AC Milan host Torino at San Siro in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia on Tuesday night with I Rossoneri’s sights set on a fifth consecutive win.
Torino come into the match still smarting from the 7-0 demolition Atalanta dished out in front of Il Toro’s home fans on Saturday evening. That was the second consecutive defeat Walter Mazzarri’s side has suffered and sees them go into the cup clash nestled in mid-table.
Milan take on the Turin-based outfit in a run of resurgent form, with five wins from their six games since the turn of the year and Zlatan Ibrahimović’s arrival. But the Milan faithful have found a new hero in the form of Ante Rebić in recent weeks.
The Croatian forward has three goals in his last two games, including the winner in both, and will be looking to continue this run of form as Milan aim to reach the semi-final of the Coppa Italia for the second year in succession.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Tuesday 28 January|
|What Time is Kick Off?||19:45 (GMT)|
|Where is it Played?||San Siro|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 1|
Milan are still without long-term absentee Léo Duarte who has been recovering from ankle surgery since late November. Lucas Biglia and Davide Calabria are also doubts after picking up knocks earlier this month.
Torino ended their 7-0 home loss with nine men on the pitch (although, they did have the full complement for the first five goals) but suspensions in Serie A don’t carry over to the Coppa Italia.
However, Il Toro will be without midfielder
|Milan:||Donnarumma; Conti, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernández; Castillejo, Krunic, Bennacer, Çalhanoğlu; Rebić, Ibrahimović.|
|Torino:||Sirigu; Bremer, Djidji, Bonifazi; Aina, Rincón, Lukić, Laxalt; Berenguer, Verdi; Belotti.|
Head to Head Record
These two sides have met 161 times with Milan, enjoying years of domestic and European dominance over the course of their history, boasting the superior record of 65 wins to Torino’s 39.
However, in the last match between these clubs, earlier this season in September, it was Torino who walked away as victors. Il Toro’s captain and talisman Andrea Belotti cancelled out
Whilst Torino’s last victory over I Rossoneri may be fresh in the memory, you have to go back almost 20 years since I Granata were winners over Milan in San Siro.
At the turn of the century, Torino defeated a star-studded Milan side including Paolo Maldini, Demetrio Albertini and Andriy Shevchenko in the second-leg of the round of 16 Coppa Italia to little consequence, as the red-and-black stripes of Milan won the tie on aggregate.
Tuesday night will be a one-off match with the winners treated to a game against Juventus in the semi-finals.
Milan go into the game unbeaten this decade after a horror end to last year saw them annihilated at home by Atalanta (something Torino know all-too-well).
This run of results has seen them leap up the table. After ending the year below the fold, Milan go into Tuesday’s game well in the mix for European places, with almost half the season still to go.
Prior to Milan’s winning run, Torino were two points and three places better off than their opponents on Tuesday. In less than a month, Stefano Pioli’s men have leapfrogged Il Toro and welcome them to San Siro four points better off.
Torino players were fighting back the tears after the lesson dished out by Atalanta and talks of Mazzarri’s sacking followed as swiftly as they were dismissed. Should the former Watford manager fail to see his side succumb to another convincing defeat, this time at the hands of Milan, then the pressure would certainly be on.
|Brescia 0-1 Milan (24/01)||Torino 0-7 Atalanta (25/01)|
|Milan 3-2 Udinese (19/01)||Sassuolo 2-1 Torino (18/01)|
|Milan 3-0 SPAL (15/01)||Torino 1-0 Bologna (12/01)|
|Cagliari 0-2 Milan (11/01)||Torino 1-1 Genoa (09/01)|
|Milan 0-0 Sampdoria (06/01)||Roma 0-2 Torino (05/01)|
While Torino may occupy the sanctity of mid-table, their underlying performance suggests that this league position and run in the cup have been masking a very poor season.
Firstly, Torino’s attack is truly terrible. No side in Serie A has fewer expected goals to their name this campaign.
While Milan can’t boast an exceptional cutting edge at the sharp end of the pitch, they have created considerably better chances than Torino, despite scoring four fewer goals – mainly due to the profligacy of the benched Piatek.
Torino’s defence is not much better. The seven goals Atalanta scored not only serve as proof, but, taking this anomalous result out of consideration, Torino are in the bottom three when Serie A teams are ranked by their expected goal difference – a good indication of their underlying performance.
Couple this with Milan’s run of form, and a first win for Torino at San Siro in two decades seems an unlikely outcome on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Milan 2-0 Torino