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Udinese logo
Serie A | Gameweek 21
Jan 20, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Dacia Arena
Milan logo

Udinese
2 - 3
AC Milan

Samardzic (42'), Thauvin (62')
Kamara (45+1'), Ebosele (52'), Thauvin (55'), Walace (65'), Lucca (71'), Ferreira (78')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Loftus-Cheek (31'), Jovic (83'), Okafor (90+3')
Hernandez (88')

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

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

Still trailing behind Serie A's top two, AC Milan aim to apply more pressure on their title rivals when they visit Udinese on Saturday.

Last week's win over Roma tightened Milan's grip on third place, while their hosts have picked up just one point in 2024 and lie dangerously close to the drop zone.


Match preview

AC Milan's Chaka Traore celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on January 7, 2024© Reuters

Bouncing back from a midweek Coppa Italia exit at the hands of Atalanta BC, Milan made it three straight Serie A wins by beating Roma last time out, with the Rossoneri's 3-1 victory prompting the departure of their visitors' controversial coach Jose Mourinho.

Questions remain about the future of the man currently in charge at San Siro, Stefano Pioli, despite his side seeing off the capital club with goals from French trio Yacine Adli, Olivier Giroud and Theo Hernandez - the latter of whom sealed success with a typically explosive finish in the 84th minute.

Milan have already been eliminated from the Champions League, and a two-decade drought in the Coppa goes on, plus Pioli's men sit some nine points adrift of league leaders Inter Milan in their pursuit of the Scudetto.

Over the last eight Serie A matchdays, though, they have averaged over two points per game, to sit comfortably clear of several pursuers in Italy's top-four race.

One of only two home defeats in the league this season came against Udinese in November, since when Milan have beaten Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United in Europe and gradually improved their domestic form.

The second-city giants will aim to stretch their Serie A unbeaten streak to six games upon arrival in Udine, where they have not won a league fixture for over three years.

Udinese's Lazar Samardzic in action with AC Milan's Rade Krunic on November 4, 2023© Reuters

In fact, after coming out on top in this season's reverse fixture - a 1-0 victory secured by Roberto Pereyra's penalty - Udinese have won both of their last two meetings with Milan.

Now seeking a rare hat-trick, the Fruilani are also hoping to recover from another blow suffered last weekend, when they let a lead slip for the seventh time in a frustrating 2023-24 campaign.

Despite going into the final five minutes 2-1 up at Fiorentina's Stadio Artemio Franchi, they conceded from a late penalty and had to settle for a draw, effectively bringing their tally to 14 points frittered away from 20 league games.

As a result, Udinese occupy a precarious position just above the relegation zone, being one of five struggling clubs separated by just two points at the wrong end of the standings.

Away games against Atalanta and Juventus soon follow Milan's visit, so coach Gabriele Cioffi will seek to upset the odds and secure just a second Serie A home win of the season on Saturday.

Udinese Serie A form:


AC Milan Serie A form:


AC Milan form (all competitions):


Team News

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli reacts on January 7, 2024© Reuters

Although defensive trio Malick Thiaw, Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu all remain unavailable due to injury, Milan's long absence list has at least shortened a little this week, with two squad players aiming to return against Udinese.

Reserve goalkeeper Marco Sportiello is back in full training following a month-long layoff, while Alessandro Florenzi could also be included by Stefano Pioli after missing last week's game against former club Roma.

Tommaso Pobega is ruled out again, though; Ismael Bennacer and Samu Chukwueze are both away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

While the Rossoneri's front line will be led by Serie A's second-top scorer Olivier Giroud (10 league goals in 2023-24), Udinese should again turn to Lorenzo Lucca (six) for inspiration up front.

Ex-Milan man Gerard Deulofeu is one of several players sidelined for the hosts, but the Spanish star - who has been out for a year now - has recently stepped up his recovery. He joins Jaka Bijol and Enzo Ebosse in the treatment room, but midfielder Martin Payero may overcome the muscle strain that kept him benched against Fiorentina.


Udinese possible starting lineup:
Okoye; Ferreira, Perez, Kristensen; Ebosele, Payero, Walace, Lovric, Kamara; Pereyra; Lucca

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez; Reijnders, Adli; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Leao; Giroud


SM words green background

We say: Udinese 1-2 AC Milan

A disappointing cup exit aside, Milan have been in fine form since Christmas, and their away record suggests they can score at least once in Saturday's late kickoff. The Rossoneri average two goals per game on the road in Serie A, while Udinese can be brittle at the back.


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


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals 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.Over 2.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Udinese vs AC Milan

Udinese
13.8%
Draw
11.7%
AC Milan
74.5%
94
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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CInter Milan38297289226794
2AC Milan38229776492775
3Juventus381914554312371
4Atalanta BCAtalanta372161070393169
5Bologna381814654322268
6Roma381891165461963
7Lazio381871349391061
8Fiorentina371691258441457
9Napoli381314115548753
10Torino381314113636053
11Genoa381213134545049
12Monza381112153951-1245
13Hellas VeronaHellas Verona38911183851-1338
14Lecce38814163254-2238
15Udinese38619133753-1637
16Empoli3899202954-2536
17CagliariCagliari38812184268-2636
18FrosinoneFrosinone38811194469-2535
RSassuoloSassuolo3879224375-3230
RSalernitana38211253281-4917


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