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Italian Serie A-Match Prediction:Lazio vs AC Milan
Match Time：4/27/2021 02:45 Tuesday (GMT+8)
Italian Serie A -- Lazio VS AC Milan
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Following gut-wrenching setbacks last time out, both Lazio and their visitors AC Milan meet on Monday in need of points to fulfil their ambitions of European football for next season.
The hosts are clinging onto a top-six place ahead of city rivals Roma, while the Rossoneri come to the capital with securing a long-awaited Champions League return upmost in mind.
Only Atalanta's inability to beat Roma saved a struggling Milan from slipping out of Serie A's top two for the first time in months last week, after they let slip a lead provided by Hakan Calhanoglu to lose 2-1 against Sassuolo at San Siro.
Yet another setback on home soil came about as, after surging forward in the final 20 minutes, their Emilian visitors were ultimately rewarded when Giacomo Raspadori netted from close range, before adding a second in the 83rd minute to end Milan's distant title hopes once and for all.
In a week when the Rossoneri have been distracted by the actions of their errant owners, the defeat marked a new low in a troubling period for Stefano Pioli's unravelling side.
Ten points behind old foes Inter ahead of the league's 33rd round, they were also just one above both Atalanta and Juventus heading into the weekend, with their expected return to the European elite - earned by merit rather than shady boardroom deals - now in serious jeopardy.
Pioli now takes his team to the capital, where he meets his old club, having been victorious in both of his last duels with the Aquile and knowing that Milan's stellar away form has remained unaffected by their recent slump in fortunes.
As the Rossoneri could become the first team to win 14 of their first 16 games on the road in a single Serie A season on Monday, their ease outside of San Siro may prove vital in setting that record and keeping pace with the fast-closing pack just behind.
Lazio will be in search of their own piece of history at Stadio Olimpico, as they seek a 10th consecutive home victory in Serie A - a streak only previously achieved by the club in 1937 and then 1974.
After an incredible week in which the Biancocelesti contrived to both win 5-3 and lose 5-2, they sit just inside the top six places that guarantee at least a Europa League spot for next term.
However, missing out in an incident-packed head-to-head for fifth place at Napoli last week - despite a belated fightback through goals from Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - leaves Lazio in a precarious position, as rivals Roma are still on their coat-tails.
Simone Inzaghi's side had beaten his younger brother's Benevento in their previous outing, before their rude awakening in Naples on Thursday. While Inzaghi senior was absent from the touchline on both occasions as he self-isolated with COVID-19, his players will have been made all too aware that further defensive blunders will not be tolerated by the demanding tactician, as he plots a course back to Europe.
Still well short of the tally currently boasted by Cristiano Ronaldo in the Capocannoniere rankings, top scorer Immobile has played his part in helping Lazio make up ground lost in the early part of the season by winning five consecutive games before their thumping at the Maradona. The reigning penalty-box king would now dearly love to add to his two goals in as many recent games against the Rossoneri - to boost both his own cause and that of his team.
Lazio Serie A form:
AC Milan Serie A form:
AC Milan form (all competitions):
After missing out through suspension and injury last week, Zlatan Ibrahimovic - who recently signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club beyond his 40th birthday - could return to the Milan squad on Monday. Both the Sweden striker and flying full-back Theo Hernandez are being monitored ahead of the trip to Rome and would most likely replace Diogo Dalot and Rafael Leao respectively, if passed fit.
Midfielder Ismael Bennacer has been suffering with an ankle problem and is poised to be another late call for Stefano Pioli, with either Soualiho Meite keeping his place or Sandro Tonali being drafted in should the Algerian be ruled out again.
Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi, who has recovered from a brush with COVID-19 and will be back on the hosts' bench, will be without South American pair Gonzalo Escalante and Luiz Felipe, who are both injured, but otherwise has few concerns to contend with.
Though Luis Alberto (ankle) and star man Ciro Immobile (calf) picked up knocks against Napoli, both should be fine to start for the Aquile.
Meanwhile, after playing his part in conceding eight times in the course of two games, Adam Marusic may switch to his customary position out wide in Inzaghi's 3-5-2, with Patric re-joining the back three and Mohamed Fares potentially dropping out.
Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Patric, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Marusic; Correa, Immobile
AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Dalot; Kessie, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Leao.
Lazio vs AC Milan
Lazio 1-1 AC Milan
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