Milan vs Spezia Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 13

Saturday’s Serie A action closes out at the Stadio San Siro as defending champions Milan take on perennial bottom-half strugglers Spezia. Both sides are desperate to muster up all three points, albeit for different reasons. 

Milan recovered from last week’s underwhelming 2-1 defeat at Torino by thumping RB Salzburg 4-0 in midweek Champions League action. After sealing their first progression into the competition’s knockout stages since 2013/14, the Rossoneri will be out to get back to winning ways in Serie A and stay within touching distance of leaders Napoli. 

With six points separating the sides at the start of this round, Milan’s bid to win back-to-back league titles for the first time in the new millennium is still alive and kicking. Since Napoli may drop points away to Atalanta earlier on Saturday, the penultimate matchday ahead of the World Cup break could prove pivotal for Stefano Pioli’s men. 

Visiting Spezia suffered a stoppage-time heartbreak against Fiorentina at home last weekend as Arthur Cabral’s late winner fired La Viola to a 2-1 win at the Stadio Alberto Picco. Luca Gotti’s future in Liguria is hanging by a thread amid his team’s woeful run of four defeats from their last five Serie A games (D1). 

It’s no wonder the Alberto Picco hierarchy is considering axing the former Udinese head coach, with Spezia languishing just three points clear of the drop zone. Another frustrating result at San Siro could be the final nail in his coffin, so the visitors shouldn’t lack the motivation to stage another upset in Lombardia. 

Spezia came from behind to beat Milan 2-1 in this corresponding fixture last season, suggesting the hosts’ victory in this one is not a foregone conclusion. 

Match Preview


Following last week’s disappointment in Turin, Milan are staring down the barrel of consecutive Serie A defeats for the first time since November 2021. However, Pioli’s men have been a force to be reckoned with at San Siro of late. Except for Napoli’s 2-1 win at this venue in mid-September, the Rossoneri have won eight of their last nine home league fixtures. 

Pioli has based Milan’s stellar home form on a watertight backline that has registered a Serie A joint-high nine home clean sheets in 2022. Only Liverpool and Real Sociedad (10 each) have recorded more home shutouts across Europe’s top-five leagues this calendar year. Therefore, the home faithful have every reason for optimism. 

As ever, all eyes will be on Rafael Leao, who has tallied five goals and four assists in Serie A this season. The sought-after Portuguese forward had a nightmarish game at Torino and will be keen to redeem himself to fans for a wayward finish that came back to haunt Milan at the Stadio Grande Olimpico di Torino.


Spezia’s humiliating record of six defeats ‘to nil’ from as many road trips best illustrates their disastrous Serie A season. Another identical outcome would see them join a four-team club to lose seven consecutive away matches in the competition without scoring. 

A lack of firepower up front has seen Spezia draw a blank in 50% of their Serie A outings this season (6/12). Gotti’s men have averaged just 0.84 goals per league match, with only one side starting this round outside the relegation zone netting fewer league goals than them (ten) thus far.

Gotti will turn to his talismanic striker M’Bala Nzola to carry the scoring burden at San Siro. The Angola international has bagged five Serie A goals this season, accounting for 50% of Spezia’s top-flight strikes, so Milan will know where the danger lies. 

Milan vs Spezia Potential Line-ups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Ciprian Tatarusanu; Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori, Matteo Gabbia, Theo Hernandez; Sandro Tonali, Tommaso Pobega; Junior Messias, Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao; Divock Origi. 

Spezia (4-2-3-1): Bartlomiej Dragowski; Kelvin Amian, Ethan Ampadu, Jakub Kiwior, Arkadiusz Reca; Albin Ekdal, Mehdi Bourabia; Kevin Agudelo, Daniele Verde, Emmanuel Gyasi, M’Bala Nzola.