Milan (AFP) – It is a situation of leading meets bottom in Serie A on Saturday as leaders AC Milan pay a visit to tailenders Salernitana who have gambled on retaining their elite standing by earning wholesale adjustments because the turn of the yr.
Milan may possibly be leading but in what guarantees to be a thrilling run in just two details separates the major a few.
Seven-time European champions AC Milan took benefit of Inter Milan drawing at fellow title rivals Napoli to go top rated for the first time in two months very last weekend and have had a full week to get ready for their match.
Inter — who are a position off Milan — confront Sassuolo off the back again of Wednesday’s demoralising 2- household defeat to Liverpool, while Napoli, a further stage adrift, are at Barcelona in the Europa League on Thursday right before taking part in Cagliari on Monday.
Salernitana’s major get worried in phrases of countering an attacking risk will come in the condition of Rafael Leao, the 22-year-outdated Portuguese forward is savoring a breakthrough marketing campaign and will make his 100th Milan appearance.
He is set to be rewarded with a deal extension until finally 2026 and a salary bumped up to 4 million euros ($4.5 million) a year.
Objectives in each of his past two video games, like the only a single versus Sampdoria which sent Milan top rated, have taken his Serie A tally to seven, with 4 helps.
On Tuesday Salernitana brought in new mentor Davide Nicola as they try out to extricate by themselves from the relegation zone.
It was the latest episode of what has been an eventful initially Serie A season in about two many years for the southern club, who had presently adjusted fingers to assure they were being not kicked out of the league.
Spurred on by new operator Danilo Iervolino Salernitana introduced in 11 gamers in the January transfer window and then acquired encouraging attracts in consecutive matches with Spezia and Genoa.
They were being further more boosted by the Italian Football Federation overturning Serie A’s decision to dock them a point and hand them a 3- defeat for not showing up for December’s match at Udinese following a spike in Covid-19 instances.
That selection means Salernitana have two games in hand over the bulk of the groups preventing against the fall — while they have only one particular in hand on Venezia who are eight points superior off and sit just previously mentioned the base a few.
“The only issue I’m focussed on is the subsequent 3 months,” Nicola explained to reporters on Wednesday.
“I’m not positive how much we can go this year but we need to consider that we can get to our focus on (survival).”
Juventus kick off the weekend’s matches with the Turin derby on Friday night time as they check out to continue to be in the Champions League places.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side stayed fourth many thanks to Danilo’s past-gasp leveller at Atalanta on Sunday, and sit two details crystal clear of previous weekend’s opponents forward of the pay a visit to of Torino.
Atalanta have been desperately unfortunate not to occur away with the get against Juve, as Hans Hateboer hit the bar with the hosts foremost from Ruslan Malinovskyi’s rocket of a objective.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s team are less than tension to conquer Fiorentina to stay in touch with Juve and give themselves the possibility to get back into the best four by winning their game in hand.
Player to view: Olivier Giroud
France forward Giroud is however to rating absent from the San Siro given that signing for Milan but his doubles in the derby with Inter and towards Lazio in the cup showed he was far more than just Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s understudy.
He was extremely unfortunate not to score at the very least a person additional in very last weekend’s win over Sampdoria and with Ibrahimovic nevertheless out with an Achilles tendon issue Giroud has a fantastic probability to break his duck outside the house the Lombard funds.
2 – Just two details individual the top rated three in Serie A.
11 — Salernitana completely improved their initially-choice line-up with a host of new signings.
Fixtures (instances GMT)
Juventus v Torino (1945)
Sampdoria v Empoli (1400), Roma v Verona (1700), Salernitana v Milan (1945)
Fiorentina v Atalanta (1130), Venezia v Genoa (1400), Inter Milan v Sassuolo (1700), Udinese v Lazio (1945)
Cagliari v Napoli (1800), Bologna v Spezia (2000)