Lecce vs Milan: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

Stunned by Torino in midweek Coppa Italia action, Milan return to Serie A duties on Saturday as they head to Stadio Via del Mare to take on Lecce. The reigning champions have no margin for error if they’re to stay relevant in the Scudetto race following a troublesome week. 

Stefano Pioli’s men first wasted a comfortable two-goal cushion against Roma last weekend. Jose Mourinho’s side struck twice beyond the 85th minute to eke out a 2-2 draw at San Siro, helping Juventus leapfrog Milan to second in the Serie A standings.

Things went from bad to worse Wednesday as a ten-man Torino claimed a dramatic 1-0 extra-time win in their Coppa Italia last-16 tie. So playing outside San Siro may be a positive change for the Rossoneri as they aim to haul back a seven-point deficit on Serie A leaders Napoli. 

Based on Lecce’s recent renaissance, Milan would be well advised not to underestimate their hosts. Following a sluggish 2022/23 start, the Salentini have hit a purple patch, going unbeaten in five straight league matches (W3, D2), including a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Lazio in their latest home outing. 

In addition to pursuing a six-game unbeaten streak in the top flight for the first time since 2012, Lecce could put their survival hopes beyond doubt with a win here. They already boast a massive ten-point lead on 18th-placed Hellas Verona, so it’s no wonder they’ll take the field in high spirits.



Following a goalless away draw against Spezia last weekend, Lecce could register back-to-back clean sheets in Serie A for the first time since 2012. That’s not an impossible task by any stretch of the imagination, considering Baroni’s lads have conceded just nine times across their opening eight home league games. 

But to triumph, they’ll need to defy a thoroughly embarrassing Serie A record against Milan. They’ve only won two of their 32 top-flight encounters against the Rossoneri, last doing so in 2006. Since then, they’ve lost five of their subsequent eight Serie A H2Hs (D3). 

Player to Watch: Gabriel Strefezza

Of all Lecce forwards, Gabriel Strefezza has drawn the most attention this season. The Brazilian has tallied five Serie A goals thus far, some of which were a piece of art, attracting interest from high-profile domestic suitors. 


Milan claimed a 2-1 victory at Salernitana upon the Serie A resumption in January, halting a run of consecutive league travels without winning (D1, L1). One of those matches was an uneventful 0-0 draw at promoted Cremonese, putting the Rossoneri on the cusp of an unwanted piece of history. 

Not since 2006 had Milan drawn a blank in back-to-back Serie A clashes against newly-promoted sides. However, their underwhelming scoring average of only 1.37 goals per league road trip cannot rule out such a possibility. Indeed, they’ve only netted three times on their last three top-flight travels. 

Player to Watch: Rafael Leao

Everything depends on last season’s Serie A MVP, Rafael Leao, this term. The Portuguese winger has racked up seven goals and six assists in 16 league appearances (via Transfermarkt), though just two of those seven strikers have arrived away from home. 

Lecce vs Milan Potential Lineups

Lecce (4-3-3): Wladimiro Falcone; Valentin Gendrey, Federico Baschirotto, Samuel Umtiti, Antonino Gallo; Alexis Blin, Morten Hjulmand, Joan Gonzalez; Gabriel Strefezza, Lorenzo Colombo, Federico Di Francesco.

Milan (4-2-3-1): Ciprian Tatarusanu; Davide Calabria, Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu, Theo Hernandez; Ismael Bennacer, Tommaso Pobega; Alexis Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud.

Lecce vs Milan Prediction

Since Milan will be fighting midweek fatigue, Lecce’s idea of dropping dip and trying to hurt their visitors on the counter could pay dividends. 

But we expect the Rossoneri to overcome the momentary crisis and conquer Via del Mare, as they’ve done on their last two Serie A visits.

Prediction: Milan Win

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