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Serie A | Gameweek 17
Dec 22, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Stadio Arechi
Milan logo

2 - 2
AC Milan

Fazio (42'), Candreva (63')
Inzaghi (33'), Kastanos (44'), Mazzocchi (71'), Gyomber (74')
Fiorillo (90+4')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Tomori (17'), Jovic (90')
Leao (35')

Preview: Salernitana vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Serie A clash between Salernitana and AC Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

AC Milan travel to the Stadio Arechi for their final game before Christmas on Friday, against bottom-of-the-table Salernitana.

The fixtures pits Salernitana boss Filippo Inzaghi against the club where he spent most of his playing career, and a brief time as manager.

Match preview

Salernitana's Boulaye Dia celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 13, 2023© Reuters

Friendship and fond memories will have to go out the window for Inzaghi, as he faces the club where he enjoyed 11 illustrious years, winning Serie A and the Champions League on two occasions.

As the club fell on hard times though, Inzaghi was one of the many ex-players who served a stint as manager, as the former striker was in charge for the 2014-15 season where Milan finished 10th.

While that was a thankless task, Inzaghi is facing another as Salernitana boss, with the Granata huge favourites to go down this season.

In the eight games since taking charge, Inzaghi has won just five points, leaving them three points adrift at the foot of the table, and five from safety.

Only two clubs have ever stayed up with as few points as Salernitana have at this stage, but they were one of them, following their miraculous survival under Davide Nicola in 2021-22.

Starting off better is something for Inzaghi to address if the Salerno club are to turn their fortunes around, as they have found themselves behind at half time in 10 of their 16 games this season.

Being bottom of the table, it is no surprise to see Salernitana have the league's worst defensive record, and they are now without a clean sheet in 19 Serie A matches.

It will be a tough task stopping an AC Milan side who are proving to be the only side capable of catching the current runaway top two in Italy.

AC Milan's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring their first goal with Tijjani Reijnders, Marco Pellegrino and teammates on October 29, 2023© Reuters

While being five points adrift of second-placed Juventus, and eight off rivals Inter Milan at the top, Milan still find themselves with a five-point buffer inside the top four, meaning their hopes of Champions League football next season look strong, after being eliminated on matchday six last week despite a win at Newcastle United.

Fine form in the attacking third has been Milan's strong point this season, and they added another three goals in an impressive win over Monza last weekend, with Inter the only side to have scored more league goals so far.

Disappointing defeats have been commonplace for Stefano Pioli's side though, such as losing at home to Udinese - still their only win of the season - and the manner of how Borussia Dortmund came to San Siro and wiped the floor with the Rossoneri.

Their last two away league games have also proved fruitless, as an underwhelming draw at Lecce was followed by a late defeat in Bergamo against Atalanta BC.

Despite all of their troubles too, Salernitana have proved difficult opponents for Milan, with the Rossoneri winning just twice in four meetings since their promotion.

Sassuolo at home will be the last challenge Pioli's men face in 2023 too, and they have won on their last three visits to San Siro, so Milan must overturn poor recent form in their two upcoming fixtures if they are to keep the pressure on Inter and Juve.

Salernitana Serie A form:

AC Milan Serie A form:

AC Milan form (all competitions):

Team News

AC Milan's Malick Thiaw reacts in February 2023© Reuters

Inzaghi will have the majority of his squad to choose from here, with Federico Fazio returning from suspension after being sent off on the bench in their loss over Bologna.

Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is the only injury absentee for the hosts, as the 38-year-old is out with a shoulder problem picked up on international duty last month.

The manager reverted to four-at-the-back in the clash with Atalanta, and despite losing 4-1, Salernitana started well and led at half time, so Inzaghi is likely to stick with that here, meaning Matteo Lovato may remain in reserve.

Tommaso Pobega represents a fresh injury concern for Milan, as the midfielder went off in the first half of the clash against Monza with a hamstring injury.

Pobega's replacement made an instant impact though, as debutant Jan-Carlo Simic scored Milan's second goal of the evening just 17 minutes after coming on.

With Yunus Musah expected to return from illness, though, the American should take his place in Milan's midfield alongside Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

There are still numerous injuries for Pioli to deal with, though, as Noah Okafor is out with a hamstring issue of his own, while Malick Thiaw and Pierre Kalulu are absent in defence.

On a positive note, captain Davide Calabria will return from suspension following his sending off in Bergamo, and should start at right-back.

Salernitana possible starting lineup:
Costil; Daniliuc, Gyomber, Pirola, Mazzocchi; Maggiore, Coulibaly, Martegani; Candreva, Dia, Tchaouna

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Reijnders, Musah, Loftus-Cheek; Pulisic, Giroud, Rafael Leao

SM words green background

We say: Salernitana 0-3 AC Milan

Milan have been very strong in attack and should take advantage of a fragile Salernitana backline and record a comfortable victory for the second week running here.

Inzaghi's change in approach against Atalanta on Monday worked for a spell, but the quality of their opponents eventually shone through, and the same could well happen again.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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Tables header RHS
CInter Milan37296287206793
2AC Milan37228773462774
5Atalanta BCAtalanta362061067392866
13Hellas VeronaHellas Verona37910183649-1337

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