Milan will be short of full strength due to the absence of De Sciglio, Romagnoli and Bonaventura, with the injuries to the latter two most problematic and weakening them in defence and midfield, although getting Paletta and Kucka back is a plus. There could be some rotation following the draw at Lazio, with Sosa maybe replacing Locatelli and Bacca tipped to strengthen the attack. Montella goes up against his former club intent on winning the game, as this is a clash between two rivals for a European place. Milan can open up a four point lead over the visitors and that’ll be the aim, enhancing their own prospects whilst damaging Fiorentina’s at the same time. After a disappointing run of form, they’ve picked up two positive results on the bounce to give them a morale boost. It’s likely to be a close game between two reasonably matched teams, while having only scored two goals in their last four home fixtures, they’ll be keen to not fall behind, as from there a draw may be the best they can hope for. They won’t want to take unnecessary risks, being wary of the visitors, but if it’s close entering the latter stages, Milan may have the edge after not playing in midweek.
Fiorentina are missing one of their most important players in the shape of Bernardeschi, who serves a one match ban, but otherwise they are at full strength. Following a game in Germany on Thursday night when a strong XI was named, some rotation may be required, with key players Rodriguez and Borja Valero potentially at risk. Sanchez is back from suspension and Kalinic should start up top. Motivation shouldn’t be lacking as they go up against a rival for a European place, but this game is sandwiched between a Europa League tie, so freshness isn’t on their side and they’ve had less time to prepare. They’ve been inconsistent all season and there have been questions about their coach Paulo Sousa and about their mental toughness, while only a win will truly satisfy them here. They aren’t a team to just sit back, while they haven’t been great defensively this season anyway, so can’t really rely on that. They’ll hope to establish some control and play their passing football, although as they’ve struggled to create clear chances, they need to be clinical if they do, as this is likely to be close. They may not be in the best shape, but are capable of getting a result.
Verdict & Prediction
Fiorentina don’t appear to be great from a psychological point of view this season, as they’ve been inconsistent and have flattered to deceive at times, not always displaying mental toughness. Motivation shouldn’t be lacking against a rival for a Europa League place. Following a disappointing run of form, Milan have picked up two positive results in their last two games to give them a bit of a boost. Now up against another rival for a European place in Fiorentina, they could really do with picking up all three points, but they’ve lost their last two home games. My main prediction is over 2.5 goals, but I will be also backing Fiorentina (+0.50 Asian Handicap, same as Double Chance) to win this one.
Prediction: Over 2.5 goals
Odds: 1.84 SBOBET
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