Serie A Preview | Empoli vs. Milan: Pioli under pressure

by | Dec 21, 2021 00:14

Milan are sliding down the standings after just seven points from the last six games and visit giant-killers Empoli for another potential upset.

The Rossoneri were beaten at home by Napoli after a controversial late Franck Kessie equaliser was disallowed, sending them down to third place on goal difference and four points adrift of Winter Champions Inter. Momentum is sapping away going into the Christmas break, but the good news is Theo Hernandez has returned to training after flu symptoms and could start.

Empoli are newly-promoted, but have already caused several shocks in Serie A this season, with wins over Napoli, Juventus and Fiorentina. They tend to do better against the big clubs and that makes this an intriguing proposition, especially for ex-Milan striker Patrick Cutrone.

Form Guide: Empoli (D W W D W) Milan (L D W W L)

Stat fact: Milan have lost only one of their last 21 Serie A games against newly-promoted teams, 2-0 away to Spezia in February 2021, along with 15 wins and five draws.

Probable line-ups

Empoli (4-3-1-2): Vicario; Stojanovic, Romagnoli, Luperto, Parisi; Henderson, Ricci, Zurkowski; Bajrami; Cutrone, Pinamonti

Suspended: None

Injured: Damiani, Haas, Ismajli

On a yellow card: Luperto, Bandinelli, Zurkowski

Milan (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi, Tomori, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Messias, Brahim Diaz, Saelemaekers; Ibrahimovic

Suspended: None

Injured: Plizzari, Calabria, Kjaer, Leao, Rebic, Pellegri

On a yellow card: None

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