Preview: AC Milan vs. Hellas Verona

Preview: AC Milan vs. Hellas Verona

Striding out at San Siro for the third time in eight days, AC Milan seek their first win since the international break when they resume Serie A duty at home to Hellas Verona on Saturday.

After last week’s thumping in the Derby della Madonnina was followed by a midweek stalemate in the Champions League, Milan meet a Verona side that has been beaten just once so far this season.

Despite dominating the shot count and coming close to breaking the deadlock on several occasions, Milan’s Champions League opener against Group F rivals Newcastle United ultimately ended goalless on Tuesday night, leaving the Rossoneri with more work to do in their upcoming away fixtures.

In the end, substitute goalkeeper Marco Sportiello had to keep Milan’s sheet clean with a late fingertip save, as they settled for a point in their first European game since losing in last season’s semi-finals.

Their vanquishers on that occasion were bitter foes Inter, who last week recorded a remarkable fifth straight Milan Derby win by smashing Stefano Pioli’s men 5-1 at San Siro; marking a brutal end to Milan’s perfect record in the 2023-24 campaign.

After conceding five times to their city rivals for the first time since 1974, the Rossoneri – whose only goal of the game came from Rafael Leao – improved significantly to shut out the Magpies in midweek, but they will now target a morale-boosting victory over Verona.

History suggests that could be on the cards this weekend: while the ‘Fatale Verona’ legend has been applied to two of the club’s famous failures at Stadio Bentegodi, Milan remain unbeaten in Serie A home matches against the Scaligeri.

In addition to winning 18 times and playing out 13 draws down the years, they have also won each of their last five league games versus Verona, scoring at least twice on each occasion.

Sitting only two points shy of Milan in the early Serie A standings, Verona may even fancy their chances of ending their decades-long drought against Milan at San Siro – particularly if the hosts’ rhythm has been interrupted by recent events.

Having survived the drop by virtue of an end-of-season playoff last term, the Veneto club have already picked up seven points this season, which represents their second-best Serie A start this century.

Marco Baroni’s men beat both Empoli and Roma in the opening days of the campaign, and – bouncing back from a 3-1 defeat to Sassuolo just before the international break – they held Bologna goalless on Monday evening.

As a result of their greater defensive discipline under Baroni, who kept Lecce up last year, only Inter have conceded fewer goals than Verona in the first half of games and only two teams have shipped fewer overall.

However, they must now finish their September schedule by testing themselves against two Lombardy sides intent on securing a top-four finish, as after visiting Milan this weekend, the Gialloblu host Atalanta BC four days later.

AC Milan Serie A form:

AC Milan form (all competitions):

Hellas Verona Serie A form:

Hellas Verona form (all competitions):

We say: AC Milan 2-0 Hellas Verona
With precedent firmly on their side, Milan can bounce back from a tough week to post their fourth win from five Serie A matches this season. Verona may have overachieved in the early days of the 2023-24 campaign, but their limitations remain more or less the same as last year – and they have never before beaten Milan in a top-flight match at San Siro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *