Milan vs Spezia Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 22

Milan will be looking to seize the opportunity and overcome Inter at the Serie A summit when they take on relegation-battling Spezia at the Stadio San Siro. Atalanta held the reigning Italian champions to a goalless draw on Sunday night, handing the Rossoneri a unique chance to return to the top of the table. 

Coming into this fixture, Stefano Pioli’s men sit just one point adrift of Inter, though the Nerazzurri have a game in hand. That won’t change Milan’s bid to remain on the upwards trajectory and maintain their 100% win ratio in 2022. 

In addition to winning both Serie A matches in the new calendar year by an aggregate score of 6-1, the Rossoneri came from behind to crash Genoa out of the Coppa Italia in midweek. Despite trailing 1-0 at half-time, Pioli’s side ensured a 3-1 extra-time victory to reach the competition’s quarter-finals, accelerating Andriy Shevchenko’s sacking (via Daily Mail). 

As for Spezia, a 1-0 win at fellow relegation strugglers Genoa last time out made it two wins from three Serie A games (L1), both of which arrived away from home. However, the Aquilotti currently languish just three points clear of the drop zone, meaning there is virtually no margin for error here. 

Milan vs Spezia Head-to-Head

Milan grabbed a late 2-1 triumph in the reverse fixture back in September, as Brahim Diaz’s 86th-minute strike cancelled out Daniele Verde’s 80th-minute equaliser. That served as perfect revenge following last season’s dismal 2-0 defeat at the Stadio Alberto Picco. 

The Rossoneri cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory in their only previous Serie A home meeting with Spezia back in 2020/21. Interestingly, though, Pioli’s men have failed to get on the scoresheet before half-time in any of their last three top-flight H2Hs. 

In fact, four of Milan’s five Serie A goals scored against Spezia have come beyond the 55th minute. Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect the hosts to be a genuine second-half threat on Monday.

Milan Form Preview

Milan’s hopes of claiming their first Scudetto since 2010/11 are truly alive following Inter’s slump at Atalanta, but it’s now up to the Rossoneri to keep their end of the bargain. A return to the San Siro, where they have alternated between victories and defeats across their last four league outings (W2, L2), may not necessarily come in handy.

However, Pioli’s men head into proceedings having won their last three Serie A matches, scoring at least three goals on each occasion. The last time Milan netted 3+ goals in four consecutive league games was in November 2011, so there’s a piece of history for the taking here. 

Adding to Milan’s confidence, they have racked up a telling ten victories from their last 11 Serie A meetings with current bottom-half sides (D1). Indeed, no other Serie A team have won as many points from such fixtures as the seven-time European champions this season (31). 

Spezia Form Preview

After winning just five and keeping only three clean sheets in their first 28 Serie A away matches, Spezia have won their last two road trips in the competition without conceding. 

Scoring first could be of the utmost importance here, as each of their last four Serie A away games has seen the winner on the day record a shutout (W2, L2). What’s more, Thiago Motta’s men have lost ten of 11 league fixtures when conceding the opening goal this term (W1, L10). 

Despite their underdog status, there is a good omen here. Spezia have avoided defeat in three of their five top-flight encounters against sides starting the matchday inside the top two (W2, D1, L2). 

Early action has been somewhat a hallmark of Spezia’s away league outings this season as eight of 11 have featured at least one goal inside the opening 15 minutes of play. 

Milan vs Spezia Predicted Lineups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Alessandro Florenzi, Pierre Kalulu, Matteo Gabbia, Theo Hernandez; Rade Krunic, Tiemoue Bakayoko; Alexis Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Spezia (4-4-2): Ivan Provedel; Dimitris Nikolaou, Martin Erlic, Arkadiusz Reca, Kelvin Amian; Simone Bastoni, Jacopo Sala, Viktor Kovalenko, Emmanuel Gyasi; Daniele Verde, M’Bala Nzola.