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Match Preview: AC Milan looks to end Sassuolo’s home dominance

AC Milan may have spent the holidays re-evaluating their Serie A title ambitions, knowing the club is 11 points behind their rival and league leader, Inter, ahead of this weekend’s matches. Even the most optimistic Rossoneri fans may struggle to prove they can challenge for the Scudetto, even though they have lost only two of their last nine matches in all competitions (5 wins, 2 draws).

Coach Stefano Pioli will be happy to be at San Siro knowing his side has won three consecutive league matches at home. They have also conceded only four goals on their own patch, which is the joint-lowest total in the league. That record could be put to the test when they host a struggling Sassuolo side: Milan has lost three consecutive Serie A meetings here, including a humiliating 5-2 defeat last January!

Dionisi may, however, be dreading a return to the road as his Sassuolo side has won only two of their last 13 Serie A away matches (3 draws, 8 defeats). A good defensive performance could be key as Sassuolo is one of only two Serie A sides without a clean sheet this season, but at least that has led to some entertaining matches, as evidenced by the team’s average of 3.35 goals per game, the highest in Serie A!

Players to watch: Veteran Olivier Giroud has scored three goals in as many meetings with Sassuolo, but he has only won one of those matches (1 draw, 1 defeat). Armand Laurient√©, the visitors’ forward, has provided assists in two of his last three matches. He won and converted a penalty in Sassuolo’s famous 5-2 victory last January.

Hot stat: 14 of the 20 goals AC Milan has conceded in Serie A this season have come after halftime.

Prediction: AC Milan 3-1 Sassuolo

This is a match that Milan should win, but Sassuolo will be determined to make a point after their recent poor form. The Rossoneri will be looking to get back to winning ways after their disappointing draw with Salernitana last time out, and they should have enough quality to get the job done. Giroud is a major threat for Milan, and he will be looking to add to his tally against Sassuolo. Laurient√© is Sassuolo’s main attacking threat, and he could be a danger if he is given space.

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