Preview: Salernitana vs Milan – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

Serie A title hopefuls Milan take a must-win trip to Stadio Arechi as out-of-sorts Salernitana brace themselves for another stern test. Friday’s encounter in Salerno pits two sides with contrasting goals against each other. 

As we fast approach the business end of the calendar year, Serie A basement boys Salernitana hope to find some consolation in these uncertain times. Stranded in the drop zone, five points adrift of 17th-placed Udinese, Filippo Inzaghi’s underperforming side should consider themselves lucky for being within touching distance of safety. 

Despite only racking up eight points in the opening 16 Serie A rounds, Salernitana can still enter 2024 outside relegation territory, at least in theory. Granata’s effort to regain confidence amid a dreadful league campaign suffered another blow on Monday as they relinquished a halftime lead in a disastrous 4-1 defeat at Atalanta. 

Visiting Milan must take advantage of Salernitana’s rough patch and get into the win column on the road for the first time since a narrow 1-0 triumph at promoted Genoa in early October. Stefano Pioli’s team pounced on Juventus’ draw at Luigi Ferraris last weekend, demolishing Monza 3-0 at San Siro to close the gap on the runners-up to five points. 

Prodigious defender Jan-Carlo Simic painted his senior breakthrough with vivid colors, scoring on his Serie A debut, triggering high expectations ahead of this trip. Another noteworthy takeaway from Milan’s thumping win against Raffaele Palladino’s side was Rafael Leao’s first league appearance since the start of November. 

Match Preview


Regardless of Inzaghi’s charisma and ever-present appetite for winning, the former Milan icon is walking a tightrope less than three months since replacing ex-Salernitana boss Paulo Sousa. The abovementioned rout at the hands of Atalanta condemned Granata to a third consecutive loss in Serie A, throwing Inzaghi’s managerial future at Arechi into doubt.

It would be a bizarre twist of fate should Milan put the final nail in his coffin as Salernitana’s manager. First and foremost, the 50-year-old must shore up his side’s defensive woes, as they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 19 league outings. 

As Salernitana’s dismal tally of 34 goals conceded represents the division’s worst defensive record, it takes no rocket science to understand where the problem lies. 


With Leao back and Olivier Giroud leading the line again, Milan seem well-placed to benefit from any potential Salernitana mishap at the back. A quick look at the history books can only inspire more confidence among the traveling supporters, with Rossoneri losing just once in their eight previous matches against Granata (W5, D2). 

However, Milan can’t afford to take anything for granted. After back-to-back 2-2 draws at Napoli and Lecce, Pioli’s men slumped to a late 3-2 loss at Atalanta on their last Serie A travel. Conceding at least twice in three successive away league games means they’re prone to defensive slip-ups themselves, highlighting the significance of a clinical attacking performance. 

Topically, Milan have failed to shut Salernitana out in any of their three Serie meetings at Arechi (W2, D1). But they can draw inspiration from netting precisely two goals on each occasion.

Team News

Except for Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, Salernitana coach Inzaghi can count on the remainder of his faltering squad for this ominous-looking fixture. 

As for Milan, Malick Thiaw, Pierre Kalulu, Mattia Caldara, and Marco Pellegrino are unavailable for selection due to injuries. Tommaso Pobega is a fresh injury concern after requesting a substitution against Monza, while late goalscorer Noah Okafor faces another spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring problem. 

Salernitana vs Milan Potential Lineups

Salernitana (4-3-3): Benoit Costil; Flavius Daniliuc, Norbert Gyomber, Lorenzo Pirola, Pasquale Mazzocchi; Giulio Maggiore, Lassana Coulibaly, Agustin Martegani; Antonio Candreva, Boulaye Dia, Loum Tchaouna. 

Milan (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Fikayo Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Tijjani Reijnders, Yunus Musah; Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud.

Salernitana vs Milan Prediction

Salernitana held Milan to a 1-1 draw in their last top-flight showdown in March, which should warn the visitors not to take this trip lightly. On paper, this seems like a routine task for Rossoneri. But with their hosts in a precarious position, Pioli’s lads can’t afford to get complacent. 

If Milan can replicate last weekend’s showing against Monza, another crucial three points would be a virtual certainty. 

Prediction: Milan Win

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