Beating Sparta Prague in the last 6 of the Europa League, AC Milan have officially reached the last 2 of the Champions League with the first place in Group H. Returning to Serie A, the red half of Milan will have a hunger for Parma at home in the upcoming round of 11. With the opponent not too strong, 3 points will definitely be the goal of coach Stefano Pioli in this match.
Parma is a familiar prey for Milan in past clashes. Currently, the Rossoneri are in extremely high form. They will most likely beat Parma to stay on top of the standings.
Milan are off to a dream start to the season. After 10 rounds, they remained unbeaten, winning eight. The Rossoneri had 26 points and were five points ahead of group runners-up Inter (as of before round 11). It was a start that no Milanista dared to think about before the start of the new season. Remember, in the last 3 seasons that Milan were unbeaten after the first 11 rounds (1991/92, 1992/93, 2003/04) they were all scudetto winners. So tonight, the Rossoneri definitely want to equal the record after the first 11 rounds with the three seasons mentioned above to gain more confidence in the championship race.
The maturity of bravery and progress in qualifications has been evident in Stefano Pioli’s army since the return of the season after a hiatus for Covid-19. This season alone, the Rossoneri have played 19 games in all competitions, winning 14 and losing just one. It was a 0–3 defeat to Lille in the Europa League group stage. However, that defeat had no serious consequences as the Rossoneri still qualified for the knockout stages with the first place. It’s a marked improvement in qualifications.
Another impressive point in Milan is that they no longer have to be too dependent on Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibrahimovic has played extremely well since returning to the San Siro in early 2020. But without Ibrahimović, Milan still knew how to win. As evidenced by the last five games in all competitions without Ibra due to injury, the Rossoneri remain unbeaten, winning four. In these last five games, Milan have still scored 10 goals. Without Ibra, Ante Rebic kicked the centre-back and the Croatian played well as a virtual No.9 with three assists during the Swedish goalscorer’s absence. In addition, other players such as Hakan Calhanoglu, Alexis Saelemaekers and especially young talent Jens Petter Hauge are also playing well. This helped the Milan attack to remain in good operation even without Ibra on the pitch. It was a maturity of bravery, when the Rossoneri were not the only team to rely on Ibra.
In the match against Sparta Prague in midweek, Pioli made 10 changes to his starting line-up. He turned around to ensure the students’ fitness. Tonight, Milan will return to their strongest squad. Central defender Simon Kjaer is injured but young talent Matteo Gabbia is playing well and is ready to replace him. Ismael Bennacer, Ibra continues to be absent. Bennacer’s replacement in midfield will be Sandro Tonali.
With his high performance, Milan will most likely beat Parma. The away side have lost six of their last 10 away games away from home in Serie A. History has also supported the Rossoneri because in their last 14 meetings with Parma in Serie A, they have always scored at least one goal. In addition, in the last 15 games against Parma at home, Milan won 13, losing only one match. Parma is a good bait for the Rossoneri and Pioli will win tonight to secure the top of the standing.