AC Milan’s shocking loss to Olympiakos last week could end up being the straw that broke the camel’s back. The defeat sent AC Milan crashing out of the Europa League prior to the knockout rounds, and that was exactly what the cash-strapped club didn’t need. They will only see 3 million Euros from their appearance in the competition, and UEFA has already seized the other 12 million Euros due to Milan for violating UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. It’s not a great spot to be in after all the club has went through over the last five years, and that will hurt them in their hunt to make the Champions League once more. This weekend, they will be taking on Fiorentina and they are aiming to stay in the top four.
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- AC Milan vs. Fiorentina
- Date and Time: December 22, 2018, 9 a.m. ET
- Location: San Siro, Milan, Italy
- US Television Coverage: ESPN2
- Betting Line: AC Milan PK and -0.5, O/U 2.5
Draws have been far too commonplace for Fiorentina over the last six weeks. The club drew against five consecutive opponents at one point this season, and they have finished with a draw in six of their last eight matches. That’s good to pick up points but not winning matches has hurt their chances of moving up the table and they are currently stuck in a bit of a quagmire in 10th place. Fiorentina won their first match since late September last weekend when they defeated Empoli 3-1.
AC Milan’s woes have extended outside of the Europa League and into Serie A play. Like their opponents, they have been content to settle for a draw far too often, and their hold on fourth place has been slipping as a result. Milan have drew in three of their last four matches with their lone win coming against Parma at the beginning of the month.
Fortunately for Fiorentina, there are no injuries to report prior to this match. That’s not the case for AC Milan though. The hosts are still without Ivan Strinic as he continues to undergo treatment for a heart condition, and three more players will miss significant amounts of time too. Mattia Caldara, Giacomo Bonaventura, and Lucas Biglia are all long-term injuries and won’t return until February at the earliest. Tiemoue Bakayoko will miss the match too after being sent off against Bologna on Tuesday.
AC Milan Player to Watch
Suso has been AC Milan’s most prolific player this season. He leads Serie A in assists with eight helpers on the year, and his four goals are the second-most on the team. Suso has played a direct role in half the team’s goals, so you know he is an important part of the attack. Opponents have figured that out too. He was red hot earlier in the year, but he has not tallied a point in eight straight matches as defenses are focusing on him. Gonzalo Higuain or someone else needs to produce if he is being shut down.
Fiorentina Player to Watch
This is Marco Benassi’s second season with the Viola, and he has been one of the club’s top players this year. He leads the team with six goals, and he has looked sharp as a box-to-box midfielder. Benassi has already tallied more goals this season than in any of his previous six seasons in Serie A, and he is out to have a great second half of the campaign.
AC Milan vs. Fiorentina Free Picks
Considering these two teams have combined to play 13 draws in their 32 combined matches this season, I like the draw here. The under is a good play too as neither team has been good at making much offense these last few weeks.
AC Milan vs. Fiorentina Prediction: AC Milan 1, Fiorentina 1
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