As we near the business end of the season in Italy, things are finally falling into place for Milan. Sinisa Mihajlovic's methods are finally paying off and we're seeing evidence of it in both better performances and better results. Barring a 1-0 loss to Bologna at the beginning of January, Milan are now unbeaten in 13 matches in the Serie A. Despite only taking a point from the Neapolitans on Monday following a 1-1 draw at the San Paolo, Milan are steadily closing in the European places and should the right sides drop points over the coming weeks then a Champions League place could be a genuinely realistic goal.
Aside from a tough clash with Juventus mid-April, Milan have a relatively ease run of fixtures in contrast to the other top sides in the league, with Sassuolo, Chievo and Atalanta all on the horizon for Milan over the next month. This weekend though Milan host Torino, with the two drawing at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin back in October. The performance exemplified Milan's struggles in breaking down weaker sides as they struggled to overcome a resilient Granata side. At home however, things might be different. Last season's resounding 3-1 victory proved to be a high point for Milan, with Stephane El Shaarawy scoring twice as Torino were put firmly in their place.
Torino's poor form will encourage the Rossoneri further. They've recorded just 2 wins in 12 matches, 6 of them losses and look out of sorts compared to the side that started the campaign so confidently. Speculation persists about the future of manager Giampiero Ventura as the club continue to stand still. A lack of goals has undoubtedly been the biggest issue with Andrea Belotti scoring just 6 times this season and Ciro Immobile's return to the team doing little to rectify the situation. Nonetheless, they shouldn't be counted out and Milan must avoid any potential complacency going into this match. The main burden will certainly rest with Giacomo Bonaventura and Keisuke Honda out wide, as they'll be tasked with containing Torino's marauding wing backs, who are arguably Torino's biggest threat in these sorts of games.
Milan will be without captain Riccardo Montolivo through suspension, to the joy of some and the disappoint of others. Whilst his performances have been erratic, when he plays well he can dominate matches like this one and Milanisti will hope that Andrea Bertolacci can deputise effectively. Alessio Romagnoli will probably return to the side as well, despite his replacement Cristian Zapata impressing on Monday. Otherwise, fans should expect an unchanged eleven from Mihajlovic. Marco Benassi will be a big miss for Torino and his absence will help Milan in winning the midfield battle in this game, though Daniele Baselli is equally capable in the middle of the park. Torino is not the easiest of tests for Milan but it is undoubtedly one they should pass.
Milan: 4-4-2 - Gianluigi Donnarumma; Ignazio Abate, Alex, Alessio Romagnoli, Luca Antonelli; Keisuke Honda, Andrea Bertolacci, Juraj Kucka, Giacomo Bonaventura; M'Baye Niang, Carlos Bacca.
Torino: 3-5-2 - Daniele Padelli; Nikola Maksimovic, Kamil Glik, Emiliano Moretti; Bruno Peres, Joel obi, Giuseppe Vives, Daniele Baselli, Cristian Molinaro; Andrea Belotti, Ciro Immobile.
Milan always seem to beat Torino at home and this match will be no different. Bacca and Niang to score.
Milan 2-0 Torino