Aug. 22, 2016
AC Milan vs. Torino Preview & Prediction
A new season equals new opportunities and that is the plan for both clubs under new managers, which will have that on their agenda when they face off at the Stadio San Siro late Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the Rossoneri fan base, there will be no Champions League. For the third season in a row, AC Milan failed to make the Champions League competition and will have to play in domestic competitions after they were put in the Europa League by Sassuolo, a side that made their Serie A debut back in 2013.
And just as was the case last season, the 2016/2017 Serie A season commences with a new manager on the bench. Former Fiorentina and Sampdoria manager Vincenzo Montella is the sixth man in charge since Massimiliano Allegri’s got fired back in January 2014. He will now have the task of trying to guide AC Milan back into the Champions League. This offseason has seen AC Milan not been able to be as active in buying players due to negotiations between Silvio Berlusconi. Nonetheless, the Rossoneri managed to bring in a couple of new players, including Gustavo Gomez, Gianluca Lapadula, and Jose Sosa.
Meanwhile, Torino, who finished 12th in Serie A last season will be seeking to move to the top of the table. The best bet is for them to break into the top half of the table. The Granata will be coming into this contest having cruised to a very comfortable 4-1 win in Coppa Italia this past week. Their new manager in Sinisa Mihajlovic will have his vendetta when he arrives at the San Siro. Even though he led AC Milan to their first Coppa Italia final in 13 years last season, the Serbian coach was fired by the club.
Torino has been quite busy upgrading their squad by bringing in the likes of Leandro Castan, Iago Falque, Adem Ljajic, and Luca Rossettini.
Team News: AC Milan will have a full starting XI even though there are rumors that both Cristian Zapata (fitness issues) and Gian Lapadula (suspended) are inactive. For Torino, Davide Zappacosta is suffering from fitness issues, whereas Iago Falque is not entirely fit. Of course, the rumor has it that Nikola Maksimovic is inactive due to some interest from Premier League clubs.
Prediction: Torino will be fancying their confidence after winning their Coppa Italia fixture. However, AC Milan will be desperate to continue their home streak record against the Granata, and furthermore, the goal is not to lose their opening game at home. Last season saw AC Milan win nine games at home where they drew six and lost two. On the road, Torino recorded six wins, three draws, and ten defeats. Curiously, both coaches have records. Montella has only beaten Mihajlovic once in his past seven games and only won one out of his last seven games against Torino. Meanwhile, Mihajlovic has gotten the upper hand on Montella, with three wins and three draws, but when it comes to AC Milan, that is a different with three draws, and four defeats. With all respect, I have a feeling that this game will end in a draw as both managers are still getting used to managing their new clubs.