Beset by a crippling injury and illness crisis, AC Milan aim to recover from the desperation of defeat to Scudetto rivals Juventus in the first of back-to-back meetings with improving Torino on Saturday.
Milan saw their 27-round Serie A unbeaten run finally ended in midweek and now welcome Turin's second side to San Siro, just as Marco Giampaolo's struggling outfit have seemingly turned a corner.
After approaching a calendar year undefeated in Serie A, Milan's remarkable run was mercilessly shattered by old foes Juventus on Wednesday.
Stricken by both a series of injuries and a pre-game COVID-19 outbreak - which affected Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic - the Rossoneri encountered the Old Lady seriously short-handed in midfield and attack, with Davide Calabria asked to improvise in midfield.
The gap between both sides' respective squad depth became glaringly apparent during Juve's 2-1 victory, as each club's second-half substitutions contrasted significantly.
Defending champions Juventus could introduce match-winning combination Weston McKennie and Dejan Kulusevski from the bench - plus big-money buys Arthur and Federico Bernardeschi - while Milan called upon rookie defender Pierre Kalulu and primavera graduates Daniel Maldini and Lorenzo Colombo.
Now, within the next few days, they take on Torino in both league and cup - with a pair of back-to-back meetings taking place at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Milan are unbeaten in their last 24 Serie A home games against the Granata - winning 16 and keeping 17 clean sheets in the process - and will expect to get the better of one of their least successful former coaches, Marco Giampaolo, not once but twice.
A late equaliser from Brazilian defender Bremer - apparently a transfer window target for several bigger clubs across Europe - gave Torino a merited 1-1 draw with Verona in midweek.
Head coach Giampaolo reverted to using Sasa Lukic as a 'number 10' behind the front pair on Wednesday, with his team managing 17 attempts - though only two were ultimately on target - against a notoriously resilient visiting side.
In their last four games, the Granata have earned a respectable six points thanks to draws against Roma, Bologna and Napoli and a rare victory against Parma.
All of which leaves Giampaolo's men in 17th place with a meagre tally of twelve points, so they can not afford many missteps in the coming weeks given their close proximity to the relegation zone.
To continue their revival, Torino must improve in defence, as they have conceded 33 goals so far - only Crotone and Cagliari have let in more. In fact, 20 of those goals were leaked in the last 30 minutes of games - six more than any other Serie A side have conceded in the final half-hour this term.
Such a sloppy finale against a vengeful Milan outfit - even one scarred by major absences - would surely result in another dismal defeat for a club that so struggles at San Siro.
AC Milan Serie A form: DDWWWL
Torino Serie A form: LLDDWD
However, star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned from the muscle problem that has kept him out since mid-December - before which he had spells out with both illness and injury - and could start on the bench.
Alongside the dependable Franck Kessie in midfield, Sandro Tonali is back from a costly suspension which caused him to miss the crucial Juventus clash. Calabria can therefore return to right-back, with Diogo Dalot dropping to the bench.
Torino boss Giampaolo has a fully-fit squad, with midfielder Daniele Baselli now back from long-term injury.
AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Tonali; Castillejo, Calhanoglu, Diaz; Leao
Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Izzo, Lyanco, Bremer; Singo, Lukic, Rincon, Linetty, Rodriguez; Verdi, Belotti
We say: AC Milan 2-1 Torino
Presented with a serious test of their resilience following a first league defeat in months, can this expectation-defying Milan outfit bounce back at the first attempt?
Certainly, this meeting with one of their favourite opponents Torino seems to offer the perfect chance to return to winning ways quickly.
With Tonali restored to add equilibrium to midfield, the Rossoneri should just see off a gradually improving Toro side on Saturday afternoon.