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Udinese logo
Serie A | Gameweek 27
Mar 18, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Dacia Arena
Milan logo

3 - 1
AC Milan

Pereyra (9'), Beto (45+6'), Ehizibue (70')
Perez (27'), Walace (68'), Becao (90+3'), Ebosele (90')
Sottil (45+3')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Ibrahimovic (45+4' pen.)
Kalulu (61'), Tonali (90+2')

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

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

While they scraped through to the Champions League quarter-finals, AC Milan have made a slow start to March in Serie A and will seek their first win of the month when they meet Udinese on Saturday.

The champions will arrive at the Dacia Arena having taken one point from their last two league games, while their hosts won last week to end another long streak without victory.

Match preview

Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring for AC Milan on November 2, 2022© Reuters

Though Olivier Giroud scored just before the interval in Milan's Monday night clash with Salernitana, the French forward's eighth league goal of the season proved insufficient to see off the southern side, as Boulaye Dia's second-half equaliser resulted in a share of the spoils at San Siro.

Denied on several occasions by the brilliance of Granata goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, the hosts had to settle for just a point following their limp 2-1 defeat at Fiorentina a week earlier.

In between came a goalless Champions League draw with Tottenham Hotspur, which helped the Rossoneri secure a place in the quarter-final draw, but sitting fourth in Serie A and only one point ahead of Roma, a return to Europe's top club competition is by no means guaranteed for next term.

Following Dia's side-foot finish earlier this week, Milan have now shipped more goals than any other Serie A side from crosses (12), with three of their last four being conceded in that fashion - a reminder that Stefano Pioli's defensive woes are not entirely resolved.

The veteran coach's switch to a back three did steady the ship, though, after Milan went into meltdown during January, and they are still just two points shy of city rivals Inter, who occupy second place in the standings behind distant leaders Napoli.

Though they have lost only one of their last 11 league meetings with Udinese, the Rossoneri have not done the double over Saturday's hosts since 2008, during the Carlo Ancelotti era. After winning 4-2 in August's reverse fixture, they will now aim to do just that.

Udinese coach Andrea Sottil reacts on November 12, 2022© Reuters

While they may have struggled to beat Milan during that spell, Udinese have shared three wins apiece with their second-city counterparts from the teams' last eight encounters in Fruili.

Andrea Sottil's current side would dearly love to record another victory this weekend, as they seek some forward momentum following an increasingly rare success last Saturday.

Having gone six games without a win, the Fruilani edged out Empoli, as Rodrigo Becao's goal split the sides at Stadio Carlo Castellani and helped the visitors stay 10th in the table.

Not only have Udinese kept clean sheets in both of their last two league games, after holding Atalanta goalless previously, they are therefore in contention for a top-half finish come June.

Demonstrating greater signs of resilience and a more compact shape, the Bianconeri can now target a successful end to Sottil's first season, which started in such a blaze of glory. That said, Serie A's draw specialists would surely settle for a point against the Scudetto holders.

Udinese Serie A form:

AC Milan Serie A form:

AC Milan form (all competitions):

Team News

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after Junior Messias scores their second goal on February 26, 2023© Reuters

Due to the suspension of Olivier Giroud on Saturday, in a week when he was recalled to the Sweden squad at the age of 41, Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make his first Milan start for over a year. The Swedish striker has been involved in five goals in his last four games against Udinese.

However, either Ante Rebic or Rafael Leao may instead be called into action as a stop-gap due to the veteran's lack of match-fitness, while alternative option Divock Origi has been out of favour.

Junior Messias is still unavailable due to injury, so Stefano Pioli's other likely change would see Sandro Tonali promoted from the bench. The midfielder's return comes after, on Monday, Milan started their first-ever Serie A match without an Italian player featuring in the first XI.

Meanwhile, Udinese coach Andrea Sottil could tinker with a winning lineup by pushing Roberto Pereyra forward as support for lone striker Beto, with Isaac Success making way.

Former Milan loanee Gerard Deulofeu and centre-back Enzo Ebosse are both sidelined by long-term injury, but Sottil's only other fitness concern relates to Adam Masina.

Having also netted the winner last week, Rodrigo Becao can seek to extend his run of success against Saturday's opponents: he has previously scored three goals against Milan - more than any other defender in Serie A since the 1950s. Furthermore, when the Brazilian has started alongside Jaka Bijol and Nehuen Perez this term, Udinese's 'average goals conceded' rate drops to 0.75 per game.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Becao, Bijol, Perez; Ehizibue, Arslan, Walace, Lovric, Udogie; Pereyra; Beto

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Kalulu, Thiaw, Tomori; Saelemaekers, Bennacer, Tonali, Hernandez; Diaz, Rebic; Leao

SM words green background

We say: Udinese 1-2 AC Milan

While Milan have been below their best for some time now, they can get back to winning ways on Saturday evening, when their hosts will seek just a fourth home success of the season. This contest could go all the way to the wire, though, as only Napoli have scored more goals than either side (both 11) during the last 15 minutes of play.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data

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Udinese forward Beto in action against AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori in August 2022.
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Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 England flag England11003
2 Denmark Denmark10101
3 Slovenia Slovenia10101
4 Serbia Serbia10010

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
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3 Poland Poland10010
4 Austria Austria10010

Group E

1 Romania Romania11003
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3 Belgium Belgium10010
4 Ukraine Ukraine10010

Group F

1 Turkey Turkey11003
2 Portugal Portugal11003
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic10010
4 Georgia Georgia10010

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