Serie A: AC Milan vs. Crotone - match preview
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High-flying AC Milan welcome minnows Crotone to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Sunday hoping to keep pace with leaders Juventus at the top of the table. Vincenzo Montella’s side are currently four points off the top, and in Crotone, they face lowly opponents for the second weekend running after their trip to Empoli last time out.
Milan have exceeded expectations this season, and haven’t lost at San Siro since early September. With their great run of form, it won’t be a surprise to see the Rossoneri canter to a win. According to most bookmakers, the odds are stacked heavily against Crotone at 11.50, hence betting on a Milan win is a decision which is as easy as it gets.
The likes of Suso and Gianluca Lapadula have been in fine touch in front of goal which has seen the Diavolo sit level with second-placed Roma on 29 points. A win on Sunday afternoon would set them up nicely for their next league game: away at Roma.
In contrast, Crotone have failed to carry their Serie B form from last season into this as they find themselves struggling in the relegation zone. The Rossoblu have registered a single win all season, and collected only six points from their 14 games. Only a better goal difference than Palermo has kept them from hitting rock-bottom.
Crotone’s last visit—their only one—to AC Milan came a year ago, when they faced the Rossoneri in a fourth round tie of the Coppa Italia. On that day, the plucky Calabrian outfit—then a Serie B club—took their famous opponents into extra-time. However, two late goals from Giacomo Bonaventura and Mbaye Niang ensured a 3-1 Milan win.
Despite Milan being heavy favourites, it is worth noting that Crotone performed admirably in their previous trip to San Siro. Inter’s 3-0 win in early November was as flattering to the Nerazzurri as it was undeserving for Davide Nicola’s side.
With Juventus taking on fifth-placed Atalanta and Roma squaring off to fourth-placed Lazio in a derby, chances are high that a Milan win coupled with results elsewhere could make for a profitable weekend for the Rossoneri.
Going by both teams' recent run of results, it would take Crotone a display for the ages to upset the hosts. The last time Montella’s men faced a promoted side, they scraped through against Pescara in a 1-0 win. If Crotone manage to stop the in-form Suso, Lapadula and Bonaventura, they could spring a surprise. That, however, looks unlikely.
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