AC Milan will have to rebound from a painful setback as they take on Genoa at the Stadio San Siro.
Rossoneri fans, players, and anyone affiliated with the seven-time Champions League winners are still seething after losing to Juventus last week Friday. It was not the lost that will have Milan supporters angry, but how. Juventus, a team that some have argued receives better treatment by referees in Italy (especially at Juventus Stadium) did little to dispel that growing belief as they received a spot-kick in the late minutes of stoppage time.
It was a contentious one at best, but it was enough to undo Milan’s hard work, and Vincenzo Montella’s men ended up on the wrong end of a 2-1 score-line. Nonetheless, they are still in contention for Europa League football, something that, given they have failed to qualify at all for Europe for the past few seasons, will at least be some kind of redemption for the struggling side.
Of course, were this still December, they would be in contention for a Champions League spot, but that ship has long sailed. A top six finish is the objective, and they will have a great chance to get back on track as they host Genoa. The Grifone have been absolutely abysmal as of late, and have won just one out of their last 13 games. They come into this match having lost to Sampdoria in the Derby della Lanterna.
That marks the first time since 1960 that Genoa have lost both “home” and “away” to their bitter cross-town rivals, and that comes as yet another major blow for a team who were once considered as dark horses for a European spot.
To compound matters, Genoa have been quite poor on the road this season. They have won just three times and have problems both scoring and keeping their opponents from scoring. In fact, the Grifone have shipped two or more goals in nine out of their last 14 away fixtures, which represents a perfect opportunity for Milan to gain some of that confidence back. However, it may be a lot easier said than done due to some major absences the hosts are facing.