AC Milan will look to get back on track when they host 16th-placed Udinese in the Serie A on Tuesday. Gennaro Gattuso’s men are experiencing a mini-dip in form, having lost back-to-back games against Sampdoria and Inter Milan.
Those losses mean fourth-placed Milan (51 points) have a long way to go before they can confirm a Champions League spot for next season. Local rivals Inter are a couple of points ahead with 53 while Lazio are three points behind, with a game in hand.Embed from Getty Images
Furthermore, Atalanta and AS Roma are on 48 and 47 points respectively, which highlights the difficulty of finishing in the top four. Only Juventus (78 points) and Napoli (63 points) look to have confirmed their spots in Europe’s premier competition next season.
Therefore, Milan will have to step up with nine more games to go if the Rossoneri want to achieve their season’s target amid competition from Inter, Lazio, Atalanta, and Roma.
On the other hand, Udinese are involved in a relegation scrap at the bottom of the Serie A table. The 16th-placed team are currently three points clear of the drop zone and have a game in hand as well.
I Bianconeri have won three out of their last games, mirroring Milan’s form. They beat 11th-placed Genoa in the previous match, which is a real shot in the arm for Igor Tudor’s men.
AC Milan vs Udinese Preview and Prediction
Coming to team news, Gattuso will be the happier manager among the two. Milan have only Giacomo Bonaventura as the confirmed absentee leaving the former Milan legend with an almost-full squad to pick from.
Further, Franck Kessie started from the bench against Sampdoria as Gattuso punished him for his ugly spat with Lucas Biglia a couple of games ago against Inter.Embed from Getty Images
Tudor does not enjoy the same luxury in terms of injuries as Udinese are set to miss a host of players. Sandro and Jens Stryger Larsen are suspended while Antonin Barak and Emil Hallfredsson are out injured. Further, there are question marks over the availability of club captain Valon Behrami, Marco D’Alessandro, William Troost-Ekong, and Bram Nuytinck.
Despite similar form over the last five Serie A games, Milan have the edge going into the match. Superior quality aside, home advantage and the need to bounce back after two consecutive losses should see them pick three points.
Udinese will look to spoil the party and will be happy with a point, having failed to win any of their last ten away games. Eventually, the game will come down to who wants the three points more and Milan’s ability to handle the pressure of teams below them closing in.
AC Milan AH -1 @ 1.81 at Pinnacle Sports