Preview: Rossoneri look to keep up winning momentum against relegation candidates Livorno
Last weekend, Milan achieved something that they have not done all season: win four consecutive matches. In teams from past seasons, this would not be anything worthy of note, but given how the Diavolo have floundered during much of this year's domestic campaign, any positive result is something that will definitely make fans a tad less disgruntled and take a bit of pressure off new manager Clarence Seedorf.
However, it is also important to recognize that Seedorf's troops really struggled against basement-dwellers Catania, despite having a man advantage and only were able to earn all three points thanks to Riccardo Montolivo's long range strike in the first half. That is certainly not something that is encouraging to the team's fans nor management, and the rumour floating around Italy is that the Rossoneri hierarchy have demanded a fifth place finish to secure European football for next season.
Preview: Champions League hopefuls Fiorentina welcome a floundering Milan to the Stadio Artemio Franchi
The last time Milan won a match was on 23 February, a 2-0 victory on the road against Sampdoria that saw them move into the top half of the table. Since then, they have been dumped out of the Champions League and have just picked up one point from their last four league games--and have slipped into 12th place as a result.
Fiorentina, on the other hand, are riding high thanks to their 1-0 victory over Napoli on Sunday that saw the gap between the two teams closed to just seven points. And, as a result, coach Vincenzo Montella is still hopeful that his side will be able to continue moving up the table.
Preview: The Biancocelesti will be going for all three points against a Rossoneri side devoid of confidence
Seven days. That is reportedly the amount of time new coach Clarence Seedorf has to salvage his already difficult career with his former side. After a seemingly bright start, he retired midfielder has lost seven out of his dozen games so far in charge--including both legs of the Champions League and four out of nine in Serie A.
Of course, Seedorf continues to remain defiant, stating in his press conference that he is "not responsible for everything that he has inherited...but I take responsibility for what has happened over the past few games."
Preview: Parma look to consolidate European football at expense of ragged and wounded Milan
What a difference a season can make.
Last year, Parma finished the league campaign in 10th place, all in all, a good showing for a club of its size with 49 points. Milan, on the other hand, completed their topsy-turvy season in third, with their 70 points just enough to earn Champions League football at the expense of Fiorentina.
Preview: Los Rojiblancos host the Rossoneri in a make or break clash for both sides
It will be a tale of two polar opposites when Atletico Madrid host AC Milan on Tuesday evening in the second leg of their Champions League tie. The Rojiblancos have gone from strength to strength so far this season in both domestic and continental campaigns.
They have been keeping pace with the powerhouses of Barcelona and Real Madrid so far, much to many observers' surprise and transformed the title race into a much more exciting one this year. And in Europe, they comfortably finished top of their group with 16 points, joint-tied with city rivals Real for the most in the group stages and outscored their opponents by 15 to 3.
Preview: Both teams looking to respond after defeats
Both sides finished in the top five last season but have been struggling to replicate their form this time around. Milan are positioned 10th in the league table and have lost thrice in their last five outings in all competitions. A Champions League defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid was followed by a 2-0 win over Sampdoria. But Milan failed to build upon their victory as Juventus subjected them to a 2-0 loss in the subsequent match.
Preview: Milan look to pull off a big upset at the San Siro
AC Milan and Juventus are two of the most historic clubs in Italy. Apart from all of that history, both sides are currently heading in two very different directions.
Juventus are the reigning Serie A champions, and they look destined to win the title again. Antonio Conte’s side has an eight-point lead over AS Roma, but with 13 matches remaining, the visitors will not want to drop points at the San Siro.
Ricardo Montolivo believes that his side has what it takes to embarrass the league leaders, as they did in November of 2012.
Diego Simeone’s men have made major strides this season and from being a club which battled for a top four spot in yesteryears, Atletico have turned into title contenders.
Their performances in the Champions League have been even more overwhelming. Atleti were one of the few teams which managed to go past the group stages of the competition unscathed winning five of the six matches they played with the away fixture against Zenit Petersburg resulting in a draw.
Those were the only two points Atletico dropped this season in Europe and the way they have been playing, it will not be a surprise if they do the unthinkable by winning the Champions League while being the underdogs, something Jose Mourinho’s Porto did when they won the competition back in 2004.
For most managers beginnings are humble. They either start in the lower divisions, working their way to the top after gaining enough experience or manage clubs not having lofty ambitions. Then there are managers whose first managerial job is to take reins of a club that is one of the most successful ones in Europe but is in decline. Such is the plight of former Netherlands international Clarence Seedorf. The Dutchman made a big name for himself during his time at Milan, winning two Champions League crowns with the San Siro giants apart from other accolades.
It was a bit surprising to see the player announce his retirement as a player and then being given a very tough managerial job without ever being part of a coaching staff at any level. The Dutchman arrives at a turbulent period for Milan.
Preview: Milan kick start life without Allegri
The Italian tactician was relieved of his duties after weeks of speculation. The 4-3 loss at the hands of 17th placed Sassuolo sealed the 46 year olds fate who within 24 hours of the defeat was sacked. Mauro Tassotti is expected to take charge of Milan for his first and last match, as the appointment of former Milan player Clarence Seedorf as head coach of the Rossoneri seems imminent.
