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AC Milan's title challenge and their chances this season
18.11 || webmaster

Less than two years ago, AC Milan were a mid-table team in Serie A, deprived of any possibility of mounting any serious challenge on a European finish.

However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return to San Siro amid the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with Stefano Pioli's appointment, have turned Milan's fortunes around and for those watching football on tv today, Milan are THE side to watch in Serie A.

Despite being well in the autumn of his career, the 40-year-old Swede has turned out to be the catalyst to reinvigorate the underperforming Italian heavyweights.

Besides Ibra's superstar presence, the club's transfer gurus Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara have done an outstanding job in the transfer market.

They have built a core of exciting young talents without splashing out massive figures, making Milan competitive in the Serie A title race for the first time in a decade.

In December 2019, the seven-time European champions were thumped 5-0 at the hands of Atalanta, which was undoubtedly their lowest point in the 21st century.

At the time, many fans wanted to see Pioli's head rolling, with questions over Milan's ability to return to their former heights making the headlines on a daily basis.

However, the experienced strategist has picked himself up and rallied his troops, making the most out of the coronavirus break to consolidate his ranks.

Fast forward 24 months, the Rossoneri sit tied on points with Napoli at the top of the Serie A table and are one of the leading candidates to wrap up a long-awaited league title.

They have started the 2021/22 Serie A campaign in high spirits, going unbeaten in their opening 12 league fixtures to confirm last season's runners-up finish was no fluke.

Milan's eye-catching showings in the opening stage of the new campaign are the continuation of their impressive form from the tail-end of last season.

Pioli's men are currently riding on a resounding 17-game undefeated run in Serie A, a sequence that includes a brace of wins over the same Atalanta side that put them to the sword two years ago.

Though doubters still question Milan's title credentials, it is almost impossible to make a case for the Rossoneri not being legitimate title candidates.

Pioli has restored a winning mentality at San Siro and have Milan dominated Serie A news for the right reasons again.

Over the past few years, Milan were regularly swept away by the likes of Inter Milan and Juventus, but that's no longer the case.

Pioli's men have been shining bright in high-profile fixtures this term, showing they are no longer willing to roll over and accept defeats.

Indeed, the Rossoneri have come from behind to hold Inter and Juve to a pair of 1-1 draws this season while beating Atalanta, Lazio and Roma by an aggregate score of 7-3.

Pioli's recurring decisions to field understrength XIs in the Champions League group stage matches indicate the Mister has made the Scudetto title race his top priority.

There is a feeling that Milan have the best opportunity to win their first Serie A crown since 2010/11, considering Inter and Juventus are both blowing hot and cold.

The Turin-based giants are already lagging a whopping 14 points behind the Rossoneri, while Simone Inzaghi looks unable to maintain Antonio Conte's legacy at the Giuseppe Meazza.

Inter are currently seven points adrift of Milan and Napoli, whom they will face in a mouth-watering showdown on home turf this weekend.

If the Partenopei hold Inter winless and the Rossoneri beat Fiorentina away from home, Pioli's side could create an unbridgeable gap on the cross-town rivals already in mid-November.

But Milan cannot rest on their laurels. There is no room for complacency at San Siro. The season is still long and anything can happen in the remaining 26 rounds of fixtures.

The Rossoneri have laid the foundations for a title-winning campaign, but they will need to stay at this level week in, week out if they are to dethrone Inter this season.

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