AC Milan v Genoa – San Siro at 19:45 live on BT Sport
A hugely controversial last-minute penalty decision – and subsequent conversion by Paulo Dybala – extended Juventus’ 31-match home winning streak in Serie A last Friday night; an outcome that provoked AC Milan players into a frenzy.
Striker Carlos Bacca needed to be held back from attacking the referee at the final whistle by club CEO Adriano Galliani whilst reports from the J-Stadium suggested a stool was smashed, a lamp shattered and graffiti scrawled across the walls by disgruntled Rossoneri players and staff.
Displays celebrating the Old Lady’s 2004-05 and 2005-06 title wins – officially revoked following the Calciopoli scandal – were said to have been daubed with the word “THIEVES” and it was easy to see how Milan felt robbed by such an atrocious and pivotal decision.
Milan had arrived on a three-match winning streak and put on a brave display in Turin. Bacca had levelled the scores but in truth, Juve could and probably should have secured maximum points before the penalty. The all-conquering hosts were denied on numerous occasions by goalkeeping sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Bacca and Alessio Romagnoli are now banned for Saturday night’s clash with Genoa in San Siro, two key players for Vincenzo Montella in recent weeks. The Colombian striker had scored four goals in three games of late and Romagnoli is often the man responsible for keeping the defence together.
However, the hosts still have enough talent at their disposal to overcome a -0.75 Asian Handicap deficit here. The market has moved against Milan following the weekend’s events but with plenty still to play for in terms of continental qualification, I’m counting on Montella’s men bouncing back.
Genoa on the beach
Genoa suffered an eighth defeat in 12 (W1-D3-L8) when losing the Derby della Lanterna against bitter rivals Sampdoria last time out, marking the first time the Rossoblu have been beaten in both derby games since 1959/60.
Andrea Mandorlini’s men are already on the beach with a 14-point advantage over the bottom-three and have struggled to turnaround a wretched campaign, as well as seemingly unable to cope with the January departures of key personnel.
Genoa’s only success came on their travels at an awful Empoli outfit last time out – their only triumph in 11 games as guests – and the visitors have also finished second best in six of their seven trips to top-half teams.
The Rossoblu have suffered defeats by at least a two-goal margin in five of their most recent eight visits to teams occupying a top-half berth and a determined Milan should be well capable of extending that rotten record on Saturday night.
Asian Handicap Recommedation: AC Milan -0.75 at 1.93
Prices correct at time of writing.