Udinese vs AC Milan

High-flying AC Milan take a trip to the Dacia Arena to encounter Serie A relegation fighters Udinese in a must-win contest.

Udinese’s inability to capitalize on advantageous positions haunted Gabriele Cioffi’s side again last weekend as they spurned two separate leads in a goal-glutted 2-2 draw against Fiorentina. Indeed, the hosts have conceded beyond the 75th minute to lose points in four of their five most recent Serie A outings (W1, D3, L1). With that in mind, a narrow one-point lead on 18th-placed Hellas Verona comes as no major surprise, with the ‘Friulians’ seeking only their third top-flight win of 2023/24. Aptly named ‘stalemate specialists,’ Cioffi’s men have drawn a league-high 12 matches this season. But one of their two Serie A victories arrived against none other than Milan, with Udinese defying the odds to win 1-0 at San Siro in the reverse fixture, making it two H2H wins on the spin.

At the risk of suffering their first Serie A double at the hands of Udinese since 2016/17, visiting Milan touch down in Udine confident of settling the score following a commanding 3-1 home win against Roma. Despite a 2-1 Coppa Italia loss to Atalanta last week, Stefano Pioli’s men will take the field in a buoyant mood, courtesy of their first three-match winning streak in Serie A since September. But it doesn’t mean ‘I Rossoneri’ can afford to get complacent. Before a 3-0 thrashing of underachievers Empoli on their last top-flight travel, Milan had gone winless in four consecutive away league games (D3, L1), conceding multiple goals on each occasion. Adding to this sentiment, Udinese have been a thorn in Milan’s side lately, as witnessed by a sub-par six-game H2H run (W1, D3, L2).

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