Match Preview: Lazio-Milan, 26-04-2021

It’s time for Milan to face the first of three difficult and decisive games against three direct rivals for the Champions League: Lazio, Juventus and Atalanta. If the Bergamaschi seems unstoppable, especially after the 5-0 against Bologna, Juventus’ draw in Florence made the challenge for Europe more interesting. The Rossoneri could have a chance to gain some important points, even if Lazio want to redeem themselves from the 5-2 defeat in Naples.

Milan won the last two Serie A games against Lazio, and they haven’t had three consecutive victories against the Biancocelesti since 2009. Lazio have not kept a clean sheet against Milan in Serie A since February 2012 (2-0): since then the Rossoneri scored at least one goal in 17 consecutive games, with an average of 1.8 goals per match. In case of victory, Lazio can win 10 consecutive Serie A games for the third time in their history, reaching this winning streak in 1937 and in 1974. Milan have so far won 13 away matches in this season and they can become the first team to win 14 of the first 16 away games in a single Serie A season; at the moment Inter is the quickest team to reach 14 away victories, back in 2006/07, but they needed 17 games to set this record. Milan are the team in this season’s Serie A that conceded in percentage more goals from corners, 22%, 8 goals from 38 corners; on the other hand, Lazio are the ones that scored in percentage less from corners, 4% with 2 goals coming from 53 corners.

After the recent news about a one-year deal to extend his contract, Ibrahimovic will miss one more important game this season, due to some muscular problems that are affecting his condition. Pioli should choose Mandzukic to replace him, with Leao starting from the bench and ready to step in; the Portuguese striker is a very talented player, but he showed in many games that he can’t play as single striker and that Milan should buy a proper striker to give Ibrahimovic some rest. Hernandez, who missed Wednesday’s game against Sassuolo, seems to be recovered, and he’ll start on the left; if he won’t make it, Dalot is ready to substitute him. Bennacer is recovered as well, and he’ll start alongside Kessie. Tomori had some muscular issues in the last days, but he should now be fine and ready to start.

The main doubts for Inzaghi regards the midfielders Lucas Leiva and Luis Alberto, who seemed out of form in the last match against Napoli due to a muscular problem; their condition will be evaluated in the next hours. One more doubt regards the position where Marusic will play, either as centre back or as right-sided midfielder. In attack Correa and Immobile will start, the Italian has so far scored six goals in 12 Serie A matches against Milan.

Lazio lineup (3-5-2): Reina; Marusic, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva, Luis Alberto, Fares; Correa, Immobile. Coach: Inzaghi

Milan lineup (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessiè; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Mandzukic. Coach: Pioli

Referee: Orsato