Collect News Data
Oct 16, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
AC MilanAC Milan
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Giroud (59'), Kessie (76' pen.), Gunter (78' og.)
Ballo-Toure (81')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Caprari (7'), Barak (24' pen.)
Ceccherini (5'), Kalinic (25'), Casale (38'), Veloso (54')

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

:Headline: Preview: AC Milan vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between AC Milan and Hellas Verona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking to sustain their superb domestic form, unbeaten AC Milan return to Serie A duty on Saturday evening, versus Hellas Verona at San Siro.

While the Rossoneri have experienced troubles in Europe, they have so far excelled in the Italian top flight, and now meet visitors who have markedly improved under new management - scoring 12 times in their last four games.

Match preview

Before the international break intervened, Milan secured second spot in the league after posting their sixth win from seven Serie A fixtures in the 2021-22 campaign.

Up against Lombardy rivals Atalanta, Stefano Pioli's men continued their impressive start to the season by surviving a belated Bergamaschi fightback to emerge 3-2 victors at the Gewiss Stadium.

After racing into an early lead through Davide Calabria's first-minute strike, Sandro Tonali doubled the Rossoneri's advantage before the increasingly impressive Rafael Leao netted a third with just 12 minutes to go.

Though a couple of late goals for the home side drew them within touching distance by the final moments, Milan saw out the win and kept themselves on the coat-tails of flawless leaders Napoli, who they trail by two points.

A dramatic loss to Liverpool in the opening match of their Champions League campaign, plus subsequent defeat to Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, leaves Pioli and company with much to do in continental competition, but they have already posted 19 Serie A points so far. Since the turn of the century, only in 2003 and last year have they previously picked up more after the first eight games.

Not only that, but Milan are undefeated in 29 top-flight meetings with this week's opponents at San Siro, having also won each of their three home matches there this term - by an aggregate score of eight goals to one.

Enjoying a new lease of life under the guidance of Croatian coach Igor Tudor since his appointment last month, Verona extended their unbeaten run to four matches with a comprehensive win over struggling Spezia last time out.

Already three goals to the good by half-time at Stadio Bentegodi, thanks to goals from Giovanni Simeone, Davide Faraoni and Gianluca Caprari, the Gialloblu ultimately confirmed a 4-0 victory, which lifts them up to 12th in the table following a desperate start under Tudor's predecessor Eusebio Di Francesco.

Previously, a dramatic win against Roma on the new manager's debut was followed by draws against both Salernitana and Genoa, as a previously dormant Hellas unexpectedly established themselves as one of the highest-scoring teams on the peninsula.

Even under Tudor's countryman Ivan Juric, who was lauded during his successful spell at the club, the Veronese outfit were rarely such a potent prospect in the final third, but they have now registered the same number of league goals as Milan.

While strikers such as Simeone and Nikola Kalinic - who has struggled with injury and loss of form since his arrival last term - have continued to misfire, Hellas have seen goals come from all quarters of the squad in recent games. On Saturday, they will need such goalscoring input to continue if they are to end that long winless run away to the Rossoneri.

AC Milan Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

AC Milan form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Hellas Verona Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

On their return to league action, Milan's resources will be diminished by a series of injuries that deprive them of several first-team regulars.

Left-back Theo Hernandez tested positive for COVID-19 just days after featuring in France's Nations League success, during which he scored a spectacular late winner in the semi-final versus Belgium, and Brahim Diaz has also contracted the virus.

Captain Davide Calabria's participation is also in doubt, following his departure from Italy duty with a muscular injury. Therefore, reserve full-backs Fode Ballo-Toure and Pierre Kalulu are poised to step in as cover.

Furthermore, in-form goalkeeper Mike Maignan - a popular replacement for the departed Gianluigi Donnarumma - underwent surgery this week, in order to repair ligament damage to his wrist. The recovery period could take as long as 10 weeks, so the Rossoneri have recruited Antonio Mirante to compete with Ciprian Tatarusanu for the role of stand-in stopper, and the latter should start on Saturday.

Veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, though, aims to complete his comeback from an Achilles injury after resuming full training this week and could feature off the bench, while Olivier Giroud returns up front.

Verona's Igor Tudor, meanwhile has injury concerns of his own, regarding Davide Faraoni (knee) and Ivan Ilic (ribs). The pair suffered knocks during the victory against Spezia and are being closely monitored in the build-up to the match.

Gianluca Frabotta is another probable absentee for the visiting side, who will choose between Giovanni Simeone, Nikola Kalinic and Kevin Lasagna to start in a lone role up front.

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Tatarusanu; Calabria, Tomori, Romagnoli, Ballo-Toure; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Maldini, Rebic; Giroud

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Ceccherini, Gunter, Casale; Faraoni, Ilic, Veloso, Lazovic; Barak, Caprari; Kalinic

We say: AC Milan 2-1 Hellas Verona

Milan may be bedeviled by injuries, but their squad has gained an encouraging depth over recent transfer windows, and can endure the absence of integral cogs in their well-oiled machine.

A confident and mobile forward line should prove too hot to handle for the vulnerable Verona defence, as the likes of Leao and Diaz continue to lead the transition from one Rossonero generation to the next.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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 3.5:data

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