The Dutchman who spent 10 years at AC Milan announced retirement from his playing career upon Milan’s interest in appointing him as their new manager. In a statement the former Botafogo midfielder revealed:
Preview: The Rossoneri should have the upper hand against a struggling Sassuolo
AC Milan's campaign has not gone according to plan, which has left some Milan officials and their fans asking for change. Galliani was nearly one of those changes, but now it appears that Allegri will leave the club after the current season.
But until then, the Milan manager will try to get his side closer to the top. The Rossoneri are 11th in the Serie A table, with only 22 points in 18 matches. They are closer to the relegation zone, than they are to the top of the table, which is something AC Milan is not used to dealing with.
Preview: Inconsistencies and bad defending have hurt both Milan sides
Both AC Milan and Inter Milan are two clubs who have enjoyed success over the years, but this season in Serie A, neither has been all that impressive.
Inter comes into Sunday's derby having conceded four goals against Napoli in their latest defeat. From their last three matches, the Nerazzuri have conceded nine, which currently has them fifth in the table, with 28 points from 16 matches.
They have not won a Serie A match since November 9th, when they defeated Livorno 2-0 at home.
Raja Casablanca, the shock finalists of the Club World Cup, squared off against Bayern Munich at Stade de Marrakech yesterday. The game took place ahead of the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday and the reason why the final is being discussed is that just a few years back, Inter overcame another African giant in TP Mazembe to lift this unique trophy. That trophy was the last time Internazionale lifted something of any significance as Rafa Benitez was sacked soon afterwards (apart from the Coppa Italia in the same season).
At that time, Inter were eight points off league leaders Milan. Though Inter narrowed down the gap to just two points before the Derby in April, Milan won the game 3-0 and went on to claim the Scudetto.
“We certainly could’ve drawn worse,” AC Milan club director Umberto Gandini mused after learning that his side had been paired off with La Liga’s Atletico Madrid in the round of 16. The Rossoneri, who had finished second in their group could have faced off against the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester United, or Chelsea as their opponents.
So, in light of the terrorizing prospect of dealing with last year’s Champions League winners or a Los Blancos spearheaded by the rampaging Cristiano Ronaldo, who set a new tournament record with nine strikes in just five appearances, then, yes, one could say, theoretically that the “other” Madrid club isn’t the “worst” draw they could’ve gotten.
Preview: AS Roma tries to stay in pursuit of Juve, while AC Milan seeks their fifth victory
We are already 15 matches into the Serie A campaign, and AC Milan only has four victories to their name. It is not often that the Rossoneri struggle this bad, but things do not look to get much easier with AS Roma coming to town.
On the day that Allegri's side found out they will take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Knockout Stage, they will have to focus on Totti & co., who have yet to lose in the current domestic campaign.
On Monday, AS Roma take on Serie A strugglers AC Milan in a league encounter which the capital club would be looking to use as a further proof of their Scudetto credentials, something that the club’s fans have not witnessed in a long time.
After four draws on a trot which followed an incredible start to the season which saw Roma win all of their opening ten matches in the league, the Lupi once again returned to winning ways thanks to a 2-1 win over Fiorentina last week. The win was very important for Rudi Garcia’s side as they got their title chase back on track.
Shrugging off the controversy off the pitch, following the topsy-turvy esque nature of Adriano Galliani’s resignation, Milan players picked up a desperately needed 3-1 win at Catania on Sunday.
It was great to see the Rossoneri replicate their performance from the Champions League win over Celtic to Serie A and it seems that Massimiliano Allegri has finally turned the corner following a poor start to the new campaign.
Once again, Milan were left chasing the game but like the Milan sides of yesteryears, they rallied towards a very important win that could define their season.
Zero. That is the number of games that AC Milan have won on the road all season—both in domestic and continental competition. Sure, they’ve, oftentimes been fortunate to escape with a draw—their Champions League tie with Ajax and Serie A clash with Torino come to mind, but the Rossoneri have yet to secure all three points away from the San Siro.
And as if their 11th place standing wasn't bad enough, one should note that they’re currently on 12 points, which is just three above nine. That's the exact number of points that 18th-placed and relegation candidates Sassuolo have earned so far this season.
Preview: Both sides seeking revival after disappointing start
Both Milan and Lazio have had difficult starts to the new season and will be hoping that a win on Wednesday can kick start their campaign. Hosts AC Milan after losing against Parma courtesy of a last ditch goal by Marco Parolo, have slipped down to tenth place in the league table.
Following the match coach Massimo Allegri singled out troubled striker Mario Balotelli for criticism, claiming that the Italian international failed to follow the instructions given out by the head coach.
Barcelona are set to reacquaint themselves with the fabled San Siro as they take on AC Milan on Tuesday. This is the seventh time these two sides have met in the past two years. The last time the Catalan giants were in Lombardy, it was a case of them running back to Catalonia with their tails between their legs, thanks to goals by Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari.
At that time, many thought that the defeat was the beginning of the end for Barcelona. The same team that was then considered to be fading away has now become a genuine Champions League contender while their victors are now struggling a lot domestically while being exploited by inferior opposition in Europe.