Much has been made of the off the field relationship between Milan and Genoa in recent years, with the two clubs continually moving players back and forth in various transfer deals. However on the field, things have swung decidedly in Genoa's favour the last few seasons. The Rossoblu have continually gotten the better of Milan, despite arguably being one of the weakest sides in the league. Milan's struggles against this kind of opposition are what have kept the Rossoneri out of contention for European qualification in recent years, yet to overcome Genoa would represent genuine progress in this regard as Milan's record as of late in this fixture is downright embarrassing.
Fortunately for Milan, this is a weakened Genoa side visiting the San Siro. La Vecchio Balordo sold their prized asset Diego Perotti to Roma during the January transfer window and relegation is looking increasingly likely for the club this season. What remains is a rather ramshackle team that's very short on genuine quality. To add to this, they are without a win in four matches and so on paper this particular match-up is undoubtedly more favourable towards the Rossoneri. After last weekend's 1-1 draw against Udinese put the brakes on a potential surge up the table for Milan, beating Genoa is a must if we are to remain in touch with the race for a Champions League place.
Having been without the team's creative fulcrum last time round, Sinisa Mihajlovic should ave Giacomo Bonaventura at his disposal again this weekend with the midfielder having recovered from the injury that kept him out of last week's clash. Juraj Kucka will unfortunately miss the match after picking up a thigh injury this week, meaning that former Genoa man Andrea Bertolacci will most likely deputise for him. Mario Balotelli could also be in line to start this match with M'Baye Niang also picking up an injury this week. Otherwise expect an unchanged 4-4-2 line-up in this match.
Genoa will be without striker Leonardo Pavoletti due to injury. The Italian has been in lethal form this season having scored 10 goals already this campaign and without him Genoa lack a reliable goalscoring threat. Whilst it's a long shot given his recent performances, Alessio Cerci may also be looking to prove a point against Milan as ex-players tend to do when returning to the San Siro, however it should not be a major worry. The psychological boost that beating Genoa would give Milan would be much needed to ensure that the player's heads don't drop at a difficult point in the season. Yet, the match will most likely be as a much of a struggle as always. Milan finally beat Sassuolo, another bogey team back in October and superiority over the Rossoblu would count for just as much.
Milan: 4-4-2 - Gianluigi Donnarumma; Ignazio Abate, Alex, Alessio Romagnoli, Luca Antonelli; Keisuke Honda, Andrea Bertolacci, Riccardo Montolivo, Giacomo Bonaventura; Mario Balotelli, Carlos Bacca.
Genoa: 3-4-3 - Mattia Perin; Ezequiel Munoz, Nicolas Burdisso, Armando Izzo; Riccardo Fiamozzi, Luca Rigoni, Blerim Dzemaili, Diego Laxalt; Panagotis Tachtsidis, Alessio Cerci, Tim Matavz.
It's difficult to be optimistic for this fixture given recent history, but Genoa are in such a poor state that Milan should be able to grab a win. Giacomo Bonaventura will announce his return in style with a decisive goal.
Milan 1-0 Genoa