Lazio v Milan – Stadio Olimpico at 17:00 GMT live at Eleven Sports
Milan signed off for the international break with a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to all-conquering Juventus. Having arrived at the San Siro encounter on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run in Serie A, the Rossoneri were hopeful of giving the Old Lady a stern examination.
However, striker Gonzalo Higuain endured a nightmare contest against his old club, missing a penalty when Milan were 1-0 down before being sent off in a rage in the final 10 minutes after Juventus had already doubled their advantage. The result leaves Rino Gattuso’s group one point outside the top four.
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Gattuso was philosophical about the reverse post-match and refused to pin the blame on Higuain. As aware as anyone of the gulf in talent that exists between Milan and Juventus, the Rossoneri head coach will have been relatively pleased with certain aspects of his team’s performance.
Milan missing a catalogue of players
Nevertheless, Higuain’s red card and subsequent suspension has left the Italian giants in the midst of a major selection crisis ahead of their trip to the capital to face Lazio on Sunday evening. Milan are without at least nine first-team players through injury or suspension, making the guests easily opposable.
Captain Alessio Romagnoli, top scorer Higuain, plus fellow frontliners Mateo Musacchio, Giacomo Bonaventura, Lucas Biglia and Mattia Caldara are all absent, whilst Hakan Calhanoglu is now a major doubt having left the international circuit with Turkey early due to a muscle complaint.
In contrast, Lazio hope to have both Felipe Caicedo and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic back in the fold this weekend following a week of rest. The pair weren’t fit enough for international duty and the Biancocelesti’s medical team have reported that the duo are recovering well ahead of the weekend.
Lazio worthy of support
Lazio head coach Simone Inzaghi said his side left Sassuolo with “regrets” after a 1-1 draw in their last outing. It was the capital club’s first stalemate of the season between Serie A and the Europa League and the Biancocelesti boss was upset with his team’s defending ahead of the equaliser.
Europa League excursions just a few days prior had left Lazio looking a little jaded so the squad will have enjoyed the extended break from international duty and should be capable of justifying their position as 1.84 favourites to overcome a -0.50 Asian Handicap hurdle on Sunday.
The pair have often fallen short when tasked with tackling top-six rivals in Serie A, although Lazio were 4-1 winners when the two teams locked horns at the Stadio Olimpico last season and should have the edge again with Milan missing so many key personnel this weekend.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Lazio -0.50 at 1.840
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.