Struggling Udinese will be looking to regain some measure of form at home on Saturday night at 7:45pm (UK time). Their visitors, injury-plagued AC Milan, will be looking to shake off European disappointment and maintain a tenuous grip on top spot in the Serie A table.
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Where to watch Udinese vs AC Milan on TV:
- UK: BT Sport
- US: FuboTV (click here to find out about free trial offer)
Udinese team news
After grabbing seven points in their first three Serie A fixtures, Udinese’s form has cratered. In their last 13 outings, Udinese has only a single victory, and just nine points. They’re winless in their last four, with just two points to show for their efforts. Their most recent outing, a 3-1 defeat away to Empoli in which they led at halftime, will have done little to build confidence.
Udinese have been held scoreless or scored a single goal ten times in 13 matches. Equally frustrating is the failure to make the most of their rare outburst. On 3 October, away to Sampdoria, Udinese took the lead twice and scored three goals… and drew. On 2 December, away to Lazio, a multiple-goal lead and a four-goal tally yielded… a point.
It’s difficult to pin down what our expectations should be for Udinese. The roster is nominally talented enough to navigate a Serie A season without great difficulty. They’re also physically fit, with only midfielder Roberto Pereira and defender Rodrigo Becao nursing minor injuries that aren’t expected to keep them out.
Despite their struggles, Udinese still sit 14th in the table, six points clear of Genoa and Cagliari in the top two relegation spots. That’s fairly safe, but there’s no doubt that they must right the ship to some extent to avoid a relegation battle.
Udinese predicted XI: Marco Silvestri; Nehuén Pérez; Samir Santos; Tolgay Arslan; Jean-Victor Makengo; Isaac Success; Beto; Gerard Deulofeu; Iyenoma Udogie; Sebastien De Maio; Brandon Soppy.
AC Milan team news
Milan, meanwhile, are riding an emotional roller coaster. They’ve won their last two Serie A matches, and sit atop the league table, with a points tally (38) better than any they’ve had at this stage of a season since 2003/04.
Of course, those Serie A wins came against 18th-place Genoa and last place Salernitana. And, in the days since, Milan hosted Liverpool in the Champions League, needing a result in order to keep hold of any European football. The 1-2 defeat not only knocked the Rossoneri out of the Champions League, but dropped them to the bottom of their group, stripping away even the Europa League safety net.
And yes, while they do still sit atop the Serie A table, Milan are just a single point clear of crosstown rivals Inter, who are not only on better form in the league, having won four of five, but have done so against decidedly better competition. It’s possible that the no longer having to concentrate on European competition will allow Milan to focus entirely on winning the league, but the inability to secure a result at home against, yes, a top side, but one that had absolutely nothing at stake will not inspire confidence.
Making matters worse is the fact that Milan have been ravaged by injury, and come into this game with no fewer than eight players out due to injury, five of whom are regular contributors. This could particularly problematic up front, where Olivier Giroud, Rafael Leao, and Ante Rebic are all expected to miss out. Thank goodness for Zlatan!
The back line is also a bit shorthanded, with Simon Kjaer and Davide Calabria sidelined, though Milan should have enough depth at the back and strength in midfield to weather the storm.
AC Milan predicted XI: Mike Maignan; Sandro Tonali; Brahim Díaz; Zlatan Ibrahimović; Alessio Romagnoli; Theo Hernández; Pierre Kalulu; Fikayo Tomori; Junior Messias; Rade Krunić; Franck Kessié
Serie A 2021/22 recent form:
- Udinese: WLDDL
- AC Milan: DLLWW
Scoreline prediction: Udinese 0-1 AC Milan.
Udinese has played Milan tough of late, with a win, two draws a two losses (by a single goal each) in the last five meetings between the sides. However, Milan, even shorthanded, have the defensive prowess to shut down struggling Udinese and control the game. We’re unlikely to see a free-flowing contest, but Milan – who’ve won five of their last six away from home in Serie A – should exert enough control to come away with an unspectacular win.
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