Milan has been one of the worst club’s in Serie A in 2015. The Rossoneri will look to get back on track this weekend as they take on Cesena at the San Siro
Inzaghi and company have fallen deeper into the league table since the start of 2015. However, Cesena have difficulty defeating Milan in their own stadium over the course of the club’s history in the top flight. Milan have never been defeated by Cesena at the San Siro in Serie A (W9, D2). via FourFourTwo Stats Zone.
Milan head into this match having just one win in their last 5 matches in league play. Two of the three losses were against Juventus and Lazio, however a loss against bottom of the table Atalanta and a draw against Empoli are highly difficult results for Milanisti to swallow as those are considered to be two of the easier opponents in Italy given their placement. As of late, no fixture is a favorable one for Inzaghi and his squad as opponents do not fear them as much as they did in the past, allowing them to push forward rather than sit back and play for the draw. Currently, Milan sit in 11th place and a dozen points back of the third Champions League spot. The Rossoneri need to start finding results with consistency if they have any hopes of European play next season, however Cesena won’t be an easy opponent for them by any means despite their position in the league. Cesena managed to draw Juventus at home last weekend which was one of, if not, their best result of the season and they run into a trending downward Milan side hanging on for dear life. With all of the injuries Inzaghi has to cope with, Milan will need all hands on deck for this weekend’s match at the San Siro.
This weekend, Milan will be without one of their best performers of the season due to a red card last match against Empoli. Goalkeeper Diego Lopez received a straight red card last weekend in a 1-1 draw to Empoli and his exclusion from this match will be significant. Veteran keeper Christian Abbiati will start.
Manager Domenico Di Carlo has his Cesena side playing well over the past few weeks, with some impressive results mixed in. The club has two wins and a draw in their last 5 league matches, two of the wins coming against Lazio and Parma while the draw against Juventus last weekend. Earlier in the season, they were considered to be one of the three teams to head back to Serie B but as of late, it seems they are doing everything in the power to live another season in the top flight. Currently, the Bianconeri sit in 19th place with 16 points but based on current form, they could make a move to safety these next few weeks if the results are earned. This weekend’s match away against Milan will test their heart. Cesena have earned two good results over some of the best clubs the league has to offer and they catch the Rossoneri at the perfect time.
Di Carlo will look to his most reliable players to propel the club to a result this weekend and they are goalkeeper Nicola Leali and striker Gregoire Defrel. The 22-year old keeper on loan from Juventus has been solid this season despite what the team’s position states and Defrel leads the club in goals with five. These two are the players to keep your eyes on this weekend.
Probable Line-ups (according to La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Antonelli, Rami, Alex, Bonera; Bonaventura, De Jong, Montolivo; Menez; Destro, Cerci
Cesena (4-3-1-2): Leali; Renzetti, Capelli, Volta, Nica; Ze Eduardo, De Feudis, Giorgi; Brienza; Djuric, Defrel
Players to watch
Milan: Mattia Destro
Mattia Destro will be the key player for Milan this weekend against Cesena. The 23-year old scored his first goal for his new club against Empoli after serving a one match suspension against Juventus the previous week. With a few weeks under his belt with Milan, Destro could be poised to breakout and be the prolific striker this squad hungers for. Destro will most likely play alongside Alessio Cerci in a 4-3-1-2 formation with Menez playing as the attacking midfielder, which could certainly open up some space for the Italian to get on the scoresheet. Expect the former Roma man to be a threat up top and be one of the club’s top performers in front of the home crowd.
Cesena: Nicola Leali
Leali will be tested again this week as he is between the pipes for Cesena. The Juventus loanee has tons of promise at age 22 and will be called upon to close down any chances from the Rossoneri. The Italian keeper was a key man last weekend in getting a tough earned point at the Manuzzi, making some important saves when the game appeared destined to slip. Once again, Di Carlo will rely on his young keeper to be active and bail out his back line if Inzaghi does in fact apply pressure. Look for Leali to showcase once again why he could be the successor to Gianluigi Buffon.
Writer’s Prediction: Milan 2-1 Cesena