serie-a01 December 2021


The final set of midweek league fixtures in 2021: our low-down on the match at the Ferraris

Following two consecutive defeats in the league, the Rossoneri need to get back on track. Genoa v AC Milan, which, like last year, will be played midweek, is an important match and the team’s first in December as an unforgettable 2021 starts to draw to a close. In the opposition dugout at the Marassi will be legendary Rossoneri figure Andriy Shevchenko, who will be taking charge of his third match since joining the Rossoblù.

Following Mike Maignan’s return in Sunday’s disappointing match against Sassuolo, Coach Pioli will be able to call on the services of Fikayo Tomori again. The 23-year-old defender missed AC Milan’s last three matches with a muscle problem but is now fit again and ready to reclaim his spot in the centre of defence. Alessio Romagnoli, who was sent off against the Neroverdi at San Siro, is suspended, while Davide Calabria, Olivier Giroud, Samuel Castillejo, Alessandro Plizzari and Ante Rebić remain unavailable. The Rossoneri want to return to winning ways in the league and the match against Genoa is the right time to do so.


Andriy Shevchenko has been in charge of the Rossoblù for two matches, losing at home to Roma and picking up a point away to Udinese. His third game will be against AC Milan, his former employers. The Ukrainian coach will have to contend with several absences: Caicedo, Cassata, Criscito, Destro, Fares, Kallon and Maksimović won’t be at his disposal. Ekuban, Pandev and Bianchi are all in contention to fill the two striker spots up front.

“The team must be motivated and spirited,” said Sheva during his pre-match press conference. “It’ll be a difficult match: AC Milan have a lot of quality, play well and create a lot of opportunities. However, we want to cause them problems. It’ll be an emotional occasion for me, but I’m trying not to think about it: it’s part of life and my job.”

Last season, the Rossoneri, who were beset by injury problems, picked up a midweek point at the Marassi in the middle of December. Looking at the stats, however, matches involving these two sides very rarely end in stalemates: there have been just two draws in the last 15 meetings between Genoa and AC Milan in Serie A. It’ll be another hard-fought game this year at a tough place to play, even if the Diavolo are unbeaten in four visits there. Should Franck Kessie play, it’ll be his 200th appearance in Rossoneri colours.

The referee will be Juan Luca Sacchi, who has taken charge of one previous match involving AC Milan. This took place on 21 April 2021, when Sassuolo emerged victorious at San Siro. Sacchi has refereed Genoa three times in total: Frosinone v Genoa on 30 September 2018 (a 2-1 win for the Rossoblù), Parma v Genoa on 9 March 2019 (a 1-0 Parma victory) and Napoli v Genoa on 27 September 2020 (a 6-0 success for the Partenopei).

Matchday 15 in Serie A kicked off yesterday with four matches: Fiorentina 3-1 Sampdoria and Atalanta 4-0 Venezia were played at 18:30 CET, while Hellas Verona 0-0 Cagliari and Salernitana 0-2 Juventus kicked off at 20:45 CET. Today, meanwhile, the following fixtures are taking place: Bologna v Roma and Inter v Spezia at 18:30 CET, Sassuolo v Napoli and Genoa v Milan at 20:45 CET. The set of midweek fixtures will conclude tomorrow with Torino v Empoli at 18:30 CET and Lazio v Udinese at 20:45 CET.

This is the current Serie A table: Napoli 35; AC Milan 32; Inter 31; Atalanta* 31; Roma 25; Fiorentina*, Juventus* 24; Lazio, Bologna 21; Hellas Verona* 20; Empoli 19; Sassuolo 18; Torino 17; Udinese, Sampdoria, Venezia* 15; Spezia 11; Genoa 10; Cagliari* 9; Salernitana* 8. (* = match in hand)

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