The tricky 25-year-old striker hasn’t played since the 1-0 defeat to Genoa last September, meaning he has been out of action for more than three months. His presence has been missed. Without him, Milan have at times lacked creativity in the final third, particularly since moving to the 4-4-2 system that Mihajlovic is now partial to. It is unlikely that he will be risked against Fiorentina, but he is a handy substitute to bring off the bench if in search of a goal late on. Balotelli’s return from injury is particularly timely given Luiz Adriano’s supposedly imminent departure. According to Milan Channel (h/t Football Italia), the Brazilian "is at the centre of transfer negotiations" with Chinese club Jiangsu Suning.
On the back of a reasonable draw away to Roma last weekend, and against the backdrop of a miniature Viola crisis, Milan will seek to capitalise and secure three confidence-boosting points. Date: Sunday, 17 JanuaryTime: 7:45 p. m. GMT (2:45 p. ET)Venue: San Siro, Milan, ItalyTV Info: BT Sport 1 (UK)Live Stream: Bet365. comForm GuideMilan 2-1 Carpi (Coppa Italia)Roma 1-1 MilanMilan 0-1 BolognaFrosinone 2-4 MilanSampdoria 0-2 Milan (Coppa Italia)Fiorentina 1-3 LazioPalermo 1-3 FiorentinaFiorentina 2-0 ChievoFiorentina 0-1 Carpi (Coppa Italia)Juventus 3-1 FiorentinaTeam News and Predicted LineupsMilan received pleasant news prior to the midweek win over Carpi, with Mario Balotelli returning to the squad for the match.
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And, safe in the knowledge of a real opportunity of reaching the cup final, they must now turn their full attention to league matters. Fiorentina’s visit will provide a stiff test of Milan’s mental strength and tactical nous, as scars from that opening-day pummelling may still remain. However, they may be aided by their opposition’s recent downturn in form. Milan were soundly beaten by Fiorentina on the opening day of the Serie A season. Giuseppe Bellini/Getty ImagesPaulo Sousa’s side, so renowned for their vibrant passing game, have lost three of their last five to see their surprise Scudetto bid scuppered. Recently, Tuttosport (h/t Football Italia) also claimed that there exists "rising tension" between Sousa and the Fiorentina hierarchy over transfer policy.
Afterwards he admitted the constant speculation about his future would not faze him. "People have been saying the same thing for three months and I expect will continue saying it to the end of the season. I am not interested, " Mihajlovic told Rai Sport (h/t Football Italia) after the game, continuing, "I always give my all and am not worried about such matters. I’ve been through worse in life. "His team’s performance was far from exhilarating, but the result means Milan can look forward to a semi-final against lower-league opposition in either Spezia or Alessandria.
Fiorentina vs AC Milan FREE: TV channel, live stream, kick-off time and team news for the Serie A clashPREVIEW Gennaro Gattuso's men beat Bologna 2-1 during the week to keep their hopes of reaching the Champions League - but now face a tricky trip to Florence20:35, 11 May 2019Updated: 20:36, 11 May 2019AC MILAN head to Florence, with the chance to jump into the Champions League places in Serie A. I Rossoneri beat Bologna to keep their hopes alive, but now take on Fiorentina knowing victory will put them above Atalanta on head-to-head points.
comPlayers to WatchThe January transfer window always throws up some intriguing rumours, and one of the latest ones in Milan concerned the future of Carlos Bacca. The Rossoneri top scorer was linked to Premier League clubs including Chelsea, though his agent Sergio Barila has denied that a move is on the cards.
AC Milan vs. Fiorentina: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Live Stream, TV InfoGiuseppe Bellini/Getty ImagesOn the opening day of the season, Fiorentina deflated AC Milan’s balloon. Optimism surrounded the Rossoneri after a summer of spending and the arrival of a new coach in Sinisa Mihajlovic, but a one-sided 2-0 defeat to the Viola brought them swiftly back down to earth. This Sunday night Milan get a chance at revenge. Mihajlovic’s job seems eternally on the line, but on Wednesday he oversaw the team’s progression to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia with a 2-1 victory over Carpi at San Siro.
