Empoli vs AC Milan

Stadio Carlo Castellani forms the backdrop for a ‘David vs Goliath’ Serie A showdown between Empoli and AC Milan.

The end of 2023 couldn’t have come soon enough for relegation-battling Empoli. Aurelio Andreazzoli’s side signed off for the last calendar year with a scoreless draw against Cagliari, extending their winless streak in Serie A to six matches (D3, L3). On top of that, it was Empoli’s league-high 11 scoring blank this season, highlighting the depth of trouble at the Castellani. With that in mind, Milan’s visit to Tuscany could be what the doctor ordered, considering ‘Gli Azzurri’ have scored in the last seven H2Hs they’ve hosted. But since they’ve won none of those matches (D3, L4), their bid to post a first home league win since September is in jeopardy. Indeed, they’re winless in their last five top-flight games at the Castellani (D2, L3), failing to score on three occasions.

On the other hand, Milan capped off the last calendar year with a morale-boosting, albeit unconvincing 1-0 home victory against Sassuolo, delivering a perfect response to a dismal 2-2 draw against Salernitana on their last Serie A travel. Stefano Pioli’s team kicked off 2024 in a similar vein as Luka Jovic’s first-half brace inspired ‘I Rossoneri’ to a scintillating 4-1 triumph against Cagliari in midweek Coppa Italia action. Despite consolidating their position in a keenly-contested top-four race, Milan can’t take anything for granted, knowing they’ve won none of their last four away league games (D3, L1). Not just that, they’ve conceded 2+ goals on each occasion, casting doubt on their hopes of registering their first Serie A clean sheet at the Castellani since 2006.

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