Game date: Sunday, 7 March
Kick-off time: 15:00 (CET)
Venue: Stadio Bentegodi
Referee: Daniele Orsato (VAR: Mazzoleni)
Milan seemed to have lost some of the confidence and rhythm from their win in Rome after the frustrating draw to Udinese. Coach Pioli stated in his pre-match press conference that his players do not have a problem with attitude and that this match will be more open than the Udinese game. The Rossoneri travel to Verona with a handful of first-team players injured with Calhanoglu joining Ibrahimovic, Bennacer, and Mandzukic on the injury list. In addition to them, Ante Rebic and Theo Hernandez were reported to have picked up injuries earlier today.
Captain Alessio Romagnoli will once again be dropped from the starting XI, making way for Fiyako Tomori to accompany Simon Kjaer at centre back. Rade Krunic will start in the trequartista role, with Kessie and Tonali completing the midfield triangle. Dalot will fill in for Theo Hernandez and Jens Petter Hauge will make his first start since January 18th.
Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Kessie, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Krunic, Hauge; Leao.
Hellas Verona are currently 8th in the Serie A table, one spot better than last year’s campaign. Manager Ivan Juric has taken Verona from Serie B promotion to beating the likes of Atalanta, Lazio, and Napoli this season. This Verona side has undoubted quality and they have managed two wins and two draws in their last four games. I Gialloblu will be without attackers Ebrima Colley and Nikola Kalinic, giving loanee Kevin Lasagna the start upfront, alongside attacking duo Antonin Barak and Mattia Zaccagni. Milan fans may remember Kalinic from his unsuccessful spell at the club during the 2017/18 season where he scored only six goals in 41 appearances.
Probable Verona XI (3-4-2-1): Silvestri; Magnani, Gunter, Ceccherini; Faraoni, Sturaro, Veloso, Lazovic; Barak, Zaccagni; Lasagna.
Milan will desperately look to hold onto second place in the standings with Juventus only a point behind. The Rossoneri drew the reverse fixture 2-2, a game in which they should have won if not for poor finishing. Milan has had limited success against Verona in recent matches and they could pose a real threat, especially if they adopt Udinese’s tactics. On the other hand, the game could be very open, and if it is, Milan will need to capitalize on all of their chances. It’s hard to tell how Milan will perform given the mixed performances in the last few matches, but a draw seems like the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Hellas Verona 1 – 1 AC Milan