suspension.
Centre-back Mateo Musacchio is out until October after undergoing ankle surgery, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still out with a calf problem. Alessio Romagnoli is one yellow card away from a one-match ban.
Players to watch:
- SPAL: It’s dire straights for SPAL in their battle to avoid the drop, with Di Biagio’s men stranded at the bottom of the table on just 18 points. The main source of frustration for SPAL has been their shortage of goals. In fact, no Serie A side has scored fewer than their miserly 21 goals this season. The only SPAL player who has covered himself in any sort of glory in an attacking sense has been 24-year-old forward, Andrea Petagna, who has been responsible for just over 54% (12) of his side’s goals this season. Petagna is 10 goals clear of his nearest rival at SPAL and will have to turn it on once again to give his team a chance against Milan.
- AC Milan: When Ibrahimovic was sidelined with a calf injury, many Milan fans expected their team to once again struggle in front of goal. However, helping fill the void left by the Swedish striker has been Eintracht Frankfurt loanee, Ante Rebic. The Croatia international netted once again in Milan’s 2-0 win over Roma on Sunday, meaning he’s now responsible for 47% of his side’s 18 Serie A goals in 2020. Milan are up against some strong sides in the likes of Roma and Napoli as they battle it out for a Europa League spot and a proven goalscorer will be vital between now and the end of the season.
Scoreline prediction: SPAL 0-2 AC Milan
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Serie A 2019/20 recent form:
- SPAL: LLWLL
- AC Milan: WDLWW