In past seasons, it would have been unthinkable. But right now, AC Milan are in danger of missing out on European football for a third straight season. Not just on the Champions League. But on the Europa League. The Rossoneri currently find themselves in seventh spot, behind Sassuolo.
Sassuolo are a team that only made their top flight debut in the 2013/2014 season. And now, the Neroverdi could potentially beat AC Milan, a team that is only second to Real Madrid in terms of most Champions League titles won to a Europa League spot for the 2016/2017 campaign.
Although there is the Coppa Italia as another means to get into Europe, most have not placed much faith in Milan’s abilities to beat Juventus. After all, they have failed to do so in either of their two meetings this season. And based on their performances against teams like Frosinone and Hellas Verona, AC Milan do not look like they will suddenly change that bad trend any time soon.
In years not too long ago outfits like Sassuolo and Frosinone – who are making their own debut in the top flight this term – would have been dreading to take on Milan. Not so much this time around. The Canarini actually had a swagger about them when facing the Rossoneri and thought they could walk away with a win in hand.
And they nearly did. Were it not for a late equalizer, AC Milan would have been again embarrassed by a lower-level side. Just as they were during a shocking scoreless stalemate with another debutant, Carpi at the Stadio San Siro. Ironically, at the time of his sacking, Sinisa Mihajlovic had guided the side into sixth place and into the finals of the Coppa Italia, but that was not enough for President Silvio Berlusconi.
Now former Primavera coach Cristian Brocchi has two games, plus the Coppa Italia final to salvage AC Milan’s season. And Bologna are ready to take advantage. Earlier this term, the Rossoblu snatched a win in the reverse fixture and are certainly salivating at the prospect of completing what would be a rare double over the Diavolo this term.
Roberto Donadoni’s men have found goals really hard to come by, and they have won just one out of their past five matches. In addition, they were subjected to a 6-0 drubbing by a very frustrated Napoli side not too long ago.
However, it’s important to note that Bologna so far this year are also the only side to have successfully not only prevented Juventus from scoring but also to have nicked a point off the Bianconeri, so they are not a side to be taken lightly.
AC Milan will be missing M’Baye Niang, Giacomo Bonaventura, and Luca Antonelli for this match, whilst Bologna is without Mattia Destro, Archimede Morelo, Luca Rizzo, and likely Godfred Donsah.
So, will the Rossoneri be able to stage a late rally in their final two games of the season to reclaim sixth spot? Or will Bologna heap more misery on an already floundering side to potentially condemn them (should they also lose in the Coppa Italia final) to yet another season sans European football?
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