Match Preview: Milan-Genoa, 18-04-2021

The good victory against Parma gave the Diavolo three important points, but the success of the other teams competing for the Champions League didn’t give us any advantage. This weekend Milan will host Genoa, while two important games, Atalanta-Juventus and Napoli-Inter, will be held in the next hours. The possibility of gaining some points over our rivals makes the match even more important, but in football nothing is sure and Genoa will try their best to ruin our plans.

Genoa has always been an insidious opponent for Milan, in particularly at home games. Indeed, despite Milan won four of the last six Serie A games against Genoa (1 draw and 1 defeat), the Liguri were able to get two victories and two draws in the last seven games in San Siro. During last season, Genoa was the last team able to win against Milan before the spread of the Corona virus and the postponement of the League, 1-2 in March. In 2021, only Benevento, Cagliari, Parma and Torino won less home games than Milan in Serie A, who have so far recorded two victories, two draws and four defeats in eight matches. On the other hand, the comeback of Ballardini as Genoa’s coach gave at first some fresh air to the team, but in the last nine games they collected only one victory, with 5 draws and 3 defeats.

During the game in Parma something absurd and senseless happened: Ibrahimovic received a red card because the referee misunderstood what he said. Despite the dozens of cameras and the clear audio of Zlatan saying “Mi sembra strano” (I find it strange), the Swede will miss Sunday’s match. Milan has been and is a correct club, and accepted the unfair suspension, but this episode will obviously affect the next game. Leao, who scored in the final minutes against Parma, will start as striker, while the rest of the team will probably be the same that played in Emilia. The only doubt for Pioli is at right back, where Dalot that will probably start ahead of Kalulu. In midfield, there will be the omnipresent Kessie, who became the fifth foreign midfielder to reach 10 goals in a Serie A season after Kakà, Leonardo, Liedholm and Gren.

On the other side, many doubts for Ballardini who won’t count on captain Criscito, Zappacosta and Pellegrini. The former Rossonero Zapata will probably start instead of Radovanovic, alongside Masiello and Goldaniga. One more former Rossonero, Mattia Destro,will start on the attack, joined by Scamacca; this latter is living a good moment and Milan is thinking about him to find a new striker in the summer.

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

Genoa lineup (3-5-2): Perin; Goldaniga, Zapata, Masiello; Ghiglione, Melegoni, Behrami, Strootman, Czyborra; Destro, Scamacca. Coach: Ballardini

Referee: Calvarese