AC Milan vs Udinese
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Sunday, 11 September 2016
Kick-Off: 14:00 UK,
Venue: Stadio San Siro (Milan).
Having earned a 2-1 in a friendly with Bournemouth, AC Milan will be hoping to maintain some of that form as they welcome Udinese on Sunday. Although they started with a win over Torino, the Rossoneri lost the plot against Napoli. Vincenzo Montella’s men finished the match two men – and two goals – down and will now look to rebound following that 4-2 loss.
Milan are currently in their third straight season without Champions League – or even Europa League football. For a team that was once one of Europe’s elite, it’s a rather discouraging situation, to say the least. In the past two years, the Diavolo have also experienced a managerial roller-coaster. Before agreeing to sell the club, Silvio Berlusconi dismissed and hired five different coaches between Massimiliano Allegri’s January 2014 sacking and Vincenzo Montella’s appointment this summer.
Udinese also have gone through some difficult times. The Zebrette, once a challenger for European football alongside Italy’s bigger sides, are now trying to slowly rebuild. Gone are the days where they could rely on Antonio “Toto” Di Natale to salvage a point or snatch a win, as age has finally caught up with the 38-year-old striker. It’s no coincidence that Udinese struggled last term due to his own injury problems, and with his retirement there are major concerns how the team will cope.
Giuseppe Iachini’s men barely escaped the drop last term and are already out of the Coppa Italia following a loss to lower-tier side Spezia. The Zebrette were thrashed 4-0 by Roma on opening day, but rebounded well to pick up a 2-0 win over Empoli.
AC Milan vs Udinese: Head-to-head statistics
- Both M’Baye Niang and Juraj Kucka will be suspended for this match after being ejected during the tie with Napoli.
- AC Milan are unbeaten at home in their last nine fixtures against Udinese (three draws, six wins).
- Udinese were leading or drawing in 12 out of their 19 away matches last season.
- Milan have only failed to score once in their past 23 Serie A matches against Udinese at the San Siro.
- The last time this fixture finished scoreless was in May 2011
AC Milan vs Udinese: Prediction
AC Milan have been a free-scoring side, with five in their first two games, but also equally as defensively suspect. They’ve shipped six so far in Serie A action, and counting friendlies, have conceded at least two in five out of their last six games.
Meanwhile, Udinese will have some injury concerns, with defensive options Thomas Heurtaux and Samir being in danger of missing the game. The Zebrette have also failed to win their last ten road fixtures, but will be looking to take advantage of Milan’s less-than airtight defense.
However, the Diavolo should have just enough to pick up all three points in this one – but Udinese will give them a scare as they won’t be able to maintain a clean sheet.
AC Milan vs Udinese: Betting tips
Both teams to score – YES at 7/10 (1.70)
AC Milan to win at 4/6 (1.67).