December should have been a simple month for Milan. After a difficult early run that included matches against Napoli and Juventus, amongst others, the prospect of facing relegation-bound Carpi and Hellas Verona in consecutive fixtures seemed all too enticing. However, the Rossoneri took just two points from a possible six against the two struggling sides and head into this round of fixtures in worse shape than ever. As Milan head south to face another struggling side, 18th-placed Frosinone, the need to secure a victory is becoming ever more palpable.
Despite once again progressing in the Coppa Italia, at the expense of a woeful Sampdoria side without a win under new coach Vincenzo Montella, Milan's form in the Serie A is becoming increasingly worrying. Whilst Inter have proceeded to run away with the title, Milan, against all odds, have been at their lowest ebb this past few weeks. There were few signs of improvement visible in their performance on Thursday either. Having failed to deliver in two consecutive must-win fixtures, this match against lowly Frosinone is truly a decisive game for Milan.
Milan will most likely line-up in a 4-4-2 formation once again. Juraj Kucka and Nigel De Jong will not feature due to suspension, opening the door for Andrea Bertolacci to make his first Serie A start since returning from injury. Luca Antonelli is also in line for a return to the side ahead of the inconsistent Mattia De Sciglio at left back. It's been difficult to gauge the success of the 4-4-2 system thus far, but the telling factor will be how the players approach the match mentally. Milan must be confident and take initiative against Frosinone. If they allow themselves to be bullied and pressured against Frosinone the way they did against Carpi and Verona, then the match will be over before it's begun. Carlos Bacca's recent return to form is enough to provide some hope of a good result, however, as the Colombian has continued to deliver even when his teammates haven't.
In Frosinone, coach Roberto Stellone has been able to craft a hardworking and well-drilled team that can undoubtedly give opponents a hard time on their day, especially when playing at home. A point will most likely suffice for the Canarini, yet the only thing that can damage Milan's chances of taking all three is themselves. There's no question that Milan are the better team, at least on paper, but they've yet to show it on a consistent basis and have made particularly hard work of stubborn sides like Frosinone so far this year. Failure to win here could well end any hope of qualifying for the Champions League altogether and leave the club in a really bad place heading into the Christmas break. Milan must beat Frosinone, whatever the cost.
Milan: 4-4-2 - Gianluigi Donnarumma; Ignazio Abate, Alex, Alessio Romagnoli, Luca Antonelli; M'Baye Niang, Riccardo Montolivo, Andrea Bertolacci, Giacomo Bonaventura; Carlos Bacca, Luiz Adriano.
Frosinone: 4-4-2 - Nicola Leali; Arlind Ajeti, Modibo Diakite, Leonardo Blanchard, Daniel Pavlovic; Luca Paganini, Mirko Gori, Paolo Sammarco, Danilo Soddimo; Matteo Ciofani, Federico Dionisi.
There's little you can do in these situations but be optimistic. Milan are the better team and really should win this game. In matches like this, Carlos Bacca could prove to be the difference and should look to add another goal to his tally for the win.
Frosinone 0-1 Milan