Milan vs Sassuolo by Enzo
In the last competitive game before the holiday break, Milan had a goalless draw away to Rome, even though the side created many dangerous situations in front of opponents goal. Still, they could also consider themselves lucky as the team played with a man less since 70th minute when defender Armero got red carded.
But it has to be said that the visitors were more concrete and more dangerous side till that moment. Anyhow, with this point taken, team continued being seventh at the table, but with only two point less than fourth placed Napoli. At home, they have won three out of last four matches and will surely aim for a victory here as well. During the break, they defeated Real Madrid 4:2 in Dubai in a friendly game, where many fringe players got their chances in both sides. Ignazio Abate and Mattia De Sciglio could be re-installed here in the starting lineup, as Philippe Mexes (6/0, suspended) and Daniele Bonera (9/0, injured) are sidelined. Left back Pablo Armero (4/0) is also suspended, while defensive midfielder NIgel de Jong (13/2). Forward Keisuke Honda (16/6) is traveling on international duty.
There is overall impression that Sassuolo could do better in the previous game they played, as the team hosted Cesena and were big favorites to get the victory, but only succumbed to a 1:1 draw. They were better side, but payed the price of not converting their chances into goals.
As said, they were dominant almost through the whole game, but only took the lead in 74th via Zaza from the penalty spot, then trying to keep the lead, but punishment came in fourth minute of additional time when the visiting side struck with equalizer. Still, the team is close to the middle of the table with twenty points so far, being eight points away from relegation zone - more than satisfying position for now. Defender Paolo Cannavaro and goalkeeper Andrea Consigli are both available after serving their suspension. Goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo is a long term absentee, while the team also misses midfielder Saphir Taider (15/2) who is on international duty at African Cup of Nations.
Milan will miss couple of important players here, but their form near the holiday's break was more than satisfying. Sassuolo over performed a bit in recent weeks and it will probably be too much to handle for them this game as well. Milan to take all three points easy or hard is my choice here.