MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 12:14:03| >> :600:99920:99920:
Jul 21, 2020 at 8.45pm UK at Stadio Citta del Tricolore
AC MilanAC Milan
Caputo (42' pen.)
Bourabia (22'), Locatelli (34')
Bourabia (45+7')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Ibrahimovic (19', 45+2')
Hernandez (38'), Bennacer (61'), Laxalt (76'), Bonaventura (85')

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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Serie A fixture between Sassuolo and AC Milan, including team news and predicted lineups.

Sassuolo play host to AC Milan on Tuesday evening aware that only maximum points will do if they wish to remain in the race for the top six in the Serie A standings.

Milan - holding an eight-point advantage over their next opponents - make the trip to the Mapei Stadium with the same end-of-season target, which was made more achievable with a dominant win over Bologna.

Match preview

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli pictured in February 2020© Reuters

At a time when there has been growing speculation regarding his future, Stefano Pioli has transformed AC Milan into one of the form teams in Serie A.

Since the resumption, six wins and two draws have been recorded from eight matches, the latest victory coming on Saturday evening as I Rossoneri thrashed Bologna by a 5-1 scoreline.

Despite a show of petulance from Zlatan Ibrahimovic after his substitution, Pioli was full of praise for his players, stating that they have transformed themselves from a group of individuals into a team.

Ahead of games against Sassuolo and Atalanta BC, two other teams on lengthy unbeaten runs, those comments may have been partly for effect at a time when the 54-year-old needs to convince club officials to keep faith with him.

Nevertheless, it cannot be disputed that Milan seem to be on their biggest upward trajectory for some time, one which they will hope will lead to a return to European football.

Like the visitors, Sassuolo head into the contest on the back of eight matches without recording a loss, a run which has featured four victories and four draws.

While two of those stalemates have come over the past week, they were accompanied by varying levels of frustration having held leads against leaders Juventus and inconsistent Cagliari, who played for more than 45 minutes at a man disadvantage.

Roberto De Zerbi cannot be too critical of his team with the club having improved from 11th to eighth since the resumption, but there is still a feeling that they should be closer to the likes of Napoli and Tuesday's opponents.

Although the lack of clean sheets remains an issue, Francesco Caputo goes into the game looking to further improve on a run of five goals and three assists from his last eight appearances.

Sassuolo Serie A form: WWWWDD

AC Milan Serie A form: DWWDWW

Team News

Jeremie Boga pictured for Sassuolo in October 2019© Reuters

Despite the disappointment of the draw at Cagliari, Sassuolo boss De Zerbi may opt to keep the same starting lineup.

Giacomo Raspadori is a potential replacement for Lukas Haraslin if De Zerbi decides to include another recognised attacker in the final third, with Jeremie Boga continuing down the left flank.

Barring any late fitness issues, Pioli could take the same approach with regards to his Milan XI.

Piolo has already acknowledged that Ibrahimovic was only withdrawn against Bologna to maintain his fitness levels, suggesting that the veteran Swede will retain his place in attack.

That is expected to result in Rafael Leao staying among the replacements alongside the likes of Giacomo Bonaventura and Lucas Paqueta.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Pegulo; Mulder, Santos, Ferrari, Rogerio; Djurcic, Locatelli, Traore; Raspadori, Caputo, Boga

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Bennacur, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic

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We say: Sassuolo 1-2 AC Milan

This has all the makings of a high-quality encounter. However, despite emerging as surprise contenders for a European place, we feel that Sassuolo may have to take too many gambles to gain all three points, allowing their opponents to capitalise at the other end.

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AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli pictured in February 2020
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