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Sassuolo logo
Serie A | Gameweek 32
Apr 14, 2024 at 2pm UK
MAPEI Stadium - Citta del Tricolore
Milan logo

3 - 3
AC Milan

Pinamonti (4'), Lauriente (10', 53')
Marco Ferrari (19'), Ruan (57'), Thiaw (69')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Leao (20'), Jovic (59'), Okafor (84')
Pinamonti (68')

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

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

After suffering a rare home defeat in midweek, AC Milan are back on the road this weekend, when they visit Sassuolo in Serie A.

Still holding a sliver of hope that Inter Milan's huge lead can be overhauled, the Rossoneri cannot afford to slip up on Sunday; while their hosts are deep in danger at the other end of the standings.

Match preview

Roma's Paulo Dybala in action with AC Milan's Matteo Gabbia on April 11, 2024© Reuters

In an all-Italian contest at San Siro, Milan hosted Roma on Thursday evening, as the clubs kicked off their two-legged tie in the Europa League quarter-finals.

The Rossoneri had won both league meetings this season and were unbeaten in nine games against their counterparts from the capital; however, they could not recover from going behind after 17 minutes, with Olivier Giroud coming closest to an equaliser by hitting the woodwork late on.

Last year's runners-up therefore have an edge going into next week's return leg in Rome, but before Stefano Pioli's side consider what may unfold at a sold-out Stadio Olimpico, they must first resume normal service in Serie A.

Milan tightened their grip on second place by beating Lecce 3-0 last week, posting a seventh straight win for the first time since 2006, and their tally of 68 points is one more than they posted at this stage two years ago, when they ultimately went on to win the Scudetto.

While Pioli has been criticised for failing to deliver in the biggest matches, his team generally take care of business against Serie A's lesser lights, and they have also recorded six away victories in 2024 - a number beaten only by Bundesliga champions-elect Bayer Leverkusen across Europe's top five leagues.

City rivals Inter seem to have the Scudetto wrapped up, leading by 14 points with just seven games to play, but Pioli's men still want to ensure they finish second. Furthermore, losing on Sunday opens up the unbearable possibility their old foes could wrap up the title in next week's Milan derby.

Cremonese coach Davide Ballardini on April 5, 2023© Reuters

Desperate for points to aid their hopes of survival, Sassuolo dropped two more in Salerno last weekend, when they let a precious two-goal lead slip, conceding an equaliser during stoppage time at Stadio Arechi.

As a result of being held by rock-bottom Salernitana, the Emilian club sit 19th in Serie A and find their top-flight status at serious risk, with time running out to escape the drop zone.

Having not finished below 13th in the last nine years - including a dalliance with European qualification under Roberto De Zerbi - it has been a tough season for the Neroverdi, who recently sacked Alessio Dionisi and appointed Davide Ballardini.

Charged with steadying the ship, the latter has seen Sassuolo at least avoid defeat in three of their last four matches - as many times as in the previous 14 - and even in the absence of top scorer and talisman Domenico Berardi, goals have not entirely dried up.

Having scored in each of their last 10 Serie A home fixtures, they could now equal a club record by finding the net again this weekend. However, their recent record suggests even that may prove a tough task: beaten 1-0 at San Siro in December, the Neroverdi have also picked up just one point from their last seven meetings with Milan at the Mapei Stadium.

Sassuolo Serie A form:

AC Milan Serie A form:

AC Milan form (all competitions):


Team News

AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori pictured on September 25, 2023© Reuters

Stefano Pioli could be tempted to rotate his squad between two legs of an important European tie, and one man likely to return to Milan's starting XI is English defender Fikayo Tomori, who sat out Thursday's defeat due to suspension.

Luka Jovic and Samu Chukwueze are both candidates for selection in the final third, with Alessandro Florenzi filling in at full-back and Marco Sportiello replacing Mike Maignan between the posts.

Christian Pulisic scored his 10th league goal of the season last week - and netted the winner in December's reverse fixture against Sassuolo - but he may now be rested, along with Olivier Giroud.

Meanwhile, the hosts will naturally name their strongest available lineup - only Marcus Pedersen, ex-Milan man Samu Castillejo and Domenico Berardi are sidelined by injury, with the latter also set to miss Euro 2024.

Martin Erlic should overcome a knock to take his place in central defence, partnering up with Gian Marco Ferrari at the heart of Sassuolo's back four.

Supporting ex-Inter striker Andrea Pinamonti up front, Nedim Bajrami has previously scored twice versus Milan in Serie A; he also played a part in both goals against Salernitana last time out.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Toljan, Erlic, Ferrari, Doig; Henrique, Thorstvedt; Defrel, Bajrami, Lauriente; Pinamonti

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Sportiello; Florenzi, Tomori, Kjaer, Hernandez; Musah, Adli, Reijnders; Chukwueze, Jovic, Leao

SM words green background

We say: Sassuolo 1-2 AC Milan

After being shut out for the first time in 30 games, Milan should be back on the scoresheet against one of Serie A's leakiest defences. It would constitute an upset for this Sassuolo side to stop the Rossoneri leaving Reggio Emilia with maximum points, and such a feat is likely to prove beyond them.

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

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