Match Today: Milan vs Spezia 05-11-2022 Serie A
After losing the league last weekend with stunning success in Europe, Milan are back in action on Saturday, when they host struggling Spezia at the San Siro.
The Rossoneri bounced back from a disappointing defeat by Torino in Serie A with a win over RB Leipzig to advance in the Champions League, and they now face a side that has yet to score a point or even a goal in their travels.
Requiring only a draw to reach the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in nine years, Milan only had to catch Salzburg when the two teams met at the San Siro on Wednesday night.
The Italian champions finished second in Group E in some style, after a 4-0 win that came largely as a result of Olivier Giroud's double, and completed the first half.
After racking up back-to-back wins in the continent's biggest club competition for the first time since 2011, the seven-times European champions are now in the draw for Monday, but will first aim to recover from a rare stumble in Serie A.
AC Milan vs Spezia
Milan finished second in Serie A before traveling to Turin last weekend, but after making several changes to their squad, coach Stefano Pioli has not commented: his team lost both for the first time in 18 away matches and only second in the league.
After a disjointed 2-1 defeat to Torino, the injured Rossoneri slipped to third, six points behind ruthless leaders Napoli, who took advantage of all the advantages by winning their 10th out of 12 games.
If they falter again, Milan will lose consecutive Serie A games for the first time in a year, so Pioli will now turn to his normally waterproof defense at the San Siro: in 2022, they have kept nine clean sheets at home, and the joint-most in League, only Liverpool and Real Sociedad have scored more in the top five European leagues.
Spezia vs AC Milan
However, the guest Spezia is one of only two teams to beat the Rossoneri at home this year, with a 2-1 win in February, followed by Napoli's win earlier this season.
In fact, since being promoted to Serie A for the first time in 2020, Spezia has won two of his four league meetings with Milan.
Perhaps most fittingly, the Ligurian side have lost without scoring in each of their first six away games in Serie A this season, while only four teams in history have lost seven in a row - and only one this century.
Luca Guti's men have failed to score in half of the league's games so far, which is the worst combined tally in this regard, along with struggling Sampdoria.
Furthermore, they are currently leaking away goals at a rate of more than two goals per match.
Only their form back in La Spezia keeps Aquilotti afloat for the time being, but even there they were beaten last weekend, capitulating to late winner Fiorentina at the Alberto Pico Estadio.
Picking one point off the October schedule is a trend that cannot continue if Guti is to stay in the position longer, but meeting Milan now is the last thing the Spezia coach needs.