AC Milan will travel to the Stadio Friuli to play Udinese in their first Serie A game of the season.
Milan are clearly not the dominant force they were some years ago, but they are heading in the right direction. They finished fifth in the league last season under manager Gennaro Gattuso, barely missing out on Champions League qualification. The hierarchy at the club decided to relieve Gattuso of his duties. In his place they appointed Marco Giampaolo as the new manager at Milan.
He left his job at Sampdoria and signed a two-year contract at AC Milan. He led Sampdoria to the ninth place last season, which was a commendable achievement. Giampaolo will hope to better that in his first season at the San Siro. Gattuso was reportedly offered a chance to exchange jobs with Giampaolo, but he refused to accept the same. Despite his departure, Gattuso did some good work at the club and Giampaolo would hope to embellish that.Embed from Getty Images
Rafael Leao will lead Milan’s recruits this summer. The striker was signed from Lille, and he is Milan’s costliest signing of the summer so far. Following him was Franck Kessie, who made his loan move from Atalanta permanent. Kessie was at Milan for the past two seasons and he impressed in midfield. Giampaolo must not have batted an eye while making the move permanent. Aside from these two, Theo Hernandez was signed from Real Madrid to bolster their defence. Patrick Cutrone was the only high-profile departure from Milan this summer as he left for Wolves in the Premier League.
Udinese finished 12th last season in the league, which was neither here nor there. They were in no danger from relegation and had no ambition to get into the European places. Igor Tudor will hope that his side will manage to get into the top half at the very least this season. Udinese’s transfer window has not gone according to plan so far. They lost two important players in the form of goalkeeper Alex Meret and midfielder Jakub Jankto.
Meret went to Napoli for a fee of €22 million, which is a huge blow to Udinese. Jankto was snapped up by Sampdoria, and his absence will be felt in the centre of the pitch. As for arrivals, Walace came over from Hannover 96 for €6 million.
The last time these two sides met, the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Krzysztof Piatek gave Milan the lead, but Kevin Lasagna equalized for Udinese. Both these strikers will be key for their respective teams yet again. Milan are unbeaten in their last four meetings, which will give them confidence ahead of the clash.
Udinese vs AC Milan Prediction
This game is a tough one to call, and a draw seems like the likely result. Both sides should score in this one, and we should be in store for an entertaining match. The total goals should be over than 2.5 in this game, and the points should be shared between the two sides.