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Dec 1, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
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Preview: Genoa vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

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

After their unbeaten start was finally ended by successive Serie A defeats, AC Milan encounter a club legend on Wednesday, as lowly Genoa play host at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Seeking to halt their losing run, the Rossoneri start the final month of a rollercoaster year against Andriy Shevchenko's new side, who sit 18th in the table.

Match preview

Having previously strode clear at the summit of the Serie A standings alongside southern counterparts Napoli, the past week has seen Milan's domestic form wane badly, just as they earned themselves a lifeline in Europe.

Either side of a crucial 1-0 win over Porto in the Champions League, which gives Stefano Pioli's men some hope of progressing after the final matchday, Milan have conceded a total of seven goals in two league outings.

The Rossoneri lost their second Serie A game in a row against Sassuolo on Sunday, as Alessio Romagnoli's return to the league lineup descended into the stuff of nightmares, following a promising start. His 21st-minute opening goal may have lifted spirits after a spectacular 4-3 defeat at Fiorentina, but the club captain went on to be implicated in Sassuolo's third goal before being sent off late on.

A 3-1 reverse at the hands of the mid-table Neroverdi therefore means that Milan could now lose three Serie A matches in a row for the first time since September 2019, should they trip up in Genoa.

Furthermore, their previously watertight defence has started to leak badly, as Pioli has witnessed his team concede a worrying tally of 16 goals in their last nine league games, after having previously shipped only two in the previous nine - a run which featured a remarkable seven clean sheets.

The absences of first-choice goalkeeper Mike Maignan - who had settled into life so well as Gianluigi Donnarumma's replacement - and impressive centre-back Fikayo Tomori have undoubtedly played their part; demonstrating Milan's squad depth is still not on a par with city rivals and reigning champions Inter.

An early opportunity to recover presents itself in this midweek round, though, as the Rossoneri are unbeaten in their last four Serie A away games against Wednesday's opponents - winning three - and will meet a home side beset by a painful lack of success this season.

Still with just one win to their name so far this term, Genoa's last league victory came as long ago as mid-September. Allied to their Coppa Italia defeat of Serie B side Perugia a few weeks earlier, it represents the Grifone's only taste of success amid a turgid campaign, which has lurched on without much sign of improvement.

Since the high-profile appointment of Andriy Shevchenko, which was announced not long after new American owners took the helm at Serie A's oldest club, Genoa have failed to even score; a fact which runs counter to the Ukrainian's legendary reputation as a striker in the Italian top flight.

One of Milan's great forwards of the modern era, Shevchenko has taken on a substantial task in Liguria, as his first job since steering his nation to the quarter-finals of the Euros sees him thrust into a probable relegation dogfight - something Genoa fans have become all too familiar with in recent years.

Following a 2-0 home defeat to Roma on his dugout debut, Shevchenko's side were held to a goalless draw by fellow strugglers Udinese at the weekend - their seventh share of the spoils from 14 games - leaving them just inside the drop zone.

For that reason - plus a record of six winless home games so far - confidence will be low when Genoa welcome Milan to Marassi, and their fixture list fails to get any easier over the next few days, as they then meet Juventus, before the first Derby della Lanterna of the season against Genoese rivals Sampdoria.

Genoa Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

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

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

Team News

Just in time - as Milan continue to leak goals and Alessio Romagnoli is sidelined through suspension - Fikayo Tomori is expected to return to action on Wednesday, as he has now overcome a hip injury. The England defender should start in the back four, lining up ahead of goalkeeper Mike Maignan, who came back ahead of schedule to feature on Sunday.

However, Davide Calabria, Samu Castillejo, Ismael Bennacer and Ante Rebic are all out of contention for the away side, while Olivier Giroud is still struggling with a muscular injury sustained during the Champions League win over Atletico Madrid. Veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is therefore likely to be asked to put in another shift up front.

As Stefano Pioli must plan for a succession of fixtures in the coming weeks - including a decisive European clash with Liverpool - he may freshen his XI up a little, so midfield pair Franck Kessie and Rade Krunic are among those hoping to be restored to the starting side.

Genoa, meanwhile, still have a number of injury concerns ahead of the Rossoneri's visit, as both Nikola Maksimovic and captain Domenico Criscito could remain missing from the hosts' back three, while hamstring injuries mean that Felipe Caicedo and ex-Milan striker Mattia Destro are once again doubts to feature up front.

Summer signing Mohamed Fares also has a calf problem, so Stefano Sabelli - who was booked and subsequently substituted before the hour mark in Udine - or Paolo Ghiglione will deputise out wide for Andriy Shevchenko's side.

In the probable absence of Caicedo and Destro, Flavio Bianchi and Caleb Ekuban will join forces up front.

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Masiello, Vasquez, Vanheusden; Ghiglione, Sturaro, Rovella, Badelj, Cambiaso; Ekuban, Bianchi

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Kalulu, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Krunic, Messias, Diaz; Ibrahimovic

We say: Genoa 1-2 AC Milan

Although Milan have been far from their best in recent days, the opportunity to take on Genoa should present them with a straightforward three points to steady the ship a little, before greater tests to come.

A distinct lack of goal threat from the hosts should embolden their more illustrious visitors, who have scored goals from numerous sources this term and will find a way through at least once over the course of 90 minutes.

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:curl

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1Inter Milan22165153173653
3AC Milan23154447252249
4Atalanta BCAtalanta22127344261843
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona239684338533
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