Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan side are in Serie A action on Saturday afternoon when they visit a sinking SPAL team.
Boss Leonardo Semplici is under mounting pressure, and there have been calls to relieve the Florence native of his duties after an alarming run of form which has seen the hosts slip in to the relegation places.
Where and when: Stadio Paolo Mazza – 10 February, kick-off 14:00
Where you can see SPAL vs. Milan: BT Sport, William Hill live streaming
Last time: The two sides have never faced off in Emilia-Romagna in league competition.
SPAL v Milan Predictions and Preview
SPAL failed to build on their spirited display against Inter when they met Cagliari last weekend and it’s now three wins and three draws apiece from the last six matches for the Spallini.
It was never going to be easy for the promoted outfit. A relegation scrap was the expectation for a club with minimal resources but it’s not too late to halt the slide and, to put in to context, Semplici’s troops are only five points off 14th spot.
This campaign is shaping up to be one of the most thrilling in years at the top end of the table, and the bottom is proving equally gripping as a host of clubs battle to avoid the drop.
SPAL have relegation six-pointers coming up, but a shock success against their more esteemed challengers could be the spark needed to turn things around. Goals win matches and the Biancazzurri certainly have options in the ranks.
While Marco Borriello and Sergio Floccari may be past their best, they still have an eye for goal. On loan Alberto Paloschi offers variation to the burly strikers and will relish the opportunity of making a mark against his first club. The Spallini are 7/2 to claim a pivotal win while Paloschi is 17/1 to bag the game’s final strike.
Meanwhile, Milan are moving along steadily under the stewardship of Gattuso. The Rossoneri failed to beat Udinese in the previous round, and have fallen further behind in the pecking order, but the performance level and commitment cannot be criticised. Davide Calabria saw red in the clash after a stunning long range effort from Suso opened proceedings.
The Spain international is enjoying his football under the Diavolo legend and is 4/1 to register any time during the match. Realistically, a top four spot is gone for the Milan giants but European participation must still be the ambition and the travelling squad are priced at 8/11 to secure an important victory.
One to watch for SPAL: Jasmin Kurtic was a team-mate of Franck Kessie at Atalanta and will look to get the better of the Milan powerhouse. The talented midfielder is 19/1 to notch the opening goal.
One to watch for Milan: Hakan Calhanoglu is another player benefitting under the new Coach and is a dead ball specialist. The playmaker is 8/1 to find the back of the net, most likely from a free-kick.
Long shot: Much in keeping with the season, Milan have shown glimpses of what they are capable of but have failed to put away the opposition in ruthless fashion. If Gattuso can get Suso, Calhanoglu, Andre Silva and Giacomo Bonaventura firing collectively, SPAL could be in for a long 90 minutes. A 5-1 triumph for the Rossoneri is available at 125/1.