Italian giants AC Milan face their latest Europa League test this Thursday in their quest to make the Group Stage of the competition. Stefano Pioli’s side head to Portugal to face off with Rio Ave, who made it past Turkish side Besiktas last week after a penalty shoot-out.
With Milan still unbeaten in 2020-21, they’ll be hoping for a strong result this week to continue their European campaign.
Rio Ave vs AC Milan Head-to-Head
This match will see two unbeaten sides go head-to-head, although it’s worth noting that neither team has played too many matches thus far.
Rio Ave have played 2 matches in the 2020-21 Primeira Liga thus far, with both of them going to draws. Most recently, their match with Vitoria de Guimaraes ended goalless.
In Europe, last week’s match with Besiktas finished 1-1 before Rio came out on top after a penalty shoot-out.
Milan meanwhile have reeled off 4 straight wins, defeating Bologna and Crotone in domestic competition and seeing off Shamrock Rovers and Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League. Worryingly though, the Norwegian team pushed the Rossoneri hard, taking the lead before falling 3-2.
Rio Ave form guide: W-D-W-D
AC Milan form guide: W-W-W-W
Rio Ave vs AC Milan Team News
Rio Ave will be unable to call upon defender Junio and forward Ronan for this game, as both are on the shelf with injuries.
Injured: Junio, Ronan
Milan still have a number of injury concerns to deal with. Mateo Musacchio, Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Conti and Leo Duarte remain on the shelf, while Ante Rebic is doubtful after sustaining an elbow injury against Crotone.
More worryingly, the Rossoneri will be without veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic following his positive test for Covid-19 last week.
Injured: Mateo Musacchio, Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Conti, Leo Duarte
Doubtful: Ante Rebic
Unavailable: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Rio Ave vs AC Milan Predicted XI
Rio Ave predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Pawel Kieszek, Ivo Pinto, Toni Borevkovic, Aderllan Santos, Matheus Reis, Tarantini, Filipe Augusto, Lucas Piazon, Francisco Geraldes, Carlos Mane, Bruno Moreira
AC Milan predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Gianluigi Donnarumma, Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Matteo Gabbia, Theo Hernandez, Sandro Tonali, Franck Kessie, Samu Kastillejo, Hakan Calhanoglu, Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao
Rio Ave vs AC Milan Prediction
Milan have a lot of injury issues and will not be able to play their strongest side here, but they should still come into the game as favourites.
Despite having to travel, the Rossoneri should still have an advantage over Rio Ave, who haven’t looked great going forward thus far in 2020-21 and have struggled for goals. Milan’s strikeforce is depleted without Ibrahimovic, but with Calhanoglu, Leao and Diaz they should have enough firepower to get them by.
Prediction: Rio Ave 0-2 AC MilanPublished 29 Sep 2020, 14:30 IST