MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 10:53:50| >> :120:62807:62807:
Dec 23, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at San Siro
AC MilanAC Milan
3-2
LazioLazio
Rebic (10'), Calhanoglu (17' pen.), Hernandez (90+2')
Krunic (41'), Pioli (44'), Hernandez (78')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Alberto (28'), Immobile (59')
Inzaghi (27'), Escalante (39'), Alberto (64'), Akpa-Akpro (80'), Muriqi (88')

Preview: AC Milan vs. Lazio - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Serie A clash between AC Milan and Lazio, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

League leaders AC Milan face a tough year-ending test against Lazio on Wednesday as they begin to feel the breath of the chasing pack upon their necks in the Scudetto race.

Simone Inzaghi's visiting side deservedly defeated Napoli last time out to sit eighth in the Serie A standings - just three points behind rivals Roma in the coveted fourth spot.


Match preview

AC Milan's Rafael Leao celebrates scoring against Sassuolo in Serie A on December 20, 2020© Reuters

Having started the season with a bang, Stefano Pioli's exciting new-look Milan are accustomed to racing out of the traps leaving the opposition lying startled in their wake.

Even so, the incredible speed of Rafael Leao's third league goal of the season shocked even some of his colleagues, as he netted the fastest goal in the history of Serie A after just six seconds against Sassuolo last week.

That history-making strike at the Mapei Stadium helped Milan to a 2-1 win over Roberto De Zerbi's well-drilled side, even in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his makeshift deputy Ante Rebic - both of whom were injured.

The Rossoneri therefore approach Christmas still top of the tree, just one point above local rivals Inter but with a gap of 10 over this week's opponents, against whom they have a dominant record in recent years.

With at least one goal in their last 16 successive league games against the Roman club, Milan are unbeaten in 29 of their last 30 home games against Lazio in Serie A. However, their only defeat in this period came in the most recent meeting at San Siro last November.

Their unbeaten league record this season is - along with title rivals Juventus - one of only two remaining in Europe's top championships, so Milan will be doubly determined for it to remain intact and to keep bitter foes Inter behind them heading into a potentially prosperous 2021.

Lazio players celebrate Ciro Immobile's goal against Borussia Dortmund in October 2020© Reuters

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi has habitually had to reshuffle his pack throughout an intensely-scheduled, injury-hit 2020-21 campaign to date.

Again, at the weekend, first-teamers such as Joaquin Correa, Marco Parolo, Lucas Leiva and Mohamed Fares were missing, with defensive lynchpin Francesco Acerbi also pulling out during the warm-up.

High-quality goals from top scorer Ciro Immobile and midfield maestro Luis Alberto earned the Biancocelesti a fine 2-0 victory over Napoli in a head-to-head between two top-four contenders.

A win in those circumstances, then, offers a timely boost in morale ahead of a difficult end-of-term assignment at San Siro on Wednesday.

Lazio have picked up an admirable total of 10 points from their last four Serie A away matches and since the start of November only Milan have averaged more points than the Biancocelesti away from home in the Italian top flight.

Last season's capocannoniere Immobile has been the chief architect of their improved form after his return from quarantine, having registered 12 goals in 13 appearances in all competitions since the start of October. Only Robert Lewandowski (with 19), Erling Haaland (14), Mohammed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo (both 13) have netted more in the top five European Leagues during that time.

Fixtures against lowly trio Genoa, Fiorentina and Parma straight after the brief winter break could afford Inzaghi's squad - which has been burdened by battling on two fronts with a shallow squad and several absentees - the chance to catch up ground lost in the autumn, before the Rome derby arrives in mid-January.

First though, the Aquile must travel north for an encounter with Stefano Pioli's young and hungry side - a prospect which should excite and concern them in equal measure.

AC Milan Serie A form: WWWDDW
AC Milan form (all competitions): WWWDDW

Lazio Serie A form: WLWLDW
Lazio form (all competitions): DWDLDW


Team News

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Having previously lost two first-choice forwards, Milan have experienced a midfield dilemma this week, with Ismael Bennacer still injured and Franck Kessie suspended.

Sandro Tonali went off injured at the weekend, so Rade Krunic could therefore come into the engine room alongside Hakan Calhanoglu in a deeper role than he is accustomed to - if Tonali is not fit. Alternatively, defender Davide Calabria could even be pressed into service as a stop-gap solution.

Record-breaking Rafael Leao continues up front in light of the absences of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ante Rebic - who may return to the bench if passed fit - while Pierre Kalulu may have to continue at centre-back if Simon Kjaer is not yet fit to return.

If passed fit for Lazio, Joaquin Correa would come back in alongside Ciro Immobile in attack, with 'supersub' Felipe Caicedo dropping back to the bench.

Injured Mohamed Fares and Lucas Leiva are expected to miss out again in midfield, while centre-back Francesco Acerbi is struggling to return from a thigh strain, so Wesley Hoedt and Adam Marusic should continue in Simone Inzaghi's customary 3-5-2.

Pepe Reina's good form is expected to consign previous Biancocelesti number one Thomas Strakosha to the sidelines once again.

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Kalulu, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Krunic, Tonali; Calhanoglu, Saelemaekers, Diaz; Leao

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Felipe, Hoedt, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto, Marusic; Immobile, Correa


SM words green background

We say: AC Milan 1-1 Lazio

Having shaken off some disappointing results to beat close rivals Napoli, Simone Inzaghi's side travel to San Siro with renewed confidence and have Ciro Immobile in flying form.

Milan's deepening injury crisis may see them dip below their brilliant best, resulting in a score draw which could open the door for co-tenants Inter to top the table at Christmas.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420

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