serie-a04 December 2021


The low-down on today's 15:00 CET kick-off

Returning to winning ways at San Siro: it’s a crucial objective given that the Rossoneri haven’t picked up maximum points on home turf in either Serie A or the Champions League since the end of October. Coach Pioli’s men need to do this and must do so in AC Milan v Salernitana. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of today’s 15:00 CET kick-off on matchday 16:

Simon Kjær’s injury put a real dampener on the win against Genoa. However, Pioli can be pleased at the fact that Bennacer is fit again and that the team responded excellently at the Marassi. In particular, Messias made the difference with his two goals. Salernitana isn’t the only match coming up: while Liverpool can and must wait, the Coach could base some of his choices on the heavy fixture schedule. With this in mind, Florenzi, Bakayoko and Pellegri could all be given opportunities. This weekend, Roma v Inter and Napoli v Atalanta are in store, thus providing further motivation to pick up three precious points.

"Tomorrow’s game is important in terms of gaining consistency," said Coach Pioli during his pre-match press conference. "We’ll have a very good chance of winning if we perform well defensively. We always need to go at full pelt. And to go at full pelt, the right condition and intensity are required on both a physical and mental level." 

At the bottom of the league but by means far adrift. Newly promoted Salernitana have already changed coaches this season, with Colantuono replacing Castori and winning one, drawing one and losing five of his seven games so far. It’s almost certain that the team from Salerno will line up with four at the back and two in attack, and Ranieri, Lassana Coulibaly and Bonazzoli are players to keep an eye on. The match at San Siro certainly seems to be a daunting prospect for the team that has scored the fewest goals in the league, but this statistic will provide the Granata with further motivation to give absolutely everything.

"We’ll be up against a really strong side that pass the ball really well and force you to play in a certain way," said Colantuono. "We’ll need to counter well and make the most of the opportunities that come our way."

AC Milan v Salernitana is a fixture that is returning to San Siro for the first time in almost 22 years. Back then, at the beginning of 1999, it finished 3-2 thanks to a Bierhoff brace and a goal from Weah. It was a match that saw the Diavolo take the lead, fall behind and then complete a second-half comeback. The two teams have met four times in Serie A: the two league fixtures in both the 1947/48 and 1998/99 campaigns. The Rossoneri lost one of those games, a 4-3 defeat in Salerno in 1948. The upcoming match will be the second time AC Milan have faced a newly promoted side this season: Coach Pioli’s men previously ran out 2-0 winners over Venezia.

AC Milan v Salermitana will see Antonio Giua take charge of his 28th Serie A fixture. He’s yet to referee the Rossoneri but has been the man in the middle for one match involving the Granata: Sassuolo 1-0 Salernitana in September 2021. Mokhtar and Miele will be the linesmen, while Dionisi will perform the role of fourth official. Orsato (together with Tolfo) will oversee VAR.

The San Siro showdown will get Serie A matchday 14 underway. After AC Milan v Salernitana, Roma v Inter (18:00 CET) and Napoli v Atalanta (20:45 CET) will take place on Saturday. Sunday’s action will begin with Bologna v Fiorentina (12:30 CET) and continue with Venezia v Hellas Verona (15:00 CET), Spezia v Sassuolo (15:00 CET), Sampdoria v Lazio (18:00 CET) and Juventus v Genoa (20:45 CET). Two Monday fixtures are scheduled: Empoli v Udinese (18:30 CET) and Cagliari v Torino (20:45 CET).

This is the current Serie A table: Napoli 36, AC Milan 35, Inter 34, Atalanta 31, Roma 25, Bologna, Fiorentina and Juventus 24, Lazio 22, Empoli and Verona 20, Sassuolo 19, Torino 18, Udinese 16, Sampdoria and Venezia 15, Spezia 11, Genoa 10, Cagliari 9, Salernitana 8.

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