Table-topping Milan and bottom-half Bologna exchange tackles at the Stadio San Siro in the final game of Serie A Matchday 31 on Monday. the Rossoneri will be looking to end the round as they started it – at the top of the standings.
A run of three identical 1-0 wins before the international break in March propelled Milan top of the Serie A table. Yet a mere three-point lead over second-placed Napoli means Stefano Pioli’s high-flyers are nowhere to be seen. not out of the woods yet, although they can already smell their first Scudetto since 2010/11.
Meanwhile, Bologna will travel to the San Siro without head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who is due to undergo cancer treatment. the Rossoblu Loyal will be with the Serbian manager, who said he would ‘teach leukemia a lesson’ after the nasty illness returns.
Ismael Bennacer’s second-half winner at the Sardegna Arena on the eve of the March international break extended his side’s incredible unbeaten streak in all competitions (W6, D4) to ten matches. However, Pioli will be hoping for a more convincing performance after his men’s narrow wins over Empoli and Cagliari.
Still, it’s fair to admit that Milan have made a habit of winning in close and equally contested affairs this season. the Rossoneri have won 11 Serie A wins by a single-goal margin, more than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues this season. In fact, their last five league triumphs have been settled by a one-goal margin.
Milan should feel comfortable against Bologna, with the recent Serie A H2H record firmly on their side. Pioli’s men have recorded 11 wins in their last 12 top-flight meetings with this opposition (D1), including an action-packed 4-2 victory at Renato Dall’Ara in the second leg.
Bologna does not know the best times. After a series of three consecutive Serie A games without defeat (W1, D2), the Rossoblu have lost their last two league outings by the same 1-0 scoreline, including a late home loss to Atalanta in the wake of the international break.
Scoring has been a glaring problem at Bologna lately. Mihajlovic’s men have failed to get on the scoresheet in their last three league games. Another blank at the San Siro would see the Rossoblu fails to find the net in four successive Serie A games for the first time since a run of five in September 2018.
Things are not looking good for Bologna by any stretch of the imagination. Since winning 1-0 in January 2016, they have lost their last five Serie A visits to Milan on a trot, conceding more than 2 goals on each occasion, at an average of 2.8 per game. They have also failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their five away league games this calendar year.
Milan vs Bologna Team News
Along with long-absent Simon Kjaer, Milan coach Pioli will have an otherwise top-notch squad ahead of the Bologna visit. Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recovered from a nasty Achilles injury and could return to the starting lineup at the expense of talismanic Frenchman Olivier Giroud.
On the other hand, Bologna will be without Nicolas Dominguez, Kingsley Michael and Federico Santander due to injuries. However, Mihajlovic’s headliners Marko Arnautovic and Riccardo Orsolini will be looking to throw a wrench in Milan’s title bid.
Milan’s potential starting XI (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori, Théo Hernandez; Ismael Bennacer, Franck Kessie; Alexis Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud.
Bologna potential starting XI (3-4-3): Lucasz Skorupsky; Arthur Theate, Gary Medel, Kevin Bonifazi; Aaron Hickey, Mattias Svanberg, Jerdy Schouten, Emanuel Vignato; Roberto Soriano, Marko Arnautovic, Ricardo Orsolini.