AC Milan's credentials as a threat to Italy's top four will be tested as they take on Lazio at the San Siro on Sunday.
Coming off a highly lacklustre 1-0 win over SPAL in Stefano Pioli's third game in charge on Thursday night, Milan face a tough challenge hosting a Lazio side who sit fifth in Serie A.
Lazio are unbeaten in their last five Serie A games and dispatched Torino 4-0 in midweek as they too look to qualify for European football.
Both teams want to finish in the top four of Italy's top flight and this will be pivotal to their season if they are to qualify for the Champions League. Milan are in desperate need of a good result and performance, but this Lazio side will provide a stern test.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick-Off?||Sunday 3 November|
|What Time Is Kick-Off?||19:45 (GMT)|
|Where Is It Played?||San Siro|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Premier Sports 1|
Milan have a couple of fresh injury concerns, both at the back. Mattia Caldara and Ricardo Rodriguez will be sidelined for Lazio's visit as they nurse muscle problems.
This shouldn't be too much of an issue for Pioli who has overlooked them in his first two games. However, following Thursday's uninspiring 1-0 win, there might be wholesale changes to the Milan side.
The attack may change with possible recalls for match winner Suso and Rafael Leao as Pioli tries to find the right combination for his front three. The midfield may change, too, with Lucas Paqueta and Ismael Bennacer both failing to produce last weekend.
Lazio, on the other hand, have been free scoring and are coming off their best performance of the season after humbling Torino 4-0. Ciro Immobile is back doing what he does best - scoring goals - and tops the goalscoring charts with 12. That's more than Milan have scored all season.
Le Aquile should have a full bill of health travelling to Milan looking to kick on from that win and push further up the table.
|Milan||Donarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Bonaventura, Biglia, Kessie; Suso, Piatek, Calhanoglu|
|Lazio||Strakosha; Patric, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva, Alberto, Lulic; Immobile, Correa|
This affair has been relatively tight in previous years and both teams have tasted victory and defeat. Draws are very frequent between these two sides, which points to how evenly matched they are.
Milan have historically had the edge over Lazio, winning 15 of the last 36 between the two sides, whereas Lazio have only won seven.
However, in the teams' most recent meeting, Lazio beat Milan in the semi-final of the Coppa Italia 1-0 at the San Siro thanks to a Joaquin Correa goal.
In the Serie A, though, Lazio have won only one of the last eight with Milan beating them in the league at the San Siro 1-0 last season. There hasn't been an abundance of goals in this fixture in recent years - will that change this Sunday?
Milan's recent form has been inconsistent to say the least. They were poor in the early season which led to the sacking of Marco Giampaolo. He was replaced by Stefano Pioli who witnessed his first win as Milan coach with the 1-0 win over SPAL.
In fact, that was only Milan's second win in their last seven matches and their first win at the San Siro for almost a month.
Contrastingly, Lazio have started the season well and are pushing hard for the top four. They are unbeaten in their last five in the league, with three wins and two draws.
Ciro Immobile is currently the best striker in Italy and his goalscoring prowess has led this Lazio side up the table into fifth. They have only failed to score once in their ten games this season - away to Inter at the San Siro.
Here are both sides' last five results.
|AC Milan 1-3 Fiorentina (29/9)||Bologna 2-2 Lazio (6/10)|
|Genoa 1-2 AC Milan (5/10)||Lazio 3-3 Atalanta (19/10)|
|AC Milan 2-2 Lecce (20/10)||Celtic 2-1 Lazio (24/10)|
|Roma 2-1 AC Milan (27/10)||Fiorentina 1-2 Lazio (27/10)|
|AC Milan 1-0 SPAL (31/10)||Lazio 4-0 Torino (30/10)|
In recent years, this would have been a harder game to predict that it is now. Yet, Milan look devoid of any sort of creativity or attacking threat.
Lazio have shown their fragility at the back - but going forward they are one of the best teams in the league. Immobile can't stop scoring and they will be high on confidence following their midweek win over Torino.
Stefano Pioli will have to wait longer for his first win in front of the San Siro crowd, while Lazio continue their push for Champions League qualification.
Prediction: AC Milan 1-3 Lazio