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: The Rossoneri look to make it three straight wins against the Grifone
It's not something that many fans would have anticipated after last season's miraculous turnaround, but Milan has yet to win three consecutive games in Serie a all season. They can do so against Genoa, a side that they have not lost to since back in September 2008, but due to their dismal form this season, their opponents are just three points behind them in the league table in 13th place.
Additionally, despite their 39 points, Gian Piero Gasperini's men have fared well at home, with seven victories out of ten at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. However, Milan, who are well out of contention for a Champions League berth, could close the gap on city rivals Inter to just five points with a win against the Grifone. The Nerazzurri were held to a 2-2 draw with Bologna and sit just eight ahead of the 11th-placed Rossoneri in fifth--showing how close the teams ranging from just outside the top four to fourteenth place are presently.
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."
Stating that the 2013-2014 season is a rough time to be a Milan supporter would be merely an understatement.
After last season’s miraculous turnaround that saw the Rossoneri move from flirting to relegation to qualifying for the Champions League, fans could not be blamed for, well, thinking that the roller coaster ride had finally stopped and smoother sailing was on the horizon.
After Massimiliano Allegri’s dismissal following the Diavolo’s embarrassing 4-3 reversal to Serie A newbies Sassuolo, in came ex-midfielder Clarence Seedorf in a decision that had many observers scratching their heads. After all, the former Dutch international had zero managerial experience and was just coming off a stint wrapping up his storied career at Brazilian side Botafogo.
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.
Preview: Atleti poised to make the most out of Milan’s misery
The Rossoneri have had a miserable start to their league campaign and are currently placed ninth in the league table, 31 points behind leaders Juventus. With the Serie A title well out of sight, Milan will try to make the most out of their European expeditions this season.
Despite their current form, Milan have proven to be a tough side to break down at the San Siro and even though Atletico have been enjoying a fine campaign they will find it difficult to beat the Italian side at their own backyard.
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.
Preview: Seedorf looking for a quick response after first league defeat
The Dutch manager suffered his first league defeat last Saturday, when a rampant Napoli side subjected the Rossoneri to a 3-1 defeat. Adel Taarabt gave the visitors a lead at Naples only for Gokhan Inler to level the scores and Gonzalo Higuain sealed the victory for Rafa Benitez’s side with a brace in the second half.
But despite of managing just two victories in his last five games, Milan’s 38 year old tactician seemed to be in a buoyant mood and remained confident that his team would respond against Bologna when the two sides meet on Friday.
Preview: Benitez and co looking to respond after a disappointing week
The Partenopei have lost both of their last two matches and will be hoping for a positive response as they aim on closing down the six point gap between themselves and second placed Roma. Roma got the better of Benitez’s side last time out as they gunned down Gli Azzurri 3-2 courtesy of a late goal from new signing Gervinho.
Napoli are now left with a slender disadvantage as they will hoping to turn around the deficit in their favour in the second leg, but despite the defeat Benitez remained optimistic and spoke of the positives from the match.
Preview: Seedorf looking for third consecutive league victory
The Rossoneri have shown signs of improvement under new manager Clarence Seedorf and two wins in their last two league outings has allowed them to climb to the ninth spot as Milan look to close down the gap on the top four.
The San Siro outfit secured signings of four new players without spending much as of all of Adel Taarabt, Adil Rami, Keisuke Honda and Michael Essien completed their moves to Milan and most of them will be hoping to get involved during Saturday’s encounter against Torino.
Preview: Seedorf looking for second successive win
The Dutch manager begun his managerial career on a winning note and will now be hoping to carry the winning instincts to the second match. In his first match in charge of AC Milan, a club where he spent 10 glorious years as a player, the Rossoneri notched up all three points courtesy of a late penalty by Mario Balotelli.
And even though a 1-0 win would not give the impression of a dominant performance by Seedorf’s side, the Dutchman declared that he was more than satisfied with the effort his players had put.
Preview: Seedorf set for managerial debut at San Siro
Much has been spoken about the former Milan legend’s appointment as the head coach of the San Siro side and even though opinions remain divided the former Real Madrid midfielder has seemed to earn the confidence of Vice President Adriano Galliani among others, who has hailed Seedorf as being the right man for the job.
"My feelings are only positive," he said.
"I can sense that Clarence is really motivated. If he can do as a coach what he did as a player, then we will be very, very happy. Seedorf is going to provide the spark to ignite this squad.”
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.
On 27 October, Rossoneri coach Massimiliano Allegri announced that Milan had come to an agreement to sign playmaker Keisuke Honda on a Bosman from Russian outfit CSKA Moscow. The deal was made official on 4 January when the Japanese international arrived much to the excitement of many of his compatriots who had made the journey to welcome him to the Italian fashion capital.
Nicknamed the “Prince of Osaka” by his new club in their promotional materials, he has now been given the no. 10 jersey which had become vacant following the sale of Kevin-Prince Boateng to Schalke this past summer.