However, Sousa has only made them a more tantalising force. In a 3-4-2-1 formation, Fiorentina create plenty of angles for passing combinations and have proven an extremely difficult side to get the ball off. Consequently it is no surprise that, according to WhoScored. com’s statistics, the Viola have averaged more possession than anyone else in Serie A this season. Milan would normally be well advised to adopt a more conservative approach against such a team, but they may be emboldened by the fact that the visitors will be without two of their most important players in captain and defensive leader Gonzalo Rodriguez, as well as midfield metronome Milan Badelj, due to suspension and injury, respectively. AC Milan (4-4-2): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Ignazio Abate, Cristian Zapata, Alessio Romagnoli, Mattia De Sciglio; Keisuke Honda, Juraj Kucka, Andrea Bertolacci, Giacomo Bonaventura; M’Baye Niang, Carlos BaccaUnavailable: Diego Lopez, Rodrigo Ely, Jeremy Menez (injured)Fiorentina (3-4-2-1): Ciprian Tatarusanu; Facundo Roncaglia, Nenad Tomovic, Davide Astori; Jakub Blaszczykowski, Matias Vecino, Borja Valero, Marcos Alonso; Josip Ilicic, Federico Bernardeschi; Nikola KalinicUnavailable: Gonzalo Rodriguez (suspended), Milan Badelj (injured)Sharemytactics.
The former West Bromwich Albion man is enjoying playing for Sousa as an inside forward, though he could be asked to play deeper this weekend in the absence of Badelj. The Spaniard has exquisite technique and is also an intelligent user of both space and the ball. He is able to find dangerous areas and open up defences and so will have to be watched closely by the Milan midfield. Key BattleNiang needs to score more league goals. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/Getty ImagesWhile Bacca is set to stay and Balotelli is on the verge of a return, Milan need more goals from their current crop of attackers. One particular individual who should be looking to up his goals tally is M’Baye Niang.
Where to watch AC Milan vs Fiorentina live on September 29
Luiz Adriano is set to leave Milan after just half a season with the club. Marco Luzzani/Getty ImagesSince returning to the club at the start of this month’s transfer window, Kevin-Prince Boateng has made two substitute appearances, on both occasions—against Roma and Carpi—coming on for the second striker each time. The attacking midfielder’s technical quality and licence to roam has allowed for greater connection between Milan’s midfield and attack, meaning a more stable shape and less vulnerability to counter-attacks. His performances have certainly given Mihajlovic something to think about, especially given the nature of Fiorentina’s attacking threat. Sousa took over at the Artemio Franchi last summer following Vincenzo Montella’s dismissal, and at the time, many felt the club could only go backwards after three consecutive fourth-place league finishes.
Adriano only arrived at Milan during last summer’s spending spree, though he was far from prolific in his half-season spell, finding the back of the net on just three occasions in 18 league appearances, nine of which were starts. Adriano’s exit would leave Milan short on out-and-out striking options, though there have been suggestions in recent matches that Mihajlovic may be looking to experiment with a 4-2-3-1 system.
Speaking to Tutto Mercato (h/t talkSPORT), Barila said: "It is normal that…the big teams in Europe are thinking of Bacca…Many teams have contacted us about Carlos…but do not forget he is at one of the best clubs in the world. And he is not thinking about leaving. "Such words will be a relief to Milan with Bacca the team’s only regular source of goals. His most recent strike came in the midweek win over Carpi in the form of a beautifully audacious rabona:If Milan hope to supply Bacca, they will first have to disrupt Fiorentina’s passing game, and that means stifling Borja Valero.
Milan vs Fiorentina LIVE in Serie A: Head to Head Statistics