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

There’s no margin for error in the Milan camp anymore as dead-last Cremonese arrive at the San Siro on Wednesday. Every game from now on is a ‘must-win’ for Stefano Pioli’s side if they’re to secure Champions League football for next season.

A dramatic match finale in Saturday’s mouth-watering clash at the Stadio Olimpico saw Milan slot home a 97th-minute equalizer to hold Roma to a 1-1 draw. However, with Inter taking advantage of the Rossoneri’s loss of points with a 3-1 home triumph over Lazio, Pioli’s men commence this round outside the top four.

Everything’s still wide open in a keenly-contested race for Champions League qualification, as Milan, Inter, and Roma sit level on points, with seventh-placed Atalanta only two behind. While Cremonese’s visit looks like a routine assignment for the Rossoneri, they cannot take anything for granted following a stomach-wrenching 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture.

Like their hosts, Cremonese cannot settle for a point anymore if they’re to capitalize on their outside chances of securing top-flight survival against the odds. A pair of winless Serie A matches in the build-up to this trip (D1, L1) inflicted damage on Davide Balardini’s bid to help La Cremo remain in the elite division, but there’s still hope. 

Stuck seven points adrift of safety, the visitors could reach what many deemed impossible a few months ago. However, there’s no room for error as they seek only their second league victory on the road this season (W1, D7, L8). Cremonese’s woeful away record best illustrates why the odds are firmly stacked against them in this contest, especially considering their only success on the road came against fellow relegation rivals Sampdoria. 

Match Preview


Barring a long-overdue Champions League semi-final progression, it was an otherwise disappointing April for Milan, even though they didn’t lose a single game (W3, D4). A 4-0 thumping of champions-elect Napoli at the start of last month inspired confidence in Pioli’s corner, suggesting his team could be on the verge of solidifying their place in the top-four race.

Yet, a brace of low-scoring draws against Bologna and Empoli brought Milan back down to earth, as they now look to build on a 2-0 triumph over Lecce in their most recent home league outing. Cremonese may offer them a perfect chance, given that the Rossoneri have won all seven Serie A home meetings with La Cremo on home turf. 

History could be a tricky friend, though. While Milan thrashed Cremonese 7-1 in their last top-flight encounter at the San Siro, that contest dates back to 1996. Therefore, tradition may play no part in this fixture.

Player to Watch: Rafael Leao

Leao’s match-winning double against Lecce a fortnight ago means he’s scored four times in his last five league appearances against newly-promoted sides. That alone should be enough to bring him under the spotlight on Wednesday.


Since overcoming Sampdoria 3-2 in early April, the visitors have gone back-to-back competitive travels without scoring (D1, L1), including a disastrous 3-0 defeat at Udinese in their last away match in Serie A. Without the distraction of the Coppa Italia following a 2-0 aggregate loss to Fiorentina in their semi-final tie, Cremonese can focus on upsetting the odds in Serie A.

But having won just six points away from home since the calendar year flipped to 2023 (W1, D3, L4), Ballardini’s men look doomed ahead of the kick-off. With four of those points coming despite conceding the opening goal, Cremonese’s unwavering spirit could give them a fighting chance against their more esteemed hosts. 

Indeed, Milan would be silly to write La Cremo out in advance. They must be aware their visitors have netted at least twice three times in their last five away league contests.

Player to Watch: David Okereke

Okereke has been in the thick of Cremonese’s resurgence under Ballardini. The ex-Venezia forward has six Serie A goals under his belt this term, while he’s no stranger to scoring against clubs from the city of Milan, having bagged two goals against Inter in 2022/23. 

Team News

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s recovery from a nasty calf injury will take time, but he won’t be the only high-profile absentee in the home camp. In addition to Alessandro Florenzi and Tommaso Pobega, who’re out with injuries, Pioli cannot call upon his star center-back Fikayo Tomori, who serves a one-game ban for accumulated yellow cards. 

As for Cremonese, former Milan youth academy product Frank Tsadjout has joined Marco Benassi and Giacomo Quagliata in the treatment room. His absence will likely see Cyriel Dessers join Okereke up front, providing the visitors with enough firepower to make Mike Maignan sweat. 

Milan vs Cremonese Potential Lineups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Malick Thiaw, Theo Hernandez; Rade Krunic, Sandro Tonali; Junior Messias, Ismael Bennacer, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud. 

Cremonese (3-5-2): Marco Carnesecchi; Leonardo Sernicola, Johan Vasquez, Luca Lochoshvili; Emanuele Valeri, Charles Pickel, Michele Castagnetti, Soualiho Meite, Buonaiuto; David Okereke, Cyriel Dessers. 

Milan vs Cremonese Prediction

With time running out, Cremonese’s chances of staging a miraculous comeback are dwindling. Failing to secure a victory on Wednesday would push them closer to the brink of relegation. The visitors face the challenging task of winning at the San Siro, where Milan are heavily favored to claim a routine home win and maintain their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Prediction: Milan Win

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