AC Milan vs Fiorentina
San Siro |(26.10.2014 – 19:45 GMT)
Fourth place Milan host Fiorentina this Sunday in the pick of the Serie A fixtures this week. Milan has been quietly going about their business this season, and find themselves only a point from third place, and a mere five points behind leaders Juventus. The visitors have had a less successful start to the season, with some their form being rather more mercurial. Whilst they are currently occupying eleventh position, a win could move them back into the European qualification places.
Few expected much from this Milan side this season, given the dearth of proven quality throughout the side, and the lukewarm reception to the signings they made in the summer (such as the enigmatic Fernando Torres) means that their current league position is mildly surprising. They finished last season in eighth position, meaning they missed out on Europe for the first time in a very long time. It could be argued that I Rossoneri absence from continental football has been beneficial to the side, as Filippo Inzaghi’s men can fully concentrate on domestic matters.
Midfielder Keisuke Honda is in fine form, and tops the goal scoring charts with 6 goals, and will be an important figure if his side is to continue their winning streak. Milan are coming off a 3-1 against Hellas Verona, and whilst no one is making any bold predictions of glory at the San Siro, confidence is growing. The players are keen to reiterate they are focusing on one game at a time. Defender Alex spoke to Milan Channel
“We have worked very hard today and played our best, now we must focus on the next game, which will be difficult. Christian Abbiati had a great game and contributed to the result.”
Possible Milan Starting XI:
Fiorentina, conversely, have made a sluggish start to the new campaign and will be disappointed with their current position. They were beaten 2-0 in Florence by a largely average Lazio side last weekend, and whilst they had their chances, they were over-elaborate at times, and laboured in their attempts to score. The prior weekend, however, saw them in a much richer vein of form when they swept aside Inter 3-0, playing some fantastic football into the bargain. In contrast to Milan, La Viola has a Europa League campaign to contend with, and they will take encouragement from their 1-0 away win to PAOK Salonika.
Injuries continue to play a part in their poor form, and given their lack of goals it seems they are beginning to feel the loss of Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez. Khouma Babacar impressed last season on loan at Modena in Serie B, and has netted twice this season for Fiorentina. Fans will be hoping he can build on this throughout the campaign.
As stated, Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez are side-lined for the visitors, but they welcome back Marin from injury. Milan are still missing former Viola midfielder Ricardo Montolivo who is out until the middle of November.
Possible Fiorentina Starting XI:
It’s difficult to predict what Fiorentina side is going to turn up in Milan, and even if they do perform, their lack of potency up front means that they are likely to struggle to come back with a win. Given they also had to travel to Greece midweek, I can see a spirited Viola effort being in vain, with Milan to continue their recent good